What is a Market Development Representative?

A Market Development Representative (MDR) is a professional responsible for bridging some of the gap between marketing and sales. These experts have the potential to influence and support both essential functions within the evolving marketplace. Let’s explore everything you need to know about the market representative, and MDR marketing.

What is a Market Development Representative?

A Market Development Representative is a special kind of sales representative, who focuses specifically on marketing qualified leads, or MQLs. Usually, these reps sit within the sales function of the business, but they’re also closely connected to marketing. This is why you’ll often hear people referring to “MDR sales and marketing”.

Marketing Development Representatives are sometimes referred to as a “hybrid” specialist, somewhere between the sales and marketing team. While the main specialism of these professional is in sales, they also have a decent understanding of the marketing landscape too.

For many companies, MDRs represent the missing link between the essential sales and marketing handoff processes. When you have MDRs in the team, marketing, and sales both share a genuine joint interest. Closer collaboration allows the two teams to turn marketing qualified leads, into sales qualified leads with relative ease.

Because the role of an MDR is to focus on MQLs, they also help to solve a critical problem facing many businesses. Marketers frequently struggle to determine whether the leads they’re sending towards sales are being properly followed up by sales development representatives. The Marketing Development Representative can plug this gap and ensure marketing teams feel confident about how leads are effectively managed.

What is Marketing Development? What Does an MDR Do?

As mentioned above, MDR professionals take ownership of marketing leads taken from the wider lead generation strategy for a B2B company. For instance, an MDR would deal with a prospect who has already filled out a contact form to download an eBook. The MDR follows up with these prospects, or “Marketing Qualified Leads” to begin a sales cadence.

Unlike the standard sales development representative, an MDR is more focused on “educating”, than hunting for possible leads. They don’t generally cold call to find leads, but instead focus on inbound conversations from people who have already been “qualified” by marketing efforts.

The core focus of this role is to ensure the right people are connected with the right content. In many cases, MDRs focus on content-generated leads, booking sales and meetings with prospects who are likely to become customers after interacting with inbound marketing efforts.

Marketing Development Representatives also work as researchers, feeding both the marketing team, and the leads with information. They can send relevant follow-up content to MQLs, while gaining personal insights and feedback which may inform the creation of new content.

An Example of MDR Sales and MDR Marketing in Action

While SDRs are focused heavily on cold outreach taking place across multiple channels, MDRs deal with warmer leads. They therefore require more in-depth product knowledge, and an excellent understanding of the unique selling points of the company.

MDR advertising and sales professionals need to be highly organized and well-informed to perform their role correctly. An example of an interaction with an MDR and a lead may go something like this:

A person would download a piece of content form a website, filling out a contact form to get access to that eBook or document. This contact information would be sent to the MDR. While an SDR might take the contact information and attempt to book a meeting immediately, an MDR would try to deliver more value, providing additional resources and content based on what the prospect downloaded.

The MDR would then engage in conversations with the leads where they can learn more about the buyer journey, and the pain points of the potential client. After engaging with a few pieces of content sent by the MDR, the customer will usually eventually want to set up a meeting and learn more about the solutions or services on offer.

In other words, the MDR gets people to identify the need for a meeting themselves, rather than chasing leads for a potential sale.

Market Development Representative Salary

The average salary of a market development representative will vary depending on the nature of the role and the experience of the individual. The average salary in America is around $49,188 per year.

The top 10% of these professionals is already making over $78,000 per year.

The amount someone can earn as an MDR may increase in the future as demand for these kinds of professionals grow. Current circumstances are stressing the need to accelerate the funnel for content-generated leads. In the past, content-lead conversions have required a lot of long-term nurturing.

Quicker channels like events have been eliminated, and marketing development representatives can offer another way to speed up the process of content-focused conversions.

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