Aligning Expectations Around SDR Hiring Practices

April 20, 2021

The role & responsibility of the SDR has changed dramatically over the past few years.

Why? Because the ways in which prospects buy has changed.

The job is no longer ‘sit at a desk and make dials until you can’t anymore’ – there’s a nuance to it that wasn’t there even 5 years ago.

Buyers have changed the way they evaluate technology, and that means sellers (read: SDRs) need to change up the ways they interact with their prospects.

They’re guiding prospects to the right decision with data, storytelling, and subject matter expertise – not blasting lists with generic messaging.

Through all of this, there’s a group that’s had to change just as much as the SDR function – the people responsible for hiring them.

The role of the SDR has changed. What we expect from them has changed. And that means the typical process employed by hiring managers has changed.

We covered a lot of that 👆 in our event on aligning hiring expectations (snag the recording of that below). Keep reading for a sneak peek of the webinar content!

Aligning Expectations - LI Banner (1).png

Get Recording

We know that the job has changed. Spray and pray tactics don’t work anymore – buyers are deeper down the funnel than ever before, and that means your reps are having more meaningful conversations (and not just booking a meeting with anyone).

But a lot of teams still hire for the traits that embody the ‘spray and pray’ mentality – grit, resilience, and the ability to make 150 dials/day. And if you can survive the long hours, ‘bad egg’ prospects, and lack of autonomy, you’re worthy of making the jump to AE/sales rep.

We’re being told one thing and hiring for another.

Expectations from management & sales leadership don’t match up with the job descriptions and expectations from the hiring team.

How do we address this gap? And how can we start closing it?

Re-Evaluation of Skills & Traits

Instead of focusing purely on the traits of yesteryear, we need to reframe our focus to select for a more consultative rep. The skills that lend themselves to a classic cold-caller are very different from the rep who guides prospects down the funnel with relevant case studies, content creation, and good questions.

Hiring managers should be looking for traits like curiosity, active listening, and proactivity to better fit the mold of a modern SDR.

Restructuring the Interview Process

Teasing out those traits comes through a look at the current interview process. Questions are typically geared towards finding those reps who display grit, resilience, and a relentless attitude. Instead, they need to be focused on uncovering the new traits we’re looking for.

Questions that showcase a candidate’s curiosity, creativity, problem-solving, and confidence will better suit the modern version of an SDR.

Re-Building Support

We know the role of the SDR is more complicated than ever before, but a lot of teams are up for the challenge. There are streamlined recruiting, training, and onboarding processes out there to emulate. There are mentor/mentee programs to help speed up development. There are communities dedicated to better developing and ramping SDRs.

Knowing how to either build those programs or leverage them during your SDR ramp will help start closing that gap.

All of that is just the beginning – we tackle the framework of hiring as we know it during our panel discussion.

Our guests, Sean Harrison & Ben Stephenson, paint a picture of how they shifted their processes, used those changes to build teams, and how you can start doing this at your company.

And hey, this event isn’t just for hiring managers out there. If you’re looking to land an SDR job or break into tech sales, consider this event a blueprint. You’ll learn the skills recruiting & hiring managers look for, the questions they ask, the programs they work with, the communities they lean on, and (generally) what they expect from a new hire. Talk about a leg up on the field!

You can grab the recording here.

aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
Follow on LinkedIn

Let’s talk about your path to success

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.