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Should SDRs Report to Sales or Marketing? Fireside Chat with Kyle Lacy and Nicolas Vandenberghe

It's no secret there's a ton of hot button topics in the sales and marketing world.

And with the rise of LinkedIn and Slack communities, there are more opportunities than ever for people to offer their opinions on controversial topics.

That's where 🔥 SIDE comes in.

🔥 SIDE is a live video series hosted by Chili Piper where we bring together influencers and thought leaders with differing perspectives on hot topics and let them duke it out in a boxing ring engage in some friendly, moderated debate.

Our first topic: Who should SDRs report to, sales or marketing?

And who better to rep the marketing camp than the great Kyle Lacy, SVP of Marketing at Seismic, and the sales camp than our very own Co-Founder, Nicolas Vandenberghe?

Here's a transcript of what went down: (Edited for conciseness and clarity)

Arthur:

So, let us welcome you to our very first fireside chat. This is the fireside chat where you might get burned. 🔥 

Today's topic is a very controversial one in the sales and marketing world: Should SDRs report to sales or should they report to marketing? 

Arthur Castillo here, I actually started off on the sales side, selling at Chili Piper as an AE. I recently moved over to the dark side of marketing, so this topic is very near and dear to my heart. But we also are joined by two individuals that have very strong stances on this topic. 

I'll toss it over to Nicolas if you want it to give us a quick intro name, title company, and maybe some ideas on the topic.

Nicolas: 

Nicholas Vandenberghe, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Chili Piper. The other founder and CEO being my wife. So we share everything including two titles. In addition, I’ve been acting as head of sales and about 18 months ago I took over as CMO. So I feel super qualified to talk about the transition from sales to marketing and back. 

Arthur:

Perfect. Kyle, why don't you tell the audience a little bit about yourself?

Kyle:

I'm Kyle Lacy, SVP of Marketing at Seismic, helping all go to market teams, managing content production, everything from start to finish the entire life cycle plus training and coaching. In the past, I was CMO at Lessonly, and really the entire outbound team. At Lessonly, the entire SDR team, inbound and outbound SDRs and BDRs reported to the marketing org for 4 years, up until the acquisition when we were acquired by Seismic last August.

For years up until the acquisition, when we were acquired by Seismic last August. So, very strong opinions here, of course. But I've seen it on both sides. I've seen it work well in seismic, and I've seen it work well at Lessonly in completely different orgs. So I'm, I'm pumped to have this conversation.

Arthur:

Amazing. So we won't have any boring debate structure here, no political debate, rebuttals or moments of speaking over each other. You'll both have time to answer key points that we'll be bringing up. And I know this debate is nothing new, but I'm excited to speak with both of you who have been practitioners and have seen both sides of the coin.

So Kyle, why don't we start off with you? Give us some initial thoughts on why SDRs should report to marketing.

Kyle:

I think ultimately it's about revenue alignment. When you have an outbound BDR team that is supporting an account executive team and they report into marketing, it forces marketing and sales leadership to talk. Because you have to. Especially if outbound BDRs are supporting a fairly large percentage of quota.

At Lessonly it made sense because over half our quota was inbound and our inbound engine was just awesome.

Number 2 is that it helps make you quicker on messaging and positioning and versioning. When the SDRs are in-sync directly with product marketing, you're increasing workflow. The feedback loop is there. 

Honestly, I think that the third one is that SDRs feel more like humans and less like robots on the marketing team. (Not that sales makes people feel like robots), 🤖  

Fourth, marketing’s a little bit more experience-oriented and human. Sales is a little more science-oriented. Like… if you don’t make 150 calls a day, you need to get on the phone, stuff like that. That’s a debate for another day!

Fifth — and this is the one nobody agrees with me on — is that if SDRs report into marketing it gives them more of a career path outside of just being an account executive. 

Arthur:

Phew, those were some spicy takes!

Nicolas, why don't you give us a little idea on why you think SDR should report to sales and why?

