What is a Business Development Representative?
A business development representative (BDR) is a member of the sales team who is solely responsible for identifying new sales leads and connecting them with sales reps who can develop a relationship.
Think of them as a matchmaker for sales leads and sales reps: their job is to make connections that will result in positive relationships and lucrative sales.
What Does a Business Development Representative Do?
BDRs spend their time researching new leads, conducting outreach, networking whenever and wherever possible, and then matching sales leads with sales reps who have the knowledge and tools to foster positive connections. Their main goal is to put resources together to help drive sales.
It’s imperative for BDRs to constantly be doing research. Without this, they wouldn’t be able to generate new leads for their sales team to work with.
BDRs are expected to know who their company’s competitors are, put together ideal customer profiles and customer personas, and constantly look for new business opportunities. They are also expected to get familiar with existing customers in their company’s database and find similar businesses to reach out to.
Once a BDR has conducted research on a potential lead, it’s time to start the outreach process. A top performing BDR will use a mix of cold calls and emails and video outreach to make initial connections with sales leads. They will often mix in some social networking too, and conduct outreach there as well.
It’s their job to set up initial conversations and test the water to see if potential prospects would be a good fit for whatever their sales team is offering.
BDRs are always talking to people. They’re constantly making new connections, learning about new companies, and figuring out who may be a good fit for their sales team to work with.
Unsurprisingly, they are extroverted people and thrive in social settings where meeting new people is front and center. A good BDR will remember who they’ve met and be able to trace connections between people to suss out new leads.
Business Development vs. Sales Development
It’s important to note that BDRs specifically look for brand new leads to make connections with, whereas sales development representatives (SDR) bolster new business with existing clients.
While the two have very similar jobs, one is on the lookout for new, untapped opportunities. The other is working with existing clients to maintain and grow their business. They work together, but aren’t competing with each other.
Business Development Representative Skills
A successful BDR will have the following skills in their toolkit:
- Experience working in the sales industry.
- Excellent communication (written and verbal) and active listening.
- Ability to build and maintain professional work relationships.
- Knowledge of industry trends.
- Ability to conduct research and understand competitors.
- Research and create customer profiles and personas.
- Know how to find and capitalize on new business opportunities.
- Be creative and self-motivating.
- Have the ability to create strategic objectives and achieve long-term sales goals.