Should BDRs report into Marketing or Sales?

Posted by Dylan Hoyle - 26/02/2023

Business Development Representatives have long played a vital role within many SaaS organisations. 

Historically, BDRs have been an extension of the sales team, forming the bridge between sales and marketing, but primarily working with and for the sales department. This is generally down to a typical BDR role consisting of:

  • Collating inbound leads that have been generated through the marketing team
  • Performing some form of qualification on them - such as using the BANT framework, which is described in more detail below
  • Passing qualified leads on to the sales team to close the deal
  • Reaching a target number of calls and/or emails per day or week



In short, the BANT framework refers to the following:

  • Budget - how much is a prospect prepared to spend on your software?
  • Authority - who is the authority in this sale (i.e. who makes the final decision)?
  • Need - does the prospect truly need your software? Is it an individual need, or is it team-wide? 
  • Timeline - how much time will they require to make the final purchasing decision?



As SaaS organisations grow, some of them tend to separate BDRs into two separate roles, which makes the connection between sales and marketing even more complex. 

Many SaaS companies that are scaling fast have:

Inbound BDRs, who only process inbound leads, and

Outbound BDRs, who do targeted outreach - i.e. cold calling/emailing. 



Prior to marketing teams being so closely connected to sales teams within SaaS companies, the Business Development Representatives used to only ever report into sales.

This was a great fit for many organisations, given that business development and sales are similar - the goal is identical, but the roles differ slightly. It’s all about passing the sale through the process from one person to the next, until it’s closed.

However, now it is more common for BDRs to report into the marketing department - and this seems to make just as much sense as reporting into sales always has.

The universal goal between sales and marketing is lead generation, and given that marketing generates leads, business development qualifies leads, and sales close them - it is inevitable that BDRs report into the team that are generating the list of people they need to interact with.

BDRs spend a large amount of their working days qualifying prospects, and speaking to a huge variety of people within their different target markets. Despite a large amount of the role being down to qualifying leads, this isn’t their only responsibility.

BDRs also collect a lot of valuable information that can help the marketing team communicate more effectively with potential customers and clients at all stages of the funnel. Without this information, SaaS marketing teams would often be creating similar content and targeting certain demographics, when their key audiences could be tweaked slightly through the information BDRs have collated.

As a manager of BDRs, you are responsible for ensuring both the sales and marketing teams communicate properly and streamline processes between the two. And, with the information and results your business development employees are generating being crucial to both teams, it is beneficial for sales, marketing and BDRs to have regular meetings to discuss useful feedback and how to further improve the processes between teams.



Here at Strive, we source top-tier sales talent for scaling and hypergrowth tech companies. To learn more about how we can help find the top talent for your go-to-market team, contact our team at 0203 983 0770 or email

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