Recruiting for Business Development Representative (BDR) and Sales Development Representative (SDR) positions is competitive – especially for any candidates with experience, given that these are typically entry-level roles. Give yourself and your team the best chance to win over rockstar BDRs/SDRs by mapping out a sales career plan that they can strive to achieve.
Understand who you’re hiring
BDRs/SDRs want to move up to Account Executive/Account Manager roles, and many want to move up quickly. If you do not have a clearly defined career trajectory, your reps will quickly move on to other companies and you will be forced back into the recruiting gauntlet. So, you should have a plan and timeline for this progression – targets they need to hit in order to achieve it – and make it clearly known to your reps. This will help drive productivity in your team. Training milestones can also be incorporated into the career planning process.
Realistic milestones are key in a career plan
These milestones should be achievable – if only 1 in 20 reps are hitting them, for example, they’re too demanding, and this will have a negative impact on your team. Promotion must be an attainable goal. To determine milestones, look at the career trajectories of team members who have been with you for some time, and also speak with new (and experienced) members of your team. It’s important to consistently evaluate your career plan and make adjustments as needed, based on rep feedback and also on how the career plan is impacting business success.
Importantly, career plans incentivize the right behaviors, but they also will help you weed out those who don’t perform. Reps who are not performing well may also move on of their own accord, when they realize they are not hitting the milestones they need to be promoted.
Make sure that you celebrate career milestones; make a big deal of them, because they are a big deal to your reps. Celebrating small wins reinforces a culture of winning.
You cannot put a price on a great bench
A good career plan within your company will allow you to surface great sales reps early in their career before they become expensive enterprise-class reps – like Bill Belichick finding Tom Brady in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL (the 199th pick). The return on your investment in these candidates will be much greater if you are able to keep the great reps you find by motivating them to achieve more.
This is how, over time, you build your top-performing sales team. BDRs/SDRs can be a great bench for your sales team. They’re your Single-A team moving to Double-A, then Triple-A, before hitting the major leagues. To learn more about hiring the best reps, check out How to Hire the Best SDRs/BDRs for Your Sales Team.