Nicolas:

I have a little secret… 🤫

I used to believe that they should report to marketing and I tried it.

So that's my secret weapon. So why did I try to put it under marketing? We hired a CMO a couple of years ago. So my thinking was that it seemed like a good idea to have somebody fully responsible for pipeline generation. 

The other reason why I thought that it was a good idea is that, in my view, a large part of doing a good job as an SDR/BDR is messaging. When you’re sending emails or making phone calls, you want to say the right things to entice people. In theory, the job of marketers is to come up with messaging. In theory.

So I'm thinking, OK, here's our CMO drafting messages for ads. He’s drafting messages for our website. And he should draft messages for cadence. All good. We go with that.

What I found is a lack of energy. It didn’t get that fire from the BDRs. My CMO had a lot of balls in the air and the SDRs were just a piece of what he was doing, that he couldn’t give a lot of attention to. 

When I tried to understand that lack of energy, I came to realize that something that matters a lot more than we realize… and it’s this idea of a tribe. We need to feel like we belong. 

If you think of an SDR when they start their career, typically they think of themselves as the tribe of sales. They think of themselves as salespeople. While at Chili Piper, we have SDRs going into all sorts of jobs, but most of them do become account executives.

So being part of that other tribe has the benefit of energizing them. The sales leader is all about people, right? You have to get people pumped up to close the deals. You have to train them. 

So the sales leader is in a better position to energize the team of SDRs. And that's exactly what I found. 

I found that when I moved them to sales and we brought them in, then all of a sudden the slack messages were firing up or across the board. Well done! Keep going! Congrats! All that good stuff that was a precursor to actually getting meetings booked. Which at the end of the day is what matters. 

Arthur:

Amazing. Both of you are coming out swinging with some of these.

Now I wasn't gonna get to this a little later, but I saw in the chat that somebody wanted to hear a little bit more about the career trajectory. So Kyle, if SDRs did report to marketing, how does this impact their career development? I’d love for you to speak a little bit more to that.

Kyle: 

I think it gives them more of a view of what else they could do as far as individual contributor or practitioner roles. For example, field marketing. At Seismic, we had an SDR go into the product marketing org. Of course, we’ve also had SDRs go to account executive roles and outbound roles.

I agree that most SDRs are going to move into a sales role. But what I found is that at Lessonly, we had quite a few move into different areas. Services, as an example.

I just feel like when they live in a sales org it’s pretty much focused on AEs because you have a headcount capacity model, right? You got to fill the head count if you're a sales lead. Of course you're going to prioritize them. 

I think in marketing, it gives them a little bit more view. Now, it's imperative that the marketing and sales leadership are in agreement on how to talk about career trajectory, right?

Like the marketer can't just say “You should just go to field marketing, field marketing, field marketing.” You need to look at all of it. 

That's why it gets back to alignment. I just think that with the teams separate, it helps with that conversation around career trajectory.

Nicolas:

It seems like a fair statement. That by being outside of the traditional path, they can think out of the box and look at other options. It is true that at Chili Piper we've had to compensate for that. 

Now we've got the thing called the job fair. It's actually happening next week. Where the SDRs can go and meet the different departments and learn what it means to be a field marketer, a go-to-market marketer, and so on. We want to make sure they are open-minded.

Once you have 1 or 2 people make the jump to another department, then you put the seed in their mind that they could be doing something else. It does work really, really well. 

I do think that SDRs have an amazing opportunity for career transition, because you learn messaging, you understand the marketing, you understand what makes people react, what makes people act. 

You have to learn the product, the environment, the market. 

It’s a very intense learning experience that is reusable in a lot of places. 

Arthur:

Yeah, that's a great point. I think… well I see it from both sides and I think what's unique here. What’s unique about Chili Piper is that we really do give them that option, where I think traditionally SDRs are kind of only looking at the sales path.

So I know we're a little bit unique here.

But I wanted to bring up a comment that Kyle made many moons ago for you, Nicolas. 

