The Role of BDRs and SDRs in Appointment Setting

Appointment setting is a crucial step in the sales process, serving as a link between lead generation and closing deals. It entails identifying potential clients, having meaningful conversations with them, and arranging meetings that move the sales process forward. Effective B2B appointment setting ensures that leads are nurtured and assessed before being passed on to sales representatives, thereby maximizing the likelihood of conversion. This stage requires a strategic approach, which involves combining research, outreach, and communication skills to transform prospects into valuable sales opportunities.

Business Development Representatives (BDRs) and Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) play pivotal roles in this phase, ensuring that potential clients are effectively moved through the sales funnel. While both BDRs and SDRs are essential for appointment setting, their functions, methods, and focus areas can differ significantly. BDRs typically concentrate on outbound lead generation, proactively reaching out to prospects who may not yet be familiar with the company’s offerings. In contrast, SDRs usually handle inbound leads, engaging with individuals who have already shown some interest. Understanding the distinct roles and responsibilities of BDRs and SDRs in B2B appointment setting can help businesses optimize their fractional sales reps strategies and improve overall efficiency, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and sustained growth.

The Role of BDRs and SDRs in Appointment Setting

Understanding BDRs and SDRs

Business Development Representatives (BDRs)

BDRs focus on outbound prospecting and lead generation through cold calling, emailing, social media outreach, etc. Their main responsibility is to identify and reach out to potential customers who may not yet be aware of the company’s products or services. This involves extensive research to identify target companies and key decision-makers within those organizations. BDRs use various outreach methods, including cold calling, email campaigns, and social media engagement, to introduce the company’s offerings and generate interest. They qualify potential prospects that fit the company’s ideal customer profile. BDRs initiate contact with these prospects, understand their needs, and build relationships. Their primary goal is to set up sales B2B appointment setting or meetings with qualified leads for the account executives or sales team. BDRs continuously work on expanding the sales pipeline by adding new prospects and opportunities.

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

SDRs, on the other hand, are typically focused on inbound lead qualification. They handle leads that have already shown some level of interest in the company’s products or services, often through marketing efforts such as content downloads, webinar attendance, or website inquiries. SDRs are responsible for assessing the quality of these leads, engaging with them to understand their needs and pain points, and determining whether they are a good fit for a sales conversation. They handle leads generated through marketing campaigns, website forms, referrals, etc, and then qualify these inbound leads to determine if they are a good fit for the company’s products or services. Their main responsibility is to move qualified leads (Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads) through the sales funnel. SDRs schedule sales appointments or demos with the qualified leads for the account executives or sales team. They act as a bridge between marketing and sales, ensuring a smooth handoff of qualified leads.

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The Appointment Setting Process

The appointment setting process involves several key stages where BDRs and SDRs play crucial roles:

Lead Identification and Research

  • BDRs: Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are tasked with proactively identifying potential leads through thorough market research. They target companies that align with the ideal customer profile, examining factors such as industry, company size, and geographic location. BDRs also delve into organizational structures to pinpoint key decision-makers and influencers within these target companies. This comprehensive research provides BDRs with the insights needed to tailor their outreach efforts effectively.
  • SDRs: Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) receive inbound leads generated by various marketing activities, such as content downloads, webinar sign-ups, and website inquiries. Their initial task is to conduct research to understand each lead’s background, including their company’s needs, challenges, and purchasing behavior. This background check allows SDRs to personalize their engagement strategies, ensuring they address the specific interests and pain points of each lead.

Initial Outreach

  • BDRs: The initial outreach by BDRs involves reaching out to potential leads identified during their research phase. This outreach can take the form of cold calls, personalized emails, and social media messages aimed at capturing the attention of decision-makers. BDRs focus on creating a compelling value proposition to generate interest and initiate a dialogue. Their goal is to pique the curiosity of the prospect and qualify them as potential opportunities for the sales team.
  • SDRs: SDRs, responding to inbound inquiries, engage leads who have already shown an interest in the company’s products or services. Utilizing a consultative approach, SDRs aim to build rapport and trust with the leads. They ask insightful questions to uncover the lead’s requirements, pain points, and business objectives. By doing so, SDRs can determine how the company’s solutions can meet these needs, setting the stage for a deeper sales conversation.

Lead Qualification

  • BDRs: For BDRs, lead qualification is a critical step that involves assessing the level of interest and the potential fit of outbound leads with the company’s offerings. This assessment is done through targeted questioning designed to uncover the lead’s current challenges, goals, and decision-making processes. BDRs also evaluate whether the lead’s needs align with the company’s value proposition and whether the timing is right for further engagement.
  • SDRs: SDRs qualify inbound leads by evaluating their engagement level and readiness to advance in the sales process. They apply criteria such as Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing (BANT) to determine the quality of the leads. This structured qualification process helps SDRs identify leads that are most likely to convert, allowing the sales team to focus on high-potential opportunities. Through this rigorous vetting, SDRs ensure that only the most promising leads are passed on for further action.

Appointment Setting

  • BDRs and SDRs: Both BDRs and SDRs strive to set up b2b appointments with qualified leads as a culmination of their outreach and qualification efforts. They schedule meetings between the leads and the appropriate sales representatives, providing the sales team with detailed information gathered during the qualification process. This information includes insights into the lead’s challenges, decision-making criteria, and any specific needs or objections that might arise during the sales conversation.
  • SDRs: This stage involves clear communication, coordination, and follow-up to confirm appointments and ensure that leads are well-prepared for their meetings. BDRs and SDRs often send calendar invitations, reminders, and relevant materials to both the lead and the fractional sales rep to facilitate a productive discussion. By ensuring that all parties are aligned and informed, BDRs and SDRs help create a seamless transition from prospecting to sales engagement, enhancing the likelihood of successful conversions.

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Collaboration and Handoff Between BDRs and SDRs

Effective collaboration between BDRs, SDRs, and the sales team is crucial for a smooth handoff and successful appointment setting. Key practices include:

  • Clear Communication: BDRs and SDRs must provide detailed information about the lead to the sales team, including background, pain points, and key insights gathered during the qualification process.
  • CRM Integration: Utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system ensures that all lead information is recorded and accessible, facilitating seamless transitions between team members.
  • Regular Feedback: Sales teams should provide feedback to BDRs and SDRs on the quality of the leads and the outcomes of the appointments. This helps refine the lead generation and qualification processes.


BDRs and SDRs play indispensable roles for b2b appointment setting, each bringing unique skills and approaches to the table. They act as fractional sales reps for the organization, in performing this job function as part of their overall duties. BDRs excel in outbound prospecting and generating initial interest, while SDRs specialize in nurturing and qualifying inbound leads. By working together and maintaining clear communication with the sales team, BDRs and SDRs ensure that high-quality leads are identified, qualified, and moved through the sales funnel efficiently. Optimizing the roles of BDRs and SDRs in appointment setting can significantly enhance a company’s ability to convert leads into loyal customers and drive sustained business growth.

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