Women in Sales Blog

The Role of the BDR or SDR at a High Growth Company & How the Sales Rep Can Support the BDR in the First Few Months 

Posted by Jul 28, 2015 10:31:38 PM Ali Powell

My experience with BDRs started 5 years ago. I started at HubSpot as one of two of our first BDRs of our company. We are actually both still working at HubSpot. Adrianne and I are below in that photo... Kind of cool, right? Since then HubSpot has grown and grown and grown...(and so have we). 

With that growth has come an actual process that our company has figured out for the hiring of BDRs, training our BDRs, and working with our BDRs to ready them for being a full time sales rep holding a quota.  

I was a BDR myself. For probably a little under a year. Adrianne was promoted before I was. (Fun fact)!

I worked my way up as a BDR at an early stage, high growth,  tech company. In that process I helped shape our BDR program here. 

I was our first BDR Manager at HubSpot. 

I helped to build out the BDR program here at HubSpot and in that process have learned things about how a high growth company should also build out their BDR to Sales rep program.

I have hired BDRs. I have fired BDRs. I have an understanding of what makes a great BDR and what doesn't. 

I have worked one on one with BDRs over the past 4 years or so as a sales rep. I know all of their names and I am friends with them still. I take the responsibility of training a BDR very seriously because I know what good training can do for a BDR as they work their way up a sales organization. 

I am hopeful that what I have learned can help other high growth companies as they build out their BDR program. I am planning on writing blog posts about the things that a sales rep or sales manager should do with their BDR over time from when they start until they are seasoned in the role. It is partially an activity for me to just document what I think a BDR Training program should look like but also because (more importantly) I am starting to work one on one with a BDR for the first time in a long time. 

As my boss says, I am my own best BDR. That is because I know what kinds of appointments I want. I know what type of company I would even want to take a meeting with and the kinds that I don't want to take a meeting with. I don't waste my own time. I only prospect good fit companies that I know could turn into a sale.

I understand what he means by this but I do think that someone like myself (a sales rep who knows what they want and how they want things done) can teach a willing BDR. I know I can get what I know in my head out onto paper and into a BDR's hands to learn from. So here goes it. 


Now that I am starting to train and work with a new BDR I thought it might be helpful to document and start to share some of what I am doing with her in the first few months in the role as a new BDR on our sales team. Hopefully my lessons and tricks in how a sales rep and a BDR should work together will also help your organization. 

How to build out a BDR program at a high growth company  

First thing I think most Sales reps don't realize is that the BDR or SDR likely has no idea what they are going to do other than prospect (send emails and make phone calls). They took the role as an entry point to your company and to learning about what it is to be a sales rep. It is your duty to help them have a great experience with their first taste of sales.  Usually a BDR or an SDR position is an entry level employee who is likely on the younger side, coming out of college or maybe had one other job before this one. They typically know they want to be in sales but might not really understand what being in sales really means. They likely are motivated, want to learn a lot, and want to make money. :) 

The job of the sales rep in the first couple of months working with a BDR is a big deal. The sales rep will play a critical role as to the BDRs success of failure on the job. It is your job as a sales rep taking on mentoring or training a BDR to want to spend time with them. The sales rep working with a BDR should know that your training and teaching them is super important to them doing well or not doing well. You must spend your time wisely with the BDR and focus on what the quickest return will be in the first couple of months for them in their role and for them supporting you in your role. 

The first few months as a BDR should be more training based and teaching based than hitting certain number goals. 

1st month should be training (if you have a formalized training program that is). If you don't these posts will help you to come up with one. 

2nd month should be getting them on the phone and getting them able to make calls. They should understand what a connect call is and when to book an appointment. This month they should not be tied to real goals (numbers). I would suggest just using this as a way to make sure they know what the heck they are doing and learning from being on the phones and prospecting. 

3rd month in they should have some kind of appointment goal and sales goal from the appointments that they have set for you as their sales rep. This is not something I can tell you what the right number should be. It would be something that is achievable. 

Over the months after this he or she should start to develop and they should be tied to actual numbers that they have to hit. The 1st few months really should be about training, growth, and learning for the BDR to be good at understanding why they are doing what they are doing. It is about helping the BDR understand what makes a company a good fit for your product or service. 

sz1FIc5-969530-edited.jpgFor the 1st few months the BDR should be learning what their job is and why they do what they do. You should help them to understand why their role is important to your role and the success of your sales team. There is one key thing that you should be helping them with. 

What makes a good fit for your company to buy your service or product? Why? and When is a company typically a good fit for buying. 

 As a sales rep you should be teaching your BDR what makes a good fit. Why would you as a sales rep want to talk to a company or person? When is it is good timing to talk to a company about what you sell and why?

Make this process of explaining to your BDR why and when a company is a good fit for what you sell as simple as possible. The way I typically try and break this down is by holding training sessions on things like:

  • Examples of what you as a sales rep would think a good company is to talk to and take a meeting with.
  • Show the BDR examples of companies you would want to talk to and explain why. 
  • Work on trigger events so they know why a company would maybe have a timely reason to want to talk to you. 
  • Over time this process should help them to build out their list of good fits that they will prospect. Do not move on from this kind of training until the BDR fully understands what makes a good fit, what kinds of leads to work and why. 
  • Once they understand this part and are doing a good job picking the right kinds of companies to prospect you should start to work on what they will talk about when trying to set an appointment. 

Getting the BDR laser focused on what makes a company a good fit to talk to their sales rep is your main goal in the 1st few months. You must get this part right or you are wasting time. I don't believe in BDRs spending the 1st months on the job calling bad fits or calling companies that will be easier to talk to. Instead, you should work with the BDR on explaining and teaching why a company is a good fit and how to research companies to find those reasons. This process will enable the BDR to only source or prospect good fits that might have good timing. That will set the BDR up for success when they get on the phone and start reaching out to their leads to book meetings. The number one goal of a BDR in these few months should be building out a quality list of leads to work. That can be through going through the territory and doing research on companies already in the database as well as helping them understand how to look at an inbound lead to know if it is worth their time. 

Once they understand what a good fit is and why you would take a meeting with a company, next you can work on getting the BDR to know what to say on the phone to get the company to take a meeting with you. This is called the connect call.

My next post will focus on how to build out your connect call script, emails, etc and what the process should be for reaching out to good fit, high quality, well researched leads that the BDR has in their database.

If you want to follow along in this process of me documenting out what it takes to have a great sales rep and BDR relationship for the success of each other, sign up below. 

Want awesome,  new†blog posts sent to you?  Sign up here!†







Topics: bdr tips, sdr, SDR tips, sales development rep, bdr program, how to manage a bdr, how to mentor a bdr, sales rep and BDR relationship, business development rep, sdr program

Request a Sales† Consultation for Your†  Growing Startup†

Subscribe to email updates from the Women in Sales Blog


Posts by Topic

see all