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Telemarketing Agent VS. Sales Development Rep

What’s the difference?

4 min read

Businesses need leads to drive sales.  Sales drive growth and can determine the firm’s success.  There are so many ways to generate leads in 2021.  Today, I’m going to focus on outbound telemarketing leads and the difference between a telemarketing agent and a sales development representative.

What’s the difference?  There’s a big difference, and depending on your needs as a business owner will determine which one is the right fit for you and your organization. 

Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself when deciding which is right for your business.

  1. B2B or B2C?  

Is your organization focused on Business to Business or Business to Consumer leads.  If your focused on B2B leads, SDR’s are the way to go.  Sales Development Reps (SDR’s) have multiple functions and can communicate across various platforms. They also tend to be a little more polished, typically have a higher education level and can act as a ‘representative’ of the firm.  SDR’s can provide outbound calls, follow up emails, LinkedIn introductions and conduct video presentations if needed.  Overall its a more professional role.

Telemarketing agents are a little more designed for B2C lead generation and driven by volume.  They may work in larger teams and tasked with getting as many appointments as possible, regardless of the quality.  There is very little follow up involved and the agent may only have one contact with the lead.

  1.  What’s the budget?

Sales Development Reps may be a little more expensive than telemarketing agents.  In my experience, english-speaking SDR’s in Mexico can earn $6-$7 USD per hour for their services.  Telemarketing agents start at $5/USD and hour.  This doesn’t include incentives for either role.  Incentives are additional.  For the amount of work and follow up expected from a SDR, the hourly rates will be slightly higher.

If you’re looking for a lead generator on a budget, a telemarketing agent is the way to go.  You can still get good value and there are tons of qualified candidates for the telemarketing role, you just won’t get the follow up and extras that a SDR may provide.

  1. What kind of software do I have?

This is an important question because the capacity of your software will determine which position to hire for.  Otherwise, you’ll need to adjust your software to be compatible with the type of agent you hire.  For example, if you want to drive as many leads or appointments as possible, you’ll probably want an automatic dialer provided by Call Tools or Phone Burner.  These dialers will automatically dial as many numbers as you like and you can determine the speed at which they dial. 

Both, telemarketing agents and SDR’s can use these softwares but they can get expensive, in the range of $100 -$200 USD per user, per month.  Phone Burner also has text and email capabilities, which makes it convenient for SDR follow up.  

On the other hand, do you have a less costly software like 8×8, which offers manual dialing (regular phone), but may only cost you $20 USD per month?  If so, an SDR may also be a good fit with manual dials.  Many businesses will answer the phone so you don’t have to worry about low contact rates.  Manual dialing is not for telemarketing agents worried about low contact rates and motivated to drive leads in volume.

  1. How much training do I want to provide?

SDR’s will require more training.  They’ll require more training because there is more for them to learn and the products they offer could be more complex.  SDR’s may also need to learn internal CRM’s to capture information of potential new clients.  The average training time for a SDR could be 2-3 weeks before they are completely embedded in the sales system.

There is typically less training time for telemarketing agents.  A telemarketing agent is given a script and cut loose within a day or two.  The only way a telemarketing agent is going to get good at booking leads is to get them on calls.  You want them on as many calls as possible to gain experience.

If you’re looking at putting less time into training, a telemarketing agent is the way to go.

  1. Quantity or Quality?

It is possible to have both, but generally you’ll get more quality with an SDR due to the follow up they provide.  If you’re looking for leads based on volume, then a skilled telemarketing agent can get you where you want to be.  

In reality, both SDR’s and telemarketing agents can get quality leads.  It’s only a quality lead if they buy something, right?  As long as your agents are building relationships and asking qualifying questions, you can have a solid lead. 

The purpose of this article is to pinpoint some of the differences within the roles.  It’s not just a job title, there are certain characteristics to know before searching for the right candidates for your organization.


For more details on how to hire in Mexico, we encourage you to visit our site https://ventesmexico.com/ or contact us directly at (877) 785-5788.

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