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How TinderBox Finds Standout SDRs

by Trish Bertuzzi on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Our guest author today is Phil Keene, Manager of Sales Development at TinderBox. He joins us for the latest installment of the Sales Development Practioner Series.

phill_keenePeople are undoubtedly the most valuable asset of any organization. As more and more companies are investing in sales development groups, they're realizing that finding high quality Sales Development Reps (SDRs) is not easy.

Here are 3 big takeaways that will help you find your next standout SDR.

1. Always be looking

To find the best candidates, don’t stop interviewing - even when there isn’t a hiring class or open req. I've made it a point to do a phone interview every single day. If possible, I try to bring in a candidate for a face-to-face interview at least once a week.

I also take a ton of coffee meetings with reps and managers that want career advice. This form of networking allows me to recognize the best talent out there. I can identify those who will find the best leads, outperform their peers, and potentially have the ability to lead my organization.

2. Know what you want

Be clear on the “what I need now and what I will need in the future” question. Some companies hire and train SDRs to serve as bullpen for the sales team tomorrow. Some hire solely for sales pipeline generation today. Neither is wrong, but you need to choose what is most important for the point in time when you're hiring.

My hiring tends to fall on the side of building a “bullpen.” I want a deep talent pool to draw from when promoting into a closing role. It forces me to think about if a candidate has the potential to grow into a successful Sales Executive.

New hires must also be a cultural fit. Take the time to determine which personality traits work best with your team members and what characteristics are necessary to be successful in the role. Some of the best practices that I have found is to hire people that are analytical, confident, and self-enabled. This job isn’t easy and it takes some deep thinking and internal grittiness. Make sure to hire SDRs that have what it takes.

3. Don’t settle

Don’t make a hire because you feel pressure to fill a seat. This will burn you in the long run (probably even the in the short run). If necessary, slow down the process to find the “standouts.” In the interview process, I focus on a candidate’s ability to articulate previous successes - personally and professionally. Hiring someone that has trouble articulating successes in their personal life or their previous role is a red flag.

After conducting thousands of interviews throughout my career, I've learned that one of the most important questions is one I ask myself.  "Am I confident this person possesses those qualities and skills that I am looking for?” If the answer is anything other than "yes!",“ I go back to the drawing board.

The SDR role is one of the most difficult roles to fill.

I've made my share of mistakes, but by sticking to the process outlined above, I know I'm on my way to hiring the right talent to build bigger pipelines and generate more revenue.

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