Sales are the lifeblood of your business. No sales means no revenue, so without them, you’ll soon find yourself in trouble. With sales being so important, it’s surprising that many people don’t know how to hire sales reps!
Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s) are tasked with discovering a business’ next paying customer. Awesome SDR’s are some of the most in-demand recruits on the job market, especially for those companies looking to grow.
In this article, we’ll guide you through how to hire sales reps. We’ll start by understanding what an SDR does, why SDR’s are crucial to the sales process, and finish by jumping into our 6-step SDR hiring process.
Ready? Let’s get started!
What is a Sales Development Representative (SDR) in Sales?
Let’s start with the basics and confirm what a Sales Development Rep means in sales.
An SDR is a sales team member that focuses on seeking out and qualifying new leads. In sales talk, they’re responsible for prospecting.
SDR’s don’t go on to close those sales deals. They solely focus on the prospecting part before passing the leads on to a senior team member to close the business.
Many organisations, especially within the SaaS world, have found splitting their sales teams up in this way leads to huge upticks in revenue. This is because the best sales closers dedicate their time to qualified leads that are more likely to buy – thanks, SDR’s!
What Makes a Great Sales Development Representative?
SDR’s need to be rockstars at hunting out new leads and quickly establishing if they’ve got the potential to become a customer. Essentially, an SDR is a professional speed dater.
Here are some of the critical skills and attributes an SDR needs to have:
- Highly Motivated: Being an SDR is one of the grittiest jobs in sales. Hunting out new leads requires a lot of work and, ultimately, means facing a lot of rejection. Successful SDR’s have the drive to overcome obstacles to hit their goals.
- Great Communicator: An SDR needs to be able to quickly and effectively communicate with new leads. That doesn’t just mean talking a good game, though. SDR’s must be great listeners to fully understand the customer’s problems and showcase how they can fix them.
- Be Coachable: SDR’s are often junior members of the sales world, and as such, they’ll need to improve their skills and sector knowledge. The ability to effectively act upon feedback will separate the good SDR’s from the very best.
- Creative Thinker: It’s a competitive world out there, so SDR’s need to think outside the box to demand attention. Whether it’s through LinkedIn, emails, or on the phone, those SDR’s that can capture the imagination of future customers are often the ones that generate more sales.
6-Step Guide – How to Hire Sales Reps
By now, you’re probably eager to find out how to hire sales reps. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Here are six key steps to smash the hire of your next Sales Rep!
1. Understand Your Future Customer
Employer objective – Understand your prospects to find an SDR that speaks their language!
You want your new SDR to make a real impact on your future customers. To do this, you need to understand who your customer is, what makes them tick, and ultimately, how they like to be sold to.
Below are a few examples of the things you’ll need to know:
- Is your ideal customer a social media addict, or will they respond better to a polite phone call?
- What is your customer demographic? Think age, gender, hobbies, interests etc.
- When’s the best time to get in touch? Is it most appropriate to call within business hours, or out of hours?
The easiest way to do this is to speak to your existing customers. Not only will they give you the best insight into who they are, but they’ll also be pleased you’ve taken an interest and reached out!
2. Clean Up Your Sales Process
Employer objective – Identify skills gaps in your team that a new SDR can fill.
With your prospect’s needs understood, it’s time to get your own house in order.
You’ll want your new SDR to hit the ground running, so make your sales process as simple and effective as possible. This won’t just help your new SDR directly, it’ll make it much easier for the team to onboard them.
Also, having a review of your sales process can help you identify gaps in your team’s skills mix. You’ll then have a ready-made skills profile your SDR needs to fit to best complement the team.
3. Write a Concise Job Spec
Employer objective – Sell Yourself! Get your next SDR interested in what you do.
You should now have a good idea of the type of SDR you need for your business. Based on your future customer preferences and the gaps in your team, build out a job spec to attract your perfect SDR.
Remember to include details such as:
- Job overview
- Role expectations
- The critical skills needed for the job
- Any previous experience needed
Make it short and sweet. Remember, you need to showcase your business as exciting to future hires, so keep your job spec punchy and energetic.
4. Screen Candidates with a Skills Test
Employer objective – Find the best SDR’s on the market based on their skills, not their resumes.
Being a rockstar SDR isn’t about qualifications and years of experience. The best sales development reps have fantastic people skills and the competencies to hit their targets.
So, why bother with clunky resumes?
Start filtering out candidates with a bespoke skills test that’s tailored for your ideal recruit! In just two clicks, Toggl Hire allows you to choose from a database of over 5,000 questions (at the time of writing, possibly thousands more at the time of reading!) to create the perfect test for your candidates.
As SDR applications roll in, they’ll be automatically sorted on their performance, meaning you’ll have the best candidates at your fingertips ready to take forward to the next stage!
Like the sound of that? Check out this one minute video to see how it works.
5. Meet & Greet
Employer objective – Find an SDR that fits your business culture like a glove!
It’s time to meet your candidates to see how they’ll fit into your business culture. Remember, a completed skills test means you already know they can do the job, so make the interview about personality.
It’s time to find out what makes them tick, what they value, how they communicate, and where they see themselves in the future!
Naturally, at this stage, you’ll also need to iron out the formalities such as salary expectations, working hours, office location, and their available start date. It’s a necessary evil, but remember to keep it light-hearted and enjoyable for all involved.
6. Make the Hire
Employer objective – Get your next hire on board to start smashing those extra sales!
Now it’s decision time. You’ll have your ideal hire in mind, so it’s time to break the good news and begin getting them on board.
Whilst your process should have filtered out the rotten eggs, get a trial period set up to ensure the arrangement works for both parties. A period of onboarding, training and coaching should ensure your new hire fits into your business and begin bringing in the leads straight away.
A team of awesome Sales Development Representatives (SDR’s) can really take your business to a new level. Especially for those companies looking to grow, getting in front of new leads is essential to securing more sales. So, they need to know how to hire sales reps!
But, hiring SDR’s can be a tricky process as it’s the personal attributes and critical skills that count beyond words on a resume. Toggl Hire helps you seek out SDRs with the perfect skills and competencies needed for you and your team. No more clunky resumes. Instantly find out if a candidate can find you more leads and save time on your hiring process!
James Elliott is a Strategy Manager and Writer from London, UK. When not working on the day job, James writes on a variety of business and project management topics with a focus on content that enables readers to take action and improve their ways of working. You can check out James’ work on his website or by connecting on LinkedIn.