Hiring a sales development rep is an important step for any business. When you hire the right people they can increase efficiency throughout your sales process. But if you hire unqualified people with not enough experience, you could find yourself spending valuable time and resources on someone who isn’t worth the return value.
Do You Really Need a Sales Development Representative?
More than 40 percent of salespeople say prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process, while another 22 percent say it’s qualifying those leads.
It also takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer, and only 24% of sales emails actually get opened. Without SDRs, your sales team will have to spend an inefficient amount of time chasing leads, when their time could be better spent closing deals.
Sales development representatives do the work of finding leads, qualifying them, and passing them onto your account executives. By separating these tasks to an independent team, you lessen the load on your salespeople and ensure they spend their time more efficiently. However, this only works if you bring in the best people to fill your SDR positions.
How to Hire Sales SDR
To hire the best sales SDR for your business, there are 4 important steps:
- Create a job description
- Conducting interviews
- Make a selection
- Onboard the new hire
Below are some tips you can use for each step of this process, to ensure you not only get the right person, but that they can transition seamlessly into your business.
The Hiring Process
#1 – Create a job description
A well crafted, detailed job description will ensure that the people applying to the ad know exactly what you are looking for. This will help to weed out ill-suited candidates and allow you to focus on candidates who are more likely to be a good fit for the job.
Since many people applying for SDR jobs have little-to-no experience in this job, you’ll instead have to look for personality traits and related background experience. Here are some of the traits that you’ll want to look for:
- Resilient: Working as an SDR isn’t easy – most days you’ll hear “no” more than you hear “yes”. Your SDRs need to be able to keep themselves motivated despite rejection.
- Eager to Learn: For SDRs, there are always new things you can learn. Better ways to qualify leads, to persuade people, or to be more productive. Look for SDRs who are eager to learn new things on their own and put them into practice.
- Coachable: Don’t hire someone who thinks they already know how to do everything, and is unwilling to take advice. You need people who will take your advice and who recognize that others may have a better way of doing things.
- Competitive: If you have more than one SDR on your team, introducing some competition can bring out the best in the entire team. Look for a candidate that always wants to be the best, no matter what job they are doing.
Make sure you list all of the qualities and skills you are looking for in your perfect candidate. Don’t forget to define the experience that is required for the SDR position. While previous SDR experience is a plus, you should also consider the experience in other customer-facing roles. For example, if a candidate has experience in customer support, as a waiter, or in retail, these are all good experiences that will translate well into SDR work.
Sales Development Rep (SDR) Job Description Example/Template
“[Company Name] is looking for a Sales Development Representative to join our team.
The right candidate is someone who is:
- eager to learn,
- passionate about their work,
- and able to handle rejection.
As an SDR, you are the first point of contact with customers for our business and will play a big role in getting the sales process started right.
Candidates must be comfortable initiating phone conversations and work well under pressure. Previous experience in customer service or sales preferred.”
#2 – Conduct interviews
Once the resumes start coming in you should decide which candidate is a good fit to go to the next round – an interview. With the right interview questions, you will get to know your candidates better, and have a clearer picture of who is a good fit and who isn’t.
Below are a few questions you can ask to gain a better understanding of your candidates:
- “What is your primary motivation?” – While we all want to earn a decent living, this shouldn’t be a candidate’s primary motivation. Instead, look for someone who is interested in joining your team because they like the products/services you offer and they want to help your business grow.
- “How do you deal with rejection?” – SDRs will get rejected a lot. It’s important to pick people who know how to deal with it and can move on. Pick a candidate that says they don’t let rejection slow them down, and that they try to learn from their “nos” as much as their “yesses”.
- “What’s the worst customer interaction you’ve ever had?” – Most of your candidates will want to talk about how well they typically deal with customers. Instead, talk to them about their worst experiences:
- What causes it to be so bad?
- What did they learn from the experience?
- How did that experience impact their work going forward?
- “How do you feel about cold outreach?” – An SDRs primary responsibility is performing cold outreach. You want an SDR that knows cold outreach is a part of the job and is fully prepared to handle it.
