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By Eric Quanstrom #salesflow November 19, 2015


Sales and marketing may be at each other’s throats most of the time, but in reality, from these two divisions come to the most important roles that can bring your company the best leads – Sales Development and Market Response.

Sales, or business development, Reps are responsible for outbound, aka sales-sourced leads. They prospect cold companies, those that have not yet worked with your business. What they do, in fact, is carefully targeting prospects, making sure they are in “control” of who they’re engaging.

On the other, equally important side of the spectrum from Sales Development Reps, are Market Response Reps. They’re job has more to do with inbound marketing leads, those that originate from the company’s marketing team, either through search engine optimization (SEO), word-of-mouth, or simply tweeting.


Why These Two Should be Separated

One of the things that differentiates a successful (in terms of sales at least) company, from unsuccessful ones is keeping these Sales Development and Market Response separate. Still, so many businesses fall into the same trap of thinking it would be a good idea to put these two roles on the back of one person.

The two roles need to work together, but also to remain apart as they very different roles. While one (Market Response) works to bring leads to qualify, the other one (Sales Development) engages to initiate calls or emails. One person can’t do both of these.

Salesforce was one of the companies that learned the hard way why the Sales Development rep and Market Response rep should never be one person. Namely, in 2004, this company changed their established practice of having two Sales Development teams – one having inbound and the other one having outbound responsibilities.

Suffice to say that it didn’t go so well for Salesforce. In just a week, productivity plummeted by 30%. After less than a month, it was evident that the mixing of inbound and outbound responsibilities led to a significant drop in productivity. Learning from its mistake, Salesforce quickly went back to their original structure of having separate Sales Development and Market Response functions.


“Good” and “Bad” of Inbound and Outbound Leads

Putting your eggs in one basket is a wrong business policy and outbound and inbound leads are great examples of this, as both have their good and bad sides.

Outbound leads:

  • Good: They are targeted and Sales Development Reps can “control” who they engage
  • Bad: You can’t have as many outbound leads, whereas this is not the case with inbound ones

Inbound lead:

  • Good: You can pretty much find them everywhere
  • Bad: Someone needs to qualify inbound leads. If this is not done, time, energy and even money are just wasted on wrong leads.

Remember, the responsibilities of SDRs and Market Response Reps are not the same while one works to review, contact and qualify market0genrratd leads and deliver them to the company’s Account Exec, the other one engages with prospects during the early steps of the buying cycle.

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