Hiring Great BDRs
Hiring the right employees is vital to your company’s success, and one role that’s particularly challenging to find the right “fit” for is a BDR.
BDRs, also known as Business Development Reps, are in charge of doing outbound prospecting to warm up leads and book demos for Account Executives. It’s a grinding, grueling job, but is also the way most people get themselves in the door at a company and start their career in sales.
In this role, reps spend the majority of their time on the phone talking to prospects and trying to get them interested in what they are selling. They need to be able to take a list of 100 people, call through it, do some research, follow-up on emails, and then do it all again. Day after day.
When hiring for a BDR, I look for three things: persistence, patience and playfulness.
Persistence Pays Off
They say it takes 8 – 12 attempts before even reaching a prospect. When you’re constantly calling without anyone answering the phone, or sending emails without anyone responding, it can be a complete energy suck. To succeed in a role like this, a person must have some internal drive and desire. They need to be able to persist even when they fail.
When screening someone for this trait, I look at their follow-up in applying for the job – did they use their network and follow-up after a phone screening? I also ask them questions to tell me about a time they fought hard for something or were up against what felt like insurmountable odds and they still persisted.
Patience is a Virtue
Another quality I look for when hiring a BDR is patience. They need to have the patience for a job that requires them to put in the time to build honest rapport with their prospects. This is especially true if your company is calling large organizations, which typically have lengthy sales cycle. Patience to find the right person – or people – to talk to, and then investing the time into building rapport.
There is a second reason that I think patience is a great virtue to have in this role. When you start an entry level sales role, there are a ton of things to learn: general sales skills, the ins and outs of the product you are selling, the tools your company uses internally, the specific ways you should reach out and follow up with prospects, and even how to work on a team. It’s important that a new hire is patient with themselves during the learning process to fully absorb it all.
Play Hard While You Work Hard
The third, and maybe the most important personality quality I look for when interviewing BDRs is a sense of lightheartedness and the ability to have fun at work. In another words, playfulness.
Let’s face it, being a salesperson is a tough job. And I’d argue that the outbound prospecting role of cold call after cold call is perhaps the toughest. If they’re going to be able to put up with the grind, then they need to be able to have fun at their jobs. For instance, after a bad call, I’d hope they would be able to look at some funny memes and laugh it off.
It’s also a great skill to be fun and playful in a creative way. If their prospect isn’t opening their emails, then maybe they’d try sending the opening of a joke as the subject line, and hope the recipient opens the email to read the punchline. Having a playful side can make you try new things and stand out amongst the million solicitations your prospects are bombarded with every day.
They always say, “work hard, play hard,” but I think you can both simultaneously and get better results. And this is something I look for in a new BDR!
And guess what? Spiro is hiring BDRs! Check out our careers page for details.
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