- “What would you consider a successful day of work?” – Your SDRs are a part of a larger team. You don’t want a candidate that is focused solely on personal success. If your candidate answers that they were able to help the sales team close sales, then you’re off to a good start.
- “What’s the most recent thing you’ve learned about sales?” – The answer to this question will show whether or not this candidate is looking to learn something new every day. If it takes them a long time to remember the last thing they learned, learning may not be a high priority for them.
EXTRA TIP: Have your company’s core values in mind when interviewing candidates.
When conducting interviews, make sure that you ask all the candidates the same questions. If you give each candidate a different set of questions, it’s hard to compare them. Ideally, you should create a template that has all the questions you want to ask, and an area to rate their answer on a scale of 1-10. That way you can go back after all your interviews and easily compare them.
#3 – Make a selection
After you’ve completed a round of interviews, it’s time to make your selection. Go back over all the interviews, and see which candidates stood out. Think about what skills are the most important for you – would you prefer someone who is driven or someone who is teachable? Rank the traits in the order of importance, then see which of your top candidates performed best at these questions.
If all goes well, the best candidate for the job should be apparent. You can then go over their resume and application once more, to ensure they have all the right qualifications. If so, it’s time to formally offer them the job.
Keep in mind, when making your selection, you also need to think about the costs. An in-house SDR team can cost an average of $6,000 to $10,000 per month per employee. An SDR with more experience will require higher compensation. Then there’s also the costs of training to consider – the less experienced SDR, the more training they’ll need. If you have two candidates who performed equally well during the interviews, consider the cost associated with each to help you make your decision.
#4 – Onboard new sales team member
Hiring a new sales development rep doesn’t stop at the handshake and contract signing. You still need to onboard this new member so that they understand how your business operates and what they’re supposed to do each day. Proper onboarding is important for a few reasons.
First, if your employees know what is expected of them and how to do things, it will make them more efficient.
Second, you would ideally like your current hires to eventually train new hires down the road. Any onboarding mistakes you make now could get compounded in future iterations. For example, if you don’t show your new SDR how to make the best use of your CRM, they won’t be able to do the same for future hires. Third, you’re operating within a limited time window. According to TOPO, SDRs only stay at their positions for an average of 14 months, and it takes up to 3 months for them to reach full productivity. To get the most value, you need to not only get your SDRs started quicker but find ways to keep them around.
To properly onboard your new SDRs, there are 4 steps you’ll want to go through.
#1 – Go Over Your Target Audience
First, you should discuss with your new SDR the audience you’re targeting. For example, if you’re conducting B2B sales, you’d want to talk about the type of businesses that have an interest in your product/service and the types of people they want to connect with at those companies.
#2 – Introduce them to the Sales Team
Next, make introductions. Let your SDRs meet the Account Executives they’ll be working with. Go over how the sales team is structured, what sort of sales strategies they use to close deals, and how the sales workflow operates. During this step you should also introduce them to any technology or tools you use – like a CRM – so your SDRs can see how they operate within the sales process.
#3 – Go Over Product Information
Now is the time when you’ll want to go over your product information with the sales development rep. They need to know this product inside and out to effectively do their jobs. Give them as much information about the product as you can, and even give them some time to use it themselves. Finally, compare your product against your competition. Your SDRs should not only know the benefits of your own product, but also how it is different than others on the market.
#4 – Instill the Company’s Culture
The last thing you’ll want to go over with your SDR is the type of culture you have at your company. Talk to them about your company’s core values, what you expect from them, and what they can expect from others. Teams operate better when they’re all on the same page, so it’s important to get your new SDRs to fit in from the start. If you can get your new SDR to feel like they are a part of the team, they are less likely to leave for another job so soon.
An Alternative Way to Hire Sales Development Rep that Can Boost Your Sales Team Productivity by 40%
Hiring a new Sales Development Rep is a big step. It takes a lot of preparation to ensure you get the best candidate, not to mention the expenses that come with it. If you want to avoid all this, consider outsourcing sales development tasks to TaskDrive. You will get a dedicated and experienced team on your side that has a proven track record of success, and can help your business improve productivity at a fraction of the cost of an in-house SDR team.
To learn more about TaskDrive Sales Development services, please contact us to schedule a free consultation.