I don't want this post to come across as anti-ad agency.
Because a good ad agency delivers so much in consistent output + growing brand awareness and exposure. Ad agencies can really boost your company's reach, especially on social media. And while it's not always easy to measure the direct "Closed Won" impact of these ads, a year's worth of promoted posts on social media can have a nice impact on your revenue numbers.
But the minimum contract/arrangement tends to look something like this: $5,000 a month. $2,500 goes into the LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram ad budget. The other $2,500 is the agencies fee for running this for you. So, you're looking at about $60,000 a year, minimum.
And so I was thinking about this concept the other day: What if you took that same $60,000 and used it as a BDR/SDR budget? What would be more effective in accelerating revenue growth?
Cost of Hiring a BDR/SDR
Just to establish the terminology real quick, when I say a BDR/SDR, I'm talking about an outbound B2B sales rep whose core responsibility is booking meetings with potential new customers. This is not someone fielding inbound leads (although that can be one of their responsibilities). And this is not someone in charge of closing business. These reps are making cold calls, sending emails, posting and connecting with people on LinkedIn to set meetings.
The salary for a BDR/SDR is a big range depending on experience, industry, and location. But for the sake of this post, let's use a round number of $60,000. Again, that's not a perfect number, but that's counting salary, bonuses, payroll tax, employee benefits, training, and onboarding costs.
I've had the opportunity to train and oversee hundreds (possibly over a thousand) BDR/SDRs at SEG over the last 10+ years and it never ceases to amaze me the output these young professionals put in day in, day out.
When I compare $2,500 of impressions on social media vs. a hungry sales professional coming in, 8-9 hours a day hammering out 50+ dials (sometimes over a 100!), 30+ emails, researching companies, making these really thoughtful personalized messages on LinkedIn, it doesn't really feel like a fair fight. You're getting way more bang for your buck with the BDR/SDR.
Sharing Your Content Marketing
Another thing I started to notice, especially in 2020 and 2021, was how the LinkedIn posts coming from individuals on our team far outperformed posts coming from the company page. Even when we boosted the company page's post. It was amazing to witness, it could be the same exact content, same time of day, and the individual would see far more views, impressions, likes.
I think this is one of the most underrated parts about having BDR/SDRs: they're kind of like social media influencers for your brand. Extra firepower for spreading your works of content marketing.
Now, this is tricky because, as a company, you don't own their individual social media pages. And I'd advise against making this be a hardline requirement (posts per week, etc.). Especially not with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Give your employees some space!
But with LinkedIn, it's worth encouraging your BDR/SDRs to share the webinars, ebooks, blogs, white papers, case studies that your marketing team creates. Not pressuring them but showing how it can help them succeed in the role and also why it's good for their career long-term, establishing themselves as a thought leader. Give them suggested copy to use with your content, but also encourage the freedom to "make it their own." Use their own voice.
What tends to happen is once you have one rep who starts doing this, and this rep experiences good results in terms of views, responses, or maybe even booking a meeting directly through LinkedIn, more people on the team will want to replicate their success. Nothing spreads faster on a sales team than seeing a strategy work (possible exception being celebration GIFs on Slack/Microsoft Teams).
Along with their core outbound sales responsibilities, BDR/SDRs can deliver a fairly significant impact to your social media advertising/marketing initiatives. Especially on LinkedIn.
Here's how I look at it, If you have more than $60,000 to spend on advertising, by all means, run a bunch of ads. Work with an agency. Do social media, billboards, TV commercials. The whole thing. As Steve Harvey once said on an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, "I don't think Nike ever complains about having too much exposure."
But if your advertising budget is $60,000 or less, try hiring a BDR/SDR instead. You might be surprised how much of an impact they can have, both on your sales funnel and advertising/marketing efforts.
And who knows, after a year it might be time to increase the BDR/SDR budget, scaling your team even further. If it helps, you can use this blog post when making the case to your CEO/board that further investment counts as a sales, marketing, AND advertising expense.
It's a great experiment to kickoff the new year.
The BDR/SDR role is so much more than someone randomly making cold calls. With the right strategy, sales playbook, training, and ongoing management your BDR/SDR team can become just as important as the team closing the deals. We have a ton of experience building these sorts of teams and have created several resources on our site to help anyone out who's looking to build or scale a team. Check out our blog or "Resources" tab above.
And if you'd like to get in contact with us, you can email us directly here or by calling