How to Hire Business Development Representatives (BDR’s) or Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s)
Before we get started it is important that you know the difference between the BDR and SDR.
The BDR focuses on inbound leads. They are filtering and qualifying those leads for the Account Executives.
The SDR focuses on outbound activity to find net new prospects. Their job is to gather information, ask qualifying questions and deliver the lead to their prospective Account Executive.
Understanding this difference is critical to making sure you recruit the right type of personality traits for your position.
While you would imagine that hiring a BDR or SDR should be one of the easiest positions to fill in your sales department, it is not. It is actually one of the hardest positions to recruit for. The reason it is so difficult is because these candidates have no experience. So, how do you find a person with no experience? This means that they do not have a recognizable sales resume. Most of these candidates are very early in their career and do not know how to search for a job. Many do not even know what a career in sales looks like. LinkedIn and Job Boards are unreliable because these candidates can be confused on their own career aspirations. The key to success is to speak with a large pipeline of candidates.
Tips to navigate the recruitment process hiring a BDR or SDR:
1. Set your expectations low
This level of candidate has between 0 – 2 years of experience so their maturity level is low and typically misunderstood by hiring managers.
These candidates communicate via text and Snapchat. Email is not their top choice of communication. This means that if you want to communicate with them, do it via mobile phone. They always have their mobile phone with them. Call them directly, leave a message or speak with them live. Then follow up with an email.
If you want a call back, use a positive energetic tone. Energy and excitement gains interest.
You may not get the return calls you expect. While this may be disappointing, do not get frustrated. If you are not impactful, you will lose talent to your competition and your response rate will be low. Recognize that lots of companies are calling these candidates and that you may need to tweak your approach. It is not a lack of professionalism on behalf of the candidate; it is lack of understanding on behalf of the company.
Realize that you are going to have to work hard to hunt these candidates down, and that they will not think your company is as special as you do. Sell them on why your opportunity is so great.
Many of these candidates have no idea what the BDR/SDR job is. Be patient and take time to educate them on this type of position. Help them figure out if it is a good fit for them or not.
Have an open mind, know these candidates are learning along their path to a new job and be patient.
The best way to build pipeline is through a referral network that promotes your brand.
Build a pipeline by contacting universities, career centers, collegiate coaches and most importantly sales clubs.
Advertise your job online, on your website, at college career fairs and at college career centers.
Find the resources you need to build a sustainable process that delivers a consistent pipeline.
3. Talk to Everyone
Do not over analyze resumes.
Focus your time on speaking with every candidate.
Work with candidates and coach them up. What are they doing well and what do they need to do to get the job?
Candidates that respond positively to constructive criticism are coachable. Track their progress and grade their progression.
4. Call Every Candidates
Do not be judgmental, pick up the phone and then form an opinion.
Have perspective and try to remember who you were in the first few years of your career.
The resume will not show enough information to identify talented BDR’s or SDR’s.
Move quickly – call every candidate within 24 hours.
Call first, email second. Every industry is looking for this type of person so make sure you don’t take any candidate for granted.
5. Follow Up Often
Don’t expect them to follow up all the time. This sounds crazy but you need to stay on your candidates.
Keep yourself in check, know that these candidates do not need your job. If you find this insulting then you’re out of touch.
If you are not chasing the good ones, your competition will. Fight to win this talent and adjust your expectation to grow your team.
6. Give Candidates an Interview Road Map
Have a road map to success and share it with BDR and SDR candidates.
Instruct them on how to move through the process and what to expect.
Prepare them on how to navigate your interview process successfully.
Be able to make a decision within 2 weeks. You will lose your candidates if you can’t move fast enough.
7. Ask for Referrals
Build a network and referral program.
These candidates hang out together and news travels faster than ever before.
BDR’s and SDR’s are in touch and in the know and they will spread the good word.
Ask “who do you know” that would also like this job.
8. Sell Often
The most successful companies sell often.
As soon as a candidate picks up the phone start selling.
Do not ask a candidate to sell you on why they should work at your company. Sell them on why they should work at your company.
Don’t chase them away, focus on why your company is a great company to work at.
If you say to yourself “they didn’t follow up with me so they are not the type of person I am looking for”, then you should tweak your approach and attitude toward your search. If you are not finding success then you have holes in your strategy.
If you don’t have the time to invest in this type of search then call Treeline. Our service for hiring a BDR or SDR start at only $4,000 and you can hire as many people as you wish with no additional cost. Call us to learn how we do it.