Today’s modern reps move to new companies and roles every few years (or less). With this ever-shrinking sales talent lifecycle, enablement feels increased pressure to maximize productivity. That means finding better ways to focus and deliver readiness efforts (like training or coaching) when, where and how the sales force works.
Trying to hire SDRs? So is every other sales team.
Sales teams all face similar problems when recruiting SDRs: candidates have countless choices, and talent is in short supply. That’s why Trish Bertuzzi, president and chief strategist at The Bridge Group, insists that sales development managers must rethink their hiring strategies in order to succeed.
“That candidate has a million options. You’re not the only dog in the hunt,” Bertuzzi said at Inbound 2018. “You really have to be the prettiest girl at the dance.”
So how can sales organizations improve their ability to attract – and retain – sales development reps? Here are 3 SDR hiring tips Bertuzzi highlighted during her Inbound speaking session.
3 SDR Hiring Tips for Talent-Hungry Sales Teams
1. Master the ‘Role’ Elevator Pitch
With talent tough to come by, Bertuzzi emphasized the need for sales managers to be clear and compelling in how they position open SDR roles.
Sales teams should keep the candidates’ interests top of mind. Office perks such as beer kegs and pool tables no longer cut it, Bertuzzi said. Today’s prospective hires want to develop new skills, tackle new challenges and earn new titles – and your job descriptions should reflect that.
One way to refine your SDR elevator pitch is what Bertuzzi called the “mad libs” approach:
- This job is for _____ [your candidate profile]
- Who are looking to ______ [do what with their careers]
- Join us and _______ [The big, unique win]
“As the hiring manager, you’re being interviewed by the candidate,” she said. “When we go into the hiring mode, we forget that it’s a sales process in this candidates’ market. You need to be selling.”
2. Offer Micro-Promotions
Another effective way to “sell” your business to SDR candidates is by showing them their potential career path, Bertuzzi said.
SalesLoft, for example, offers tiered, skills-based micro-promotions ranging from an entry-level rep all the way up to “Senior SDR Executive.” Each position has its own base salary, quota, key objectives, profession skills attained and rewards eligibility. An “SDR 2” can attend tradeshows, while a “Senior SDR Captain” can train new hires and conduct interviews.
Giving SDRs a clear career path not only attracts them to your company initially, but also encourages them to stick around longer.
3. Streamline Your Hiring Process
Many SDR candidates check Glassdoor reviews to learn more about a company and its hiring process. Bertuzzi suggested sales teams review any comments to gauge how their hiring process could improve.
She added that traditional SDR hiring processes tend to be too cumbersome when companies need positions filled quickly – or need to pounce on a qualified candidate. Many sales teams can benefit from “leaning out” their approaches by shortening the amount of time between initial contact and making a formal offer.
Another key point is to invite candidates to shadow your SDRs on-site, whether that happens pre-offer or after you’ve made an offer. Bertuzzi said one Bridge Group client found that about 50% of candidates who shadowed other reps decided sales development wasn’t for them.
“The worst thing that can happen is you’ve hired someone out of college who thinks they want to be an SDR, you hire, and then they leave you. That’s a horrible waste of resources all-around,” Bertuzzi said.
Learn more about how better training, coaching and career pathing can improve SDR performance by downloading our exclusive brief.