If you’re finding it difficult to put together a stellar sales development team, you’re not alone. In fact, recent research found that nearly 1/3 of sales leaders list hiring successful SDRs as one of their biggest challenges. But considering the fact that, on average, SDRs are responsible for sourcing upwards of 45% of a company’s revenues, it’s clear that recruiting a capable SDR team is essential to the long-term success of your business.
So, what’s the secret? Well, it starts with these three important rules.
Always look for the right characteristics.
Considering that the average time it takes to onboard an SDR is just under four months, it’s imperative that you look for candidates that already possess a number of key skills and characteristics that are indicators of success in the SDR role. This will enable you to optimize training and onboarding to focus more on getting your reps up to speed on your company culture and internal sales policies rather than educating them on the basics.
Some of the most critical characteristics to recruit for include:
- Organization Skills
- Willingness to Learn
- Team Player
You may choose to add more skills to your “must-have” list, but these should provide a good starting point.
Develop and implement a scorecard.
Perhaps no one phrased it better than Mark Roberge, SVP of Sales of Hubspot and author of the book The Sales Acceleration Formula when he said: “The best way to develop a predictable hiring process is by hiring everyone the same way.”
Using a scorecard will enable you to ensure that every candidate is asked the same questions and numerically evaluated against the same criteria. This is especially effective for hiring managers who find it difficult to decide whether a so-so candidate is worth pursuing or should be eliminated. Feelings and emotions can be tricky, but numbers don’t lie.
There’s no perfect way to develop a scorecard, but to get you started, try listing out the following things in a spreadsheet:
- Column 1 – List all critical characteristics from the previous paragraph
- Column 2 – List the question(s) you’ll ask to help you identify and score each trait
- Column 3 – Score the candidate’s answers on a scale of 1-10
- Column 4 – Rate the importance of each characteristic on a scale of 1-10
- Column 5 – Calculate the weighted score (number in column 3 divided by number in column 4)
- Column 6 – Calculate the maximum score (number in column 4 multiplied by 10)
To determine each candidate’s final score, simply divide the sum of the weighted score by the maximum score. You can then use these scores to pinpoint the best candidates for the job and weed out those who aren’t worth pursuing.
Hire to match your needs and goals.
Determining your need for SDRs will depend on a number of factors, including the volume of inbound leads you’re currently gathering as well as the complexity of the sales cycle. The more leads you have, the more pressure there is on your closers, which means they’ll need more support from their SDRs. Likewise, the greater the number of “touches” it takes to close a deal, the greater the ratio of SDRs to closers should be.
Another way to gauge need when recruiting SDRs is to evaluate your target market and your long-term revenue goals. Determining how many accounts you’d like to pursue and how many subsequent touches it will take to convert those leads over a certain time period, as well as understanding what revenue targets you want to achieve in the near to distant future should help you figure out how many reps will be needed.
Hiring SDRs is no easy task, but by implementing the three steps listed above, you’ll save time and improve the success rate of your recruiting efforts.
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