So Kyle said: “The reason inbound SDRs should report to marketing is because, and I quote one shared goal, one shared mission. They all are working towards the same goal and it creates alignment.”

So how would you respond to that? 

Nicolas: 

That's easy. We all know it. We've eradicated inbound SDRs and replaced them with our solution. It’s called Form Concierge. 

I really advocate that when somebody asks for a meeting, they shouldn’t have to wait for somebody to get back to them. 

Some people argue you need inbound SDRs to reach out to people attending a webinar or downloading a white paper, but you still need to go outbound and get the attention.

Actually, if you look at our numbers and conversion rate, there are buckets where cold outreach converts better than people who attended webinars. Right? So it's a signal, but it's just one signal among other signals.

So my view is that inbound SDRs should not report to marketing, because they should not exist. 

Arthur:

Very very hot. 🔥

Kyle: 

I think it's dependent on a lot of things. Like if you've got great lead scoring on the backend and you understand intent and you can deliver it to the right AE at the right time to set the meeting without discovery, especially with enterprise type business, then great.

I think that is very hard to do. And I think it can be expensive to do.

Where we found inbound is helpful is just on chat too. Especially if somebody has questions on the website.

But it really just depends on the business model. We had inbound SDRs at Lessonly because they were economical. You could argue that we could have ripped out everything and put in a calendaring option, but from a CAC perspective, it worked.

There’s also the note to say if you have a sales-led model, inbound is also an opportunity to get people in that talent pool. We can’t negate that or discard that. 

Some of our best account executives at Seismic and Lessonly started as inbound SDRs. It's a good entry level job where we saw a ton of success with. 

Teachers. We had four or five teachers that became inbound SDRs first at Lessonly, and now they're account executives at Seismic and they're all doing great.

If we didn't have that entry level position available, maybe it could have been outbound… but I think they wouldn't have been given the opportunity because they would have been funneled out of the interview process.

Nicolas:

The way I think of it, inbound is outbound with cheating. Especially in the case of chat.

Cheating because somebody has already requested a meeting. And your job is to get somebody to request a meeting. And they already have. Right. 

What stunned me when we first started Chili Piper, we asked people how inbound conversion was going for them. And they said it’s going great, I’m converting at 40%.

And I said, wait a minute… So 100 people asked for a meeting and 60 of them didn’t get it. 

Kyle: 

Yeah, that’s not good. Something’s wrong. Something’s deeper there.

Nicolas:

Right, not good.

And the reason they thought it was good is because the guy next door was outbound, and they were converting at 1%. 

So if they look at how many meetings I'm getting out of my emails and phone calls compared to outbound, it’s awesome.

I've actually had the chief revenue officer telling me, “Listen, I'm not touching my inbound process. I'm converting at 40%”

As if to say it was amazing to do that. And I kept thinking, but look, you will be leaving 60% on the table. 

I hear the idea of an entry level on that. But as a business person, I can't afford to lose 60% of my pipeline for any reason.

Kyle:

Yeah. I think we were at like 75, but I understand what you’re saying.

Nicolas:

That's better than 40%, yeah.

If you have people requesting demos on the weekend or at night, it’s inevitable that you're going to have some losses. People forget that they requested a demo. 

It’s a cliche, but it’s true that if somebody gets back to you, in general it’s what you were looking for. And you go with the first person who gets back to you.

Or, if you don’t go with it, then you have an advantage because you’ve started with them. And we tend to get attached when we start the motion, then the other vendors are compared to the first. So they become a reference point.

In sales, you always want to structure the debate. For example, if people look at what features are important, you want to be the one telling them what features are really important.

That's why I think it's so critical to automate that process and make sure people can just book in real time and you don't lose these prospects.

Another important thing is a chat. So you said chat has to be staffed. 

That's a very interesting question on chat. Because you could make the argument that somebody is showing interest, but not quite ready to request a demo. So you need somebody to warm them up.

It’s debatable whether you should bypass the SDR or have an SDR involved. I'll make the case for bypassing the SDRs. 

