Hiring a sales development rep is not an easy task. But it’s tremendously important to get it right… Mess it up and there will be no leads, no sales meetings set up, no new customers and yeah… no money!
Sales development is the lifeblood of every organization.
Some say it’s sales but it’s sales development who works tirelessly to find prospects and turn them into leads which then can be transferred to Account Executives.
I guess it’s fair to say that hiring sales development reps is as crucial as choosing the best bricks for your house, if you get a crap quality ones then your whole house will fall apart sooner or later.
We have an awesome sales development team at Growbots. It’s made of 9 people who can schedule up to 500 demos a month! Yeah, try to beat that!
One of the reasons why they perform so well is because we put a lot of effort into their recruitment and training.
I have decided to talk to Chris, who leads our Sales Development Team to ask him about key traits that every sales development rep must have to be successful. Here’s what he said.
Hiring a Sales Development Rep. 7 Traits to Look For.
Let’s begin with the most important one.
1. They have to be coachable.
A typical sales development rep is young and inexperienced. Either still studying or straight out of uni. Overall, it’s an entry-level position which means, it’s important that they learn, and learn fast.
So while hiring a sales development rep you have to make sure they’re easily coachable.
It’s your job to provide them with regular feedback, while it’s their job to think it over, and put it into action.
There’s an easy way to check how coachable your SDR candidate is. Ask them to complete a task prior to the interview and send it over for review when it’s completed.
Provide them with feedback and ask them to revise the task. Talk it over at the interview. If they followed your instructions then there is a high chance they’re fast learners.
2. They have to be communicative.
While hiring your sales development reps make sure they are able to communicate clearly and with ease. They don’t have to be smooth talkers unlike salespeople, but they must be able to communicate their thoughts easily.
Sales development involves handling objections, that’s what this job is primarily about.
You hardly ever come across prospects who simply agree to have a meeting with you.
They always have questions, and they always come up with reasons why they don’t need your product.
Good communicators will not only be able to address prospect’s objections, but they’ll also find a way to persuade them to set up a meeting.
3. They must have a good work ethic.
What do you need to consider while hiring a sales development rep? Their work ethic. Let’s be honest, sales development involves repetition and some parts of it can be monotonous.
You have to select your prospects, create emails (a lot of them), and schedule your messages along with follow-ups.
The job involves a lot of manual work, which you must do. Period. Without it, you won’t be able to achieve your goals.
How can you check if your SDR candidate has a good work ethic? Just see how well prepared he/she is for the job interview.
Lack of good preparation (which means doing extensive research) will most probably imply bad work ethic.
4. They have to be target driven.
Sales development just like sales, in general, is heavily target driven. All target driven jobs can be stressful, they require motivation and discipline.
This means that while hiring a sales development rep their ability and desire to achieve goals is something you must look for.
A sales development representative should draw energy from achieving goals.
The more emails they sent, the higher the chance of getting a positive reply and setting up a meeting which will result in a fat commission check.
I think it’s fairly easy to figure out whether someone is competitive and therefore target driven or not. Ask them about their previous achievements.
People who like to compete are usually involved in sports; do they have any successes outside of their work environment?
5. They have to be curious and full of ideas.
I am wondering if this will come as a surprise to you. When we hire sales development reps we make sure they’re curious.
People receive a lot of emails, and by saying a lot I mean around 121 emails per day… As you can imagine replying to an email from someone they have never heard of is not high on their priority list.
SDR’s have to come up with new and better ways of writing emails. The content of the email has to be both relevant to the prospect and interesting enough to encourage them to hit “reply”.
Sales development reps have to be able to figure out how to recycle prospects or come up with new ways of targeting.
They have to be able to draw conclusions from the campaigns they sent, and find ways to improve the results. This requires curiosity and a head full of ideas.
6. They can’t give up easily
Everyone who has ever done outbound sales knows that it involves handling rejection. And there will be times when getting a no will occur more frequently than getting a yes. And this is the nature of outbound sales.
There are cases where our SDR’s put a lot of time and effort into testing new campaigns and sometimes they fail, or they don’t achieve the results they anticipated. Yes, it’s disappointing, annoying even but it’s also normal.
That’s why while recruiting an SDR you have to make sure they don’t give up easily.
7. They have to fit in
Culture fit is important, they need to feel part of the gang. I know that pretty much any job requires teamwork but sales development really is about teamwork.
Sales always have financial targets to achieve, and whether they achieve it or not depends on how well the sales development team performs. So they have to cooperate with each other and offer each other support.
A lack of culture fit will make this cooperation rather difficult.
All our SDR’s have hobbies, some like collecting vinyl, others love dancing.
While hiring a sales development rep we always check what their passions or interests are. To us, it’s important.
Do you have any advice regarding recruiting sales development reps? If you do, please share it in the comments.