Generating strong Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) takes a lot of time and effort. But despite that, many organizations still have very few processes in place to ensure that MQLs are appropriately followed up on.

Marketing generates and qualifies the leads, then throws them over the fence to Sales. If they don’t follow a lead up, that’s where that lead’s journey ends. Or at least, that’s how things were.

Enter the marketing development representative.

Tasked with focusing solely on following up with MQLs, the marketing development representative (sometimes called a market development representative – but we’ll just stick with MDR!) is a relatively new role helping to bridge the gap between sales and marketing, enabling teams to make the most of the leads generated by marketing.

What is an MDR?

Much like a sales development representative (SDR), an MDR spends a lot of time talking to and supporting leads directly. But, while SDRs are generally on the hunt for leads that they can convert right away, MDRs take up a more nurture-focused role, acting as an educator and a partner.

an office with a team working

What does the marketing development representative actually do?

While most MDRs sit within the sales team, they effectively bridge the gap between sales and marketing, working closely with both teams. Day-to-day, a marketing development representative has five main responsibilities:

  • Connecting prospects and existing customers with the right content to either convert them into customers or extend their lifetime value
  • Following up directly on content engagement and discovering why prospects engaged with content to help marketing create the right resources
  • Inferring lessons from prospect interactions and using that knowledge to improve content strategy and provide valuable insights to both sales and marketing teams
  • Gathering nuanced anecdotal information about prospects and determining if they fall into any of your typical buyer personas
  • Accelerating content journeys when appropriate to keep journeys moving at the right pace for each prospect

Through those activities, MDRs maximize the value created by marketing’s content, bringing it into a sales context and carefully nurturing prospects until they’re ready to become customers.

Never underestimate the value of a well-nurtured lead. While proper nurturing might not return the fastest results, it’s been shown that effectively nurtured leads spend around 47% more than leads that have been left alone as they pass along the funnel.

It’s this combination of marketing and sales best practices that makes the MDR such an asset to modern organizations. But, to fulfill their role effectively, there are a few essential capabilities that MDRs depend on.

#1) Ensure content accessibility

It’s the MDR’s job to provide MQLs with the right content at the right time. Practically, that often means managing vast asset and resource libraries and dusting off the perfect piece at a moment’s notice.

That job becomes very difficult if their organization’s content isn’t easily searchable and discoverable. The MDR is a responsive and agile role – one that can’t afford to get caught up in long manual trawls for content that may or may not exist. To avoid this issue, teams can also consider more efficient ways of producing content, like repurposing modular content.

A highly accessible content library can hugely accelerate the MDR’s workflows and empower them to spend more time doing what they do best – nurturing and educating MQLs.

But accessibility isn’t just important for the MDR themselves. When content is more accessible to customers, that also makes their life much easier as well.

There are already a lot of variables to consider when matching prospects with content. Who are they? What stage of their journey are they at? What unique challenges are they facing? If you also have to factor in accessibility decisions like which devices they’re using or if they have any specific accessibility requirements, that makes a tricky job even tougher.

When your content is accessible by design, matching becomes much easier. The more people can easily pick it up and engage with it, the more buckets it will fall into for matching – helping your content do more, and your MDRs do what they do best.

#2) Deep visibility of content engagement

When a prospect engages with a piece of content, the MDR needs to know. But knowing if someone has engaged with content isn’t enough. To determine the next best action for each individual prospect, the MDR should be able to clearly see exactly where, when, and how they’ve engaged with the content.

At a glance, an MDR needs to be able to answer several important engagement questions, including:

  • How long did the prospect spend engaging with the content?
  • What did they look at for the longest?
  • Which pages held their attention?
  • What turned them off and stopped them from engaging?

The answers to those questions will give the MDR a strong idea of which content to offer to the prospect next and better inform which actions MDRs should take as a next step.

These actionable insights are also an incredibly effective tool for improving the quality and precision of content over time. Tracking trends in engagement can help the marketing team understand what’s consistently working with their content, and what isn’t – empowering them to continuously improve their content and deliver more of what their audience really wants.

Turtl helped AIG Life deliver and execute this exact improvement, winning more readership by gaining insights into exactly what readers wanted to see.

Click to read AIG Life + Turtl | Case Study

#3) Rapid and simple personalization

Every interaction an MDR has with a prospect can tell them a lot about what that person wants from content, and ultimately needs from your organization. But to be at their most effective, MDRs need ways of practically turning that insight into tailored actions quickly.

Matching prospects up to existing content pieces is a good start. But if MDRs can easily personalize content to each prospect’s needs, they can drive far stronger results.

The ability to rapidly personalize content without compromising on its visual quality – or needing to become a graphic designer overnight – can hugely increase the efficacy of not just MDRs, but any team that distributes content.

It enables MDRs to go beyond simply being custodians of content. Instead, they become a champion for prospects, not only seeking out what they need but actively creating the perfect pieces of content when they don’t exist already.

Crucially, that doesn’t have to involve writing huge swathes of new copy either. With simple personalization capabilities, such as those on offer with Turtl, MDRs can quickly take meaningful steps like:

  • Populate content pieces with industry-specific case studies
  • Cut irrelevant sections from content pieces to keep readers engaged
  • Merge multiple content pieces into something entirely new
  • Quickly update content as topics or messages become outdated

Why do you need an MDR in sales?

Having a marketing development representative in the sales process is important because they specialize in lead qualification and nurturing, which streamlines the sales process, improves efficiency, and leads to higher conversion rates and revenue for the organization. Their role is critical in ensuring that sales teams are engaging with prospects who are genuinely interested in the product or service.

Why do you need an MDR in marketing?

MDRs play a pivotal role in marketing by driving lead generation, as well as the lead scoring mentioned previously. They facilitate better alignment between marketing and sales, contribute to data-driven decision-making, and ultimately help in growing revenue for the organization.

The Turtl takeaway: Content best practice naturally empowers the MDR

Those three content features – accessibility, visibility of engagement metrics, and personalization – all have the potential to empower MDRs and help them get the most from their MQLs. But they’re not new concepts. They’ve been best practices for content creators for years.

The Turtl platform is built to help marketing and sales teams create personalized, accessible content using a brain-friendly format informed by psychology that is designed to get strong engagement. Engagement that you can measure, thanks to Turtl’s intuitive analytics dashboard. Now, we’re also helping MDRs step up in their roles to see success as they educate, nurture, and convert prospects quickly and easily.

Want to experience Turtl for yourself? Take a free demo of the platform today.

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