What I’ve found in talking to thousands of companies that we have as customers is that the qualification process in 99% of the cases is something that can be summarized in two to three questions. 

For us, we said, are you on Salesforce? Are you on Hubspot? If you’re not on Salesforce or Hubspot, we cannot work with you.

At Twilio, they ask, do you have a project? Have you started a project? I found that if you put the question in the form, in most cases people will answer honestly.

So in fact, qualification is actually quite simple. 

So in a chat, your prospect is asked a couple of qualification questions. Then, try to book them. Don’t get them to a discussion with your SDRs. 

Now sometimes somebody needs to be influenced, but in that case the account executive is in a better position to influence them. 

In other words, I’ve gotten rid of the inbound SDRs again. 😬

Kyle:

If we had our friend Scott Lease on here, he would argue you shouldn’t have any SDRs. It should be full-cycle AEs.

Nicolas:

I mean outbound is a different story because it takes so much work to get initial engagement from companies 

Kyle:

Well, like high velocity.

I can argue that, in a Lessonly world, when we were doing half of our deals closed in quarter… I would argue there was probably a good case to be made that we had full cycle account executives.

Nicolas: 

At Lessonly, what was your advanced motion? 

Cause you said it was about half and half. 

Kyle:

Well, inbound, inbound represented about 50% of source revenue. 30% came from the outbound BDRs and that was mostly up market. 

And then the rest came from self source and the account executives. But that changed pretty dramatically as we moved up market. 

And honestly, I don't think we ever found that perfect formula for enterprise at Lessonly. 

But Seismic is a machine. It’s very heavy sales-led, heavy outbound. Heavy inside sales. We are very, very enterprise. So it’s very different.

However, we have mid-market, we have SMB segments and those differ depending on a lot of things. But it's all, you know, really dependent on the business.

Nicolas:

That raises another interesting question… if you have enterprises SDRs and mid-market SDRs, are they part of the same team? Or are enterprise SDRs part of the enterprise team, and mid-market SDRs part of the mid-market team? 

Kyle:

Yeah, they're all part of the same team.

And I agree with you. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to agree with you… 

Nicolas: 

😂😂

Kyle: 

But I agree on your tribe comment, a hundred percent. 

I mean, Seismic's over 1500 employees. Like our sales org is large.

Inbound SDR still report into marketing, but it's a very small percentage of the overall contribution, right? So, Seismic early on unlocked a sales led motion that is like clockwork. Which is great.

Nicolas:

So that's one thing where we've gone back and forth at Chili Piper.

One logic of thinking is that enterprise SDRs should work closely with an enterprise account executive, because they target a small number of accounts and the work is so specific. 

And another argument is to say, well, a BDR is a BDR. They should be part of the BDR team and build cadences and all that. 

Kyle: 

At Lessonly, when we built out an enterprise motion, we started debating whether the enterprise BDRs should move over to the enterprise team. But then we got acquired. 

At Seismic they're all together.

The outbound team is together. The inside sales team is together. And then the inbound team lives in marketing. 

Arthur:

Let's keep this going here. This is a super exciting discussion. Kyle, I had, I had a question for you.

So you said in the LinkedIn comment that it's important to hire a marketing leader who knows how to run an SDR team and I'll quote you again:

“You should hire someone who is revenue minded and knows how to operate."

So Kyle, tell us, what does it mean to be a marketing leader that doesn't know how to run an SDR team? And what happens if you hire one of those? 

Nicolas: 

😂😂

Kyle: 

So, I would probably rephrase that. I probably wouldn't call out the SDR team. 

I 100% agree that all marketing leaders have to understand how to run a funnel. Like if you're a marketing leader that's not reporting on a pipeline number or revenue number, you do not have a seat at the table.

Anywhere. 

The exec team. The board. You don't have a seat at the table. You are going to get put on the back burner when there's a budget opportunity. 

So for me, I don't really care where SDRs report to. I just believe that you have to hire people that can run those teams no matter what. 

