What is a Business Development Representative

What is a Business Development Representative?

If you’re starting your journey as a small business owner, then you’ll need to put together an effective sales team that might include a business development representative. Teamwork is the backbone of any successful enterprise, and having employees you trust makes all the difference in high pressure situations. When you assemble a sales team, remember that each role contributes key skills to the group.

Business development representatives are the movers and shakers of your sales team. They’re the ones drumming up new business, making connections, and passing leads down the pipeline to other reps. A business development representative will work with sales reps and account managers to enable a smooth sales process.

What are a BDR’s Responsibilities?

A BDR is in charge of generating qualified leads for your company. Their tasks include: finding prospects, judging their interest in a product, and passing information along to other sales reps. BDRs are prospecting specialists, and their primary function in a sales team is to help your business grow.

In general, a BDR is often the first point of contact a customer has with your company. To this end, it’s vital to have a BDR who is knowledgeable and able to represent the benefits of your product to uninitiated leads. Being a BDR is a challenging job since most of these interactions are through cold calls, cold emails, and networking events.

What is the Difference Between a BDR and SDR?

If you’re reading this and thinking, business development reps sound awfully similar to sales development reps, allow us to clarify. While their jobs overlap in many ways, the key difference is that BDRs are dealing with outbound leads, and SDRs are dealing with inbound leads. BDRs handle the heavy lifting when it comes to prospecting, and pass along pre-qualified leads to SDRs. In general, BDRs tend to be more experienced than SDRs. According to G2.com, “by handling only warm leads, the SDR can get accustomed to working with prospective buyers and perfect their qualifying process.”

What Strategies does a Business Development Representative Use to Gain Leads?

Being a business development rep means mastering the art of communication. Most prospecting techniques involve communicating crucial product information to leads and discovering what solutions they are seeking. This can be tricky, particularly in situations like cold calling where the prospect has never heard of the product, and needs to be led through the pitch step by step.

Cold Calling

This tried-and-true method is still the gold standard for finding new leads. Business development reps are expert cold callers and know how to turn preliminary phone conversations into productive sales pitches. An effective BDR goes into every cold call armed with detailed knowledge of the product, a flawless sense of timing and flow, and key talking points addressing common questions.

Email and Social Media Campaigns

Nowadays, sales prospecting has expanded to include tactics centered on email and social media. Business development reps use emails to spread product awareness to large audiences and gauge widespread interest. Development reps use social media to identify trends in what buyers want, and to connect with interested leads on social accounts.


Development reps are detail-oriented and often do research about a prospect before contacting them in any way. Understanding a prospect’s industry, business affiliations, history, and sales trends may give a BDR an edge when it comes to making their pitch on the phone. Doing research allows business development reps to target a prospect’s particular problems, and demonstrate how their product offers a unique solution.


Due to their gregarious and knowledgeable personalities, business development reps are great at networking. Using their network of sales professionals, investors, and business owners, BDRs spread brand awareness and gain inquiries through word of mouth alone.

What Skills Do Business Development Reps Have?

Business development reps bring a unique set of talents to your sales team. They need to be sensitive yet thick-skinned, productive yet patient, and good listeners as well as good communicators.

Successful BDRS are:

  • Creative – Making cold calls often involves thinking fast and adapting to new information—and this requires creativity!
  • Determined – While it’s not a great idea to be pushy, BDRs frequently need to pursue leads with determination and persistence in order to win them over.
  • Curious – BDRs want to learn more about their clients, and help them find solutions that work for them.
  • Knowledgeable – Any sales rep worth their metal should have a thorough understanding of their product and be capable of answering prospects’ inquiries.

Finding a BDR with Acquirent

If you’re putting together a sales team, but are still struggling to find the right business development rep, consider working with an outsourced sales development service like Acquirent. Acquirent helps businesses recruit, train, and manage their sales teams, all while providing the latest in sales enablement technology.

Not ready to hire your own business development rep? Acquirent’s team of outsourced sales representatives are experts at helping you expand your business without the need to hire in-house talent. With Acquirent growing a new company has never been simpler.