31 August 2022

The Timberseed Guide to BDR Roles

BDR roles

Graduates – if you’re anything like us, you’ll have a brilliant ‘way’ with people.

If you’re looking to hit the ground running in one of the most rapidly progressing industries around, a role as a Business Development Representative might just be your perfect calling.

Whether you have previous sales skills from a similar environment or are coming to us fresh from your studies, Timberseed specialises in nurturing talent and providing industry-leading guidance to place candidates in dynamic roles with our exclusive roster of clients.

To match you with your career in sales, we recruit on behalf of forward-thinking technology companies, who are all looking for candidates to fill that crucial position – and bring them something truly special.

Our team works with capable, motivated and self-assured graduates who will thrive within an entry-level position across a number of these exciting sectors.

You won’t find these roles anywhere else. So you’re already off to a winning start with Timberseed.

But before our team finds your perfect graduate role, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from a career in business development within the fast-paced and varied world of software as a service (SaaS).

What Is a Business Development Representative (BDR)?

They say life is all about connections.

Well, the same goes for a Business Development Representative (BDR).

As recruitment experts, we place candidates for a host of discerning clients who are looking for people to flourish within the SaaS sales pipeline.

For any business with annual sales targets, often the most tricky part of securing a deal is finding potential clients in the first place.

This is where a Business Development Representative (BDR) thrives, using their fantastic communication skills, research prowess, and innate ability to create connections to electrify this part of the process.

With BDR roles, you’ll be tasked with picking out an individual prospect and focusing on them with outreach and cold contact over email, phone, and other channels for social selling.

From there, you’ll use your quick thinking to pinpoint new and exciting leads, qualify them, and ensure they are ideal for your business goals, before connecting them to the best people on your team.

This will usually be a more senior member within the sales funnel, such as an Account Executive, who will progress the lead.

Where Do BDRs Provide Value?

In a nutshell, business development is the art of sourcing or creating sales opportunities in line with a company strategy or overall goal.

That puts BDRs front and centre when it comes to building relationships with prospects, which often makes them the very first person a potential client will come into contact with.

As such, they play a hugely important role in creating interest for their company’s product offering.

After all, if your client doesn’t even know they need a solution, half the battle is striking up a rapport and sparking curiosity!

It’s important to remember that, although BDRs generate leads, it is not their job to actually secure prospects and convert them into clients.

This responsibility will fall to more senior members of the sales team.

In terms of overall positioning, BDRs are brilliant when it comes to adding structure and clarity to an existing company strategy, especially when it comes to supporting internal processes and meeting – then smashing – business targets.

They do this by focusing their attention on individual prospects that have gone previously untouched. This is instead of reaching out to organic leads, which enables the business to find new niches and explore untapped markets.

The value of BDRs is their innate ability to spot potential. Does this sound familiar?

If you’ve got a keen eye and a penchant for striking up a conversation with anyone, send us your CV today. 

What Does a Business Development Representative Do?

Working in a fast-paced and lively environment within your business’s all-important sales process, your role as a BDR forms the foundations for a successful cycle.

As such, you can expect no two days to be the same. This is one of the joys of working with a variety of different clients and keeping up communication with prospects – but you’ll always be working towards three key outcomes.

These are:

  • Research, identify and collate new and exciting leads for your company
  • Use your smarts to qualify the best leads
  • Ensure your leads are properly connected to the right sales colleagues, who will handle the rest of the deal

Of course, all your prospective clients won’t follow the same cookie-cutter formula, which is why you’ll likely use a few ways to navigate this process.

BDR roles require fantastic interpersonal skills and research know-how to find the best method for each lead.

So, what will my daily responsibilities look like?

Research and outreach

As a BDR, you’re the most important part of your entire business’ sales cycle. This exciting role puts you in charge of discovering markets that have previously gone unnoticed, often lifting the lid on untapped prospects.

You’ll be motivated by targets and constantly strive to put your business head and shoulders above the rest, researching rival tech companies’ successful methods and implementing them into your own strategy if needed.

A proactive brain will love the scope of data that BDRs can draw on, such as behavioural science and marketing tricks including customer personas to help you supercharge your prospecting and lead generation skills.

You can read more about prospecting and other SaaS sales terms here.

Talking about ‘lead’ generation

From your initial research, you’ll then go on to build your prospect lists. These will serve as your ultimate weapon when it comes to reaching out to potential clients, created from a valuable stock of profiled data gleaned from putting the ‘feelers’ out within a chosen market.

Although it’s easy to think that cold outreach and social selling are the most important duties for a BDR, without reliable lead generations, the rest of your process will fall flat!

That’s part of the reason why organised individuals with an eye for detail and an inquisitive mind will thrive within this kind of role.


Explore conversations 

One of the main aims of a BDR is to target, capture and syphon outbound leads.

These leads are potential clients who have shown an interest in your SaaS product or technology service but, for some reason, have yet to seal the deal.

It’s your job to find this out and establish whether they’d be a good fit for your business.

So, to secure this kind of lead, you’ll be required to ‘cold outreach’ – mainly through the use of cold calling or sending cold emails.

Once you pick up the phone or press send, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to capture leads within a new and exciting pool of potential prospects.

Here, you’ll be tasked with deciding whether the person on the line is a good fit for your service (the ‘qualifying’ aspect of lead outreach) – before passing them to a senior member of the sales team.

What if I haven’t used cold calls before?