It was brought up in chat that sales and marketing should be on the same team.

I'm fine with that. 

As long as we don't have a bunch of investors and exec teams saying that a sales leader should always lead marketing. It is very rare that I hear that a CMO turns into a CRO, it's usually a sales leader. So that's where I have the biggest issue. 

That’s why marketing needs to get way more involved in quota attainment.

And then if you are involved in quota attainment and you are driving revenue, you can do all the other things that are cool. Right? You can do the brand stuff that excites people. You can launch an e-commerce brand. Whatever. Right. As long as you are driving revenue. And I think that's where some marketers just fail. 

It's because they don't think about that. All they think about is influence and attribution. They don't think about pipeline creation and revenue. 

Nicolas: 

Where they argue is that they contribute, but you can't track it. Because you don't see it. I'm sure you've heard that one. 

Kyle:

Yeah. But I mean, look. If you're doing great at branding, you're going to hit your revenue numbers. 

A rising tide lifts all ships.

Okay, let's do a disclaimer here. 

Nicolas: 

😂😂

Kyle: 

If you have product market fit. If you have a repeatable process then? Then yes, rising tides.

Like I'm not going to call out some of the recent companies that have taken hundreds of millions of dollars and had zero revenue. Because they had great marketing, but that doesn’t work if you don’t have product market fit.

It's a matter of focusing on the right things and understanding what it takes to drive growth via marketing.

Nicolas:

It sounds like you're advocating that they have a certain number of dollars in pipeline that's directly attributable to them.

Kyle:

Yeah. But it's not that easy, right? Like if you're talking about cross-sell, upsell on the customer side, like selling into your base… I don’t believe that you should have a direct source number for marketing. 

But if you're inbound. Like you're driving people to the website and they're closed. Then hell yeah, you should have a revenue number. 

Arthur:

Let’s bring it back. I do have a question for you, Nicholas.

One argument for SDRs reporting to marketing is that the outbound campaigns on sales engagement platforms like SalesLoft or Outreach more closely resemble marketing campaigns than more traditional sales. So how would you respond to something like that?

Nicolas:

That’s actually maybe the main reason why I had the SDRs under marketing at first. 

The way we address it is by getting marketing involved in the design of cadences. 

We actually had a weekly meeting with marketers and SDRs. And we discuss what messages work. And marketers draft the messages and the cadences with SDR leadership. 

For that very reason the messaging should be consistent. Whatever works somewhere is likely to work somewhere else. So we do all sorts of experiments and we can experiment in multiple channels. So we can try a message on advertising and we can try to message in a cadence and see what resonates more.

It's a great feedback loop actually, because if something stopped working, you can say, so what should we try then? 

For example, we just launched a product called Distro to do a lead distribution and CRM, uh, tuition. And first we went after the main competitors, LeanData and so on, in our cadences.

Then we found that what people were resonating with was that it was very simple and easy to use. So then we reoriented our cadences to go with that message of simple, easy-to-use and easy-to-deploy.

So this has been an opportunity where we collaborate between sales and marketing.

And as Kyle mentioned several times, having sales and marketing work together is deeply critical to the success of growing revenues. 

Arthur: 

I do have another question for you, but if you have a comment back on that, happy to hear it. 

Kyle:

Go ahead. I agree.

Arthur:

Perfect. So, one argument against SDRs reporting to marketing is that traditionally SDRs are commission-based like sales reps. So how would you respond to that? 

Kyle:

Create different pay structures.

I wouldn't change the comp structure. I've never changed the comp structure. But at Lessonly you had, even in marketing, a small percentage of your comp was tied to revenue.

Now, not the same. Not quota-bearing that the SDRs had. 

There was some issue with facilitating goals on a quarterly basis because the large SDR team had different perspectives and different goals. Like, I can't say that that was easy. It wasn't. 

But you just had different pay structures. Like inbound SDRs report into marketing at Seismic, and they have a different comp structure.

