Business development reps have become an integral part of many sales teams. Not only do they help to build your sales funnel, but they also help build your sales rep bench. A successful Business Development Representative (BDR)/Sales Development Representative (SDR) team will also significantly contribute to the sales team’s culture.
7 things to consider to make sure you’re hiring the A-players:
1. Look for candidates who want to start a career in sales — not just a candidate looking for a job.
Look for indication of an interest in a sales career. Some candidates will take courses in school for sales, and others may even have sales majors or minors. Or, a candidate may have taken an online course, had a sales-related internship or have read several books about sales that he or she can talk about during the interview.
2. Don’t exclude a rep with more seniority or one who is transitioning industries.
I’ve hired dozens of candidates who are transitioning from another industry to tech sales. In most cases, it doesn’t matter what industry they came from; it matters that they want to be sales reps and have an unmatched desire to be successful. That’s what makes good SDRs and BDRs
3. Ask detailed questions during the interview.
This will allow you to determine if the candidate has done any research on your company and on the role. Their preparation for the interview will likely mirror their work ethic and how they prepare for the day.
4. Get a writing sample during the interview.
More and more communication is online, and a rep’s ability to communicate clearly by email is vital to their (and your) success. A candidate can come across as extremely well-spoken and personable and have a great resume, but these factors aren’t necessarily indicative of writing ability. Reading a candidate’s cover letter or any email communication when setting up the interview is helpful, but getting an on-the-spot writing sample will give you the clearest picture of true ability.
5. Use an assessment.
This may not be available to all hiring managers, but I strongly recommend using an assessment tool when vetting junior sales candidates. Resources like The Predictive Index (PI) and DiSC are useful and popular among managers hiring for entry level sales roles. An assessment will help you identify the underlying characteristics of a potential SDR/BDRs personality, their sales strengths, weaknesses and how to best coach and motivate them.
6. Be transparent.
Set a clear expectation of the role. Being a Sales Development Representative or Business Development Representative can be a grind. If the sales rep’s heart isn’t in the job, they will wash out quickly, and you’ll be back to the drawing board. You want to bring the best people onto your team, but if you misrepresent the role, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
7. Have the potential SDR or BDR shadow a current rep.
Allow your candidates to sit with one of your current Business Development Representatives for an hour or two so they can see what “a day in the life” Is like. Your goal should be to weed out the reps who are not 100% committed, and you will be able to tell a lot from even a one-hour shadowing experience. Was the candidate antsy or bored? Make sure you get input from the BDR who was shadowed.
All of the SDRs and BDRs on your team – whether senior or junior – are a vital part of your company’s success. Hiring takes time and resources, so before you give an offer, you want to be one hundred percent sure you’re hiring the best. If you seriously consider these seven tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a top team.
Hiring quality reps is essential to avoiding an exorbitant turnover rate in what can be a highly competitive environment – check out our article on Why High Sales Rep Churn is Detrimental to Your Business and How to Reduce it.