As with other roles within this sector, you don’t necessarily need to have any previous cold calling experience, as your dedicated Timberseed recruiter will always aim to match you with a role that plays to your strengths and unique skillset.

We also work with clients who are keen to help their new members grow and prosper within their business. That’s why you’ll receive proper training and plenty of preparation ahead of time so you know exactly what to expect.

To find out how we tailor our search to match you to your perfect job, get in touch with our team today for a friendly chat. 

Keeping up conversations

As a BDR, you’ll be a natural people-person.

That’s the main trick to successfully qualifying a stack of researched leads, as networking establishes solid conversations. From here, you’ll use your quick thinking skills and general gift of the gab to build relationships, form trust and create a familiarity with your prospect.

For social butterflies, this is an incredibly rewarding part of the job!

Selling all things social

Social selling is a huge part of what makes a good BDR truly great.

This often means traversing the spaces where your prospects are, which, in modern-day business, is usually across various social media channels.

More often than not, this is a careful mix of trustworthy personal branding, business strategy and authoritative industry knowledge, used across a variety of platforms at optimal posting times.

Again, an effective BDR might have to don a few different caps to ensure connections are being made – so any social media knowledge is always welcome.


Does a BDR Job Pay Well?

As a Business Development Representative, graduates can expect to earn up to £50k in OTE at just year one – making this sector one of the most lucrative for talented young professionals who are looking to grow their skillset and thrive.

What is an OTE?

OTE – or on-target earnings – is a term often used across the sales sector. Your OTE is the amount of money you can expect to earn if your performance matches expected targets.

For BDRs, the usual base salary is roughly £30-35k. But graduates working with us and our exclusive list of clients can expect to reach £50k across our SaaS roles.

That’s the Timberseed edge.

What Skills Does a BDR Really Need to Succeed?

At Timberseed, we’re in the business of raw talent.

That means we don’t just view our candidates through the limited scope of their previous experiences, but look at their existing qualities to determine the roles that will help them develop and shine.

Don’t worry – we’ll also offer you plenty of practical advice and tailored guidance ahead of your interview to make sure you smash it!

However, to really thrive as a Business Development Representative, it is handy to have the following soft skills:

Creative thinker

Thinking outside of the box is a huge plus for those tapping into potential business opportunities. Your audience will be as broad as your prospecting list is long, which is why you’ll need plenty of creative thinking to make sure you spark interest in each and every one of them.

Whether that’s nailing that conversational icebreaker or tactfully squashing a problem, the ability to parry your leads and win their trust is one that will successfully drive plenty of qualified leads.

All ears

For any sales rep, being an active and attentive listener is one of the most crucial skills to have.

As well as driving conversations, being able to sit back and understand your client’s problem or needs – even if that means reading between the lines and inferring information – can prove to be gold dust. This will help you clearly address any queries your prospect might have and establish trust much faster than any clever wordplay or convincing sales talk.

A good portion of business development is about making your prospect feel valued and that they are in safe hands. Listening is the first step to putting them at ease.

Determined mindset

You’ll have an excellent track record in thinking quickly on your feet and acting both proactively and reactively to any issues your client might have.

As you’ll be working to supercharge your business’s sales productivity – often by playing the long game – having a determined and target-motivated mindset will ensure you are always giving your clients 110%.

This means you’ll relish tackling problems and feeling rewarded when your potential prospect is won over, moves up the sales funnel and is successfully converted into a client – all thanks to your hard work!

What’s the Difference between an SDR and a BDR?

At Timberseed, we specialise in placing excellent candidates in various roles across the technology and SaaS sales sector.

As such, we often get asked what the difference is between a Business Development Representative (BDR) and a Sales Development Representative (SDR) – as they both seem to occupy the same space.

In short, these two roles are like close siblings. They share similar skillsets and goals, but they have different focuses. However, these may overlap depending on the business and client demand.

A BDR deals in prospecting outbound leads, while an SDR works to qualify inbound marketing leads.

However, the most important thing to remember is that neither role is tasked with closing business and securing a deal. Instead, they work to move likely leads through the sales cycle to an Account Executive or Manager, who will have all the experience needed to successfully convert them into a client.

Sound Like Your Kind of Challenge?

At Timberseed, we can give you the keys to unlock some of the most lucrative and exclusive job roles available anywhere on the market, offering tailored advice and bespoke coaching to match you to your perfect role.

Once you get in touch with us and send over a complete CV, your dedicated Timberseeder will take the time to discuss your goals and career objectives in a friendly chat – usually over a cup of tea and something sweet.

We’ll look at your previous experience, existing qualifications and impressive skillset before working hard to find you the best job from our exceptional database of clients.

You won’t need to worry about being on your own either. We offer comprehensive CV workshops, in-depth preparation and practical tips, giving you support that starts from the moment you first call us to the second you’re settled at your new and exciting job.

At Timberseed, we don’t just nurture your talents – we grow them.

Get in touch with the team today to find your dream graduate role.



What specific industries do Timberseed’s clients operate in?

Timberseed specialises in placing candidates within the software as a service (SaaS) industry.

Are there opportunities for career advancement beyond entry-level positions?

Beyond entry-level roles like Business Development Representative (BDR), you could also progress to Account Executive (AE) or Customer Success Manager (CSM).

What types of training and development programmes are offered for BDRs?

All of our clients provide excellent training for their roles, specific details about training programmes tailored for Business Development Representatives (BDRs) can be discussed with our consultants.