Arthur: 

Amazing. So I know we're coming to the end of this. And I do want to hear closing arguments for you both. But first, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on whether sales is a little too over segmented right now between inbound and outbound? Maybe AEs not owning CS, anything like that?

Coming back to the idea of a full cycle sales rep. Let’s start with Kyle, and then Nicholas would love to get your thoughts as well. 

Kyle:

It depends on the business model. But I do think that the time of marketing CS sales, all living in separate orgs… I think the argument could be made that those needed to be combined better. Cause it needs to have better alignment. 

I would argue that operations and enablement teams can kind of force that alignment if they're good. But it just depends. 

Maybe you need a full cycle rep because the cost model doesn't work. 

But if you're an enterprise system and you're selling in the Fortune 100, you're probably not going to have a full cycle sales rep. 

And I'm sure, someone's going to throw out, “Well, Datadog has full cycle sales rep”, yeah. Okay. They are also are doing like 180% net dollar retention. 

There are always outliers. But I think it's very much dependent on the cost model and how you want to approach go to market. 

I don't have a really strong opinion other than that if the cost model doesn't work and you're not driving revenue, you probably should change it. 

Like what you guys did. You got rid of the inbound SDR. I have a lot of respect for that.

Arthur:

So what would you say is baseline to look into that CAC model? Like 50K? 100K? 

Kyle:

So at Lessonly we were at 30K and above. 

At 100K and above you did 1:1 ratios. Between 30K and 100K you did 3:1. So for every 3 AEs, you had one outbound. 

Then for the inbound reps, it was mainly our lead volume. That was more of the capacity model. 

Arthur: 

Got it. 

And Nicolas, I would love to hear your ideas well. I know we have a big SDR organization here. And AEs are able to deliver on our promise of showing people a demo and talking pricing. So I’d be curious to hear your side.

Do you think we’re coming back to full cycle sales reps?

Nicolas:

I don't actually. I'm very much in favor of AEs being able to source their own pipeline.

But I do think that nowadays there are so many solutions. 

There are like 8,000 MarTech solutions and 2000 sales tech solutions and it’s super hard to get the attention of people. 

I do think it makes sense to specialize, keep specializing SDRs instead of going full-cycle AEs.

Like Kyle said, there are exceptions. 

Like maybe Datadog, because of so much inbound and product-led growth, they're able to do that. But eventually they're going to have to go outbound to grow further than they are. 

I have a funny anecdote about specialization… 

When we started Chili Piper, I was the sales person and Alina was the CS and implementation person. 

So after we closed the deal, she'd take the deal and would inevitably grow the account. So she did the training and at the end of training, she said, oh, shouldn't you view other departments and the person said, “Yes, absolutely!”

And I'm thinking she's wonderful. 

You know, you're CS… so people trust you because you've helped. And then if you ask for a favor to sell more. What every sales person wants is trust, right? So you have the trust. 

So we started growing and created a job called a relationship manage, which was CS combined with an account manager.

And I'm thinking she's so killer. I don't know why people haven't thought of it. It's brilliant. We’re going to make a bunch of Alinas and it’s going to be amazing. 

Then I go to a conference. And there’s a Head of Operations who says, “Okay, there’s one mistake you don't want to make. Do not mirror CS and account managers.” 

And I’m thinking, okay, someone is wrong in this room. It's either him or me. I'm going to find out. And sure enough, I was the one who was wrong. 

What happened is that it was impossible to find people with the personality and skillset adapted to both.

An account manager with a quota who would negotiate deals and being a CS who wants to help. 

I actually had one of these relationship managers tell me, I don't want to look like I'm selling. And I’m thinking… but you are. Half your job is selling. So you want to look like you don't want to look like you're doing your job?

So… that’s why specialization has to stay across the board. Occasionally there are exceptions, but overall it’s a more effective way to run a business.

Arthur:

Perfect. We got about 10 minutes left. I will ask you on your thoughts on how this would change at a product-led growth company. Is that SDR function more of a product specialist? Are they still going outbound? Why don't we start with you again, Kyle.

