Where Should SDR’s Report? Sales, Marketing or ?
by Lars Nilsson, Sales Development Legend

My take on where SDR’s should absolutely report to…

…That executive who understands AND respects the role the most. If that’s your CMO…put it there. If it’s your COO, put it there. If it’s your VP of Sales or CRO, put it there.

Depending on how long in the tooth some of your execs are, many have not seen a modern, outbound account-based Sales development organization grow and scale before their very own eyes. Often, these persona’s may not understand the importance of:

  • The SDR specific tech stack (often many more systems & processes than what sellers or marketers might use). The science of SDR-land is the big story today and one must invest in expensive systems in order to enable the outbound SDR. The eventual leader has to understand this and provide support (budget and decision) for this.
  • The importance of SDR dedicated operations, onboarding, enablement and ongoing training (the Front-line SDR manager is one of the most demanding leadership roles within your company. With recruiting, interviewing, hiring, coaching, performance mgmt. as core responsibilities, asking them to take on tools, product and process training and then all the conversion metrics reporting is a tall as for SDR leaders
  • The value of an experienced leader that gets a semi-recurring seat at the eStaff table (if done right, more insights and intelligence around content, messaging, persona’s, TAM, ICP will and should come from your SDR team. Give your SDR leader the chance to share these with the C=level, you might be surprised as how strategic this function is beyond just pipegen and talent pipe into sales.
  • Giving the SDR Leader a relevant title and OTE that is commensurate with the outcome you want from them. If you consider that they are providing the air that every company breathes – forecasted sales pipeline – then spend the time to find somebody whom understands how to build this role and function

Back in the day when Travis Henry and I were operating at SalesSource, we did more SDR team “turnarounds” than anything else. Turns out many companies don’t get how to build, Scale and/or operationalize internal SDR teams.

So….do yourself a favor and find a been-there-before-done-that SDR leader and put them under the exec that cares most about the success of the leader and their team!

Where does your SDR report to? Leave a comment below.

Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash

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