Kyle:

I could talk about this based off my experience at OpenView venture partners, but I've had zero experience of doing a product-led model from what I've seen in the market.

There's probably people on here that have had more experience. 

I have seen that there's more of a support element to an early sales role. Mostly, it's a sales-led org that's built after the fact. Especially if you have to move up market. Like the Datadogs as an example. It just made sense that eventually you build a sales motion to support multiple champions, and you've got to figure out procurement as you move up market.

It really depends on your growth projections and what you want to. What you want to accomplish. I know that's a non-answer, but it's hard. 

I've been a part of a firm that's invested in those types of companies, but as far as I know, 100% of them did eventually build sales teams. Calendly, Datadog… they all did. 

Nicolas:

We flirted with that for a while with a free product. 

And we assigned reps to convert the free trials into paid customers. And there's no question that the profile to do that effectively is very hard to identify. 

What we did is we put a couple of senior SDRs who were on the verge of being AEs to do that. But it was a fast way to address the problem as opposed to a strategic thing. 

The problem was that the person people wanted to talk to about the product was support. They have a question they need answered. So if you show up as a salesperson, you're not helpful. 

I'm friends with the CEO at Datadog, and he was always complaining about his account executives and calling them, uh… 😅

He was finding they were not working hard enough. He was a polite and kind person who would never say anything bad about his AEs. 

But his observation was that there were so many low hanging fruits, that the AEs could just call and close these deals without making much effort.

So I think that the ideal profile hasn't been identified yet. And the idea of the process of conversion from free to paid is still a work in progress. I think there will be lots of tools and approaches that will be tried in the future. It is becoming such a hotspot. 

Kyle:

I can say there are a ton of opinions, but I've never been in the weeds for it.

So it's very hard for me to make a call. 

Arthur:

One example that comes to mind is Shopify and how they use their self-serve funnel with their PLG motion and how they look at it. Really, the main goal is to just unstick that user wherever they happen to be.

So if they notice they're getting stuck around a pricing page, they actually have pricing specialists that they would route you to. Then if they notice that you're talking about different lengths of terms or how the product works, then they will direct you to a product specialist. 

Kyle:

We could simplify the funnel all day long, but ultimately what's the best experience? That's all that matters.

And that's a marketer's job is. How do you make it as easy as possible for somebody to talk to sales or buy the damn product? That's a marketer’s job. 

So, you know, if it's talking to somebody on a pricing page because they're stuck, fine. If it's automating that, fine. As long as it's a better experience for the end-user, then I'm all for it.

Arthur: 

Totally

Kyle:

Now here’s the thing. And here’s my closing argument.

It does not matter if they're a help specialist or an inbound rep, you're still introducing a person into the sales cycle. Okay. 

So it's kind of beyond whether it should be an inbound SDR or a sales engineer. You're making the decision that within your go to market model, you're going to have a human being interact with somebody to help the experience be better. 

Some would argue that inbound SDRs aren’t a great experience and some would argue that they are. But it just really depends on the business.

Arthur:

Nicolas let's get your closing arguments on whether or not SDRs should report to sales or marketing.

Nicolas:

My closing argument is that inbound SDRs should report to marketing because they should not exist. 

Kyle:

​​😂

Nicolas:

No, okay, the closing argument is that we found that making them part of the sales tribe worked better and then involving marketing in the messaging.

I think it's easier to make it work on the sales, but again, I can see situations where a marketer like Kyle would make it work.

Arthur:

Perfect. Well, on that note, thank you everybody for tuning in. I mean, we started off with two people looking at one or the other. I think we saw a lot of commonalities here, obviously some differences 😅 

But ultimately we gotta be aligned to generate revenue. And I think if we're aligned to revenue and we have those shared KPIs, there's an argument to be made for both sides.

So, Kyle and Nicolas, thank you so both much. Nicholas. This has been great. So hopefully we'll see you guys on the next Fireside chat. This has been awesome. Can't wait to hear your feedback. Thank you everybody.