How to Hire a Sales Development Rep | A Comprehensive Guide

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how to hire a sales development rep

Bringing on a talented sales development rep (SDR) is crucial for driving growth through effective lead generation and qualification. However, finding the right person for the role is easier said than done. We will walk you through best practices for sourcing, vetting, and hiring SDR superstars. Here is a comprehensive on how to hire a sales development rep:

How to Hire a Sales Development Rep?

The Role of Sales Development Representative

Before kicking off your search, clarify what the SDR role entails at your company. This will help you articulate the proper job postings and assessment requirements. Some typical SDR responsibilities include:

  • Prospecting into target accounts/markets through cold calls, emails, social media
  • Qualifying marketing-generated leads to identify sales-ready opportunities
  • Managing and continually updating lead/prospect information in your CRM
  • Collaborating with account executives to drive opportunities through the sales cycle
  • Meeting or exceeding benchmarks for activities, connections, pipeline contribution

You’ll want to enumerate the specific expectations, tech stack utilised, sales process, and performance metrics. This clarity upfront pays dividends.

Why Should You Hire a Sales Development Rep?

At their core, SDRs are laser-focused on one critical mission—identifying and qualifying prospective customers to pass along to your closers. By systematically working target accounts, they uncover sales-ready opportunities far more efficiently than traditional account executives prospecting alone.

Additionally, this strategic specialisation translates into accelerated sales velocity and a healthier business revenue pipeline. Research shows that companies implementing an SDR team see over 20% higher lead qualification rates and decreased ramp time for new sales hires.

What do SDRs Provide?

In addition to that productivity boost, SDRs provide valuable market intelligence from their frontline interactions with prospects. This insight enables more competent territory management, focused solution development, and staying one step ahead of competitors.

While the core SDR responsibilities are lead qualification and prospecting, their precise duties and requirements can differ based on an organisation’s needs and sales model. 

Types of Sales Development Reps

hiring a sales development rep

Inside Sales Development Reps

Inside SDRs are based internally and leverage phone, email, social media and marketing campaigns to identify leads. Moreover, they may feed opportunities to field sales teams or remotely conduct the entire sales cycle for smaller deals.

Business Development Reps

BDRs operate similarly to traditional SDRs but often focus on generating new business opportunities. Also, they focus on high-value accounts and strategic clients. Responsibilities span prospecting, qualifying, and helping shape solutions.

Market/Territory Development Reps

These SDRs concentrate their efforts on a specific market, territory or Vertical. Also, their deep specialisation and expertise in that Domain help maximise penetration.

Inbound Lead Qualifiers

Inbound Lead Qualifiers are for companies with heavy inbound marketing traffic. Moreover, it’s for businesses with staff exclusively focussed on assessing and prioritising marketing-generated leads. Then, they pass these data to sales.

Closers gain the bandwidth to shine at their best—developing relationships, delivering standout value, and guiding prospects to close. Hence, that potent combination can be a real force multiplier for any sales organisation.

Writing the Job Description for Hiring a Sales Development Rep

Here’s a guide to writing a compelling job description for hiring a Sales Development Representative (SDR):

1. Captivating Title & Company Introduction

  • Title: Craft a clear and exciting title like “Sales Development Rockstar” or “Lead Generation Machine” to grab attention.
  • Company Introduction: Briefly highlight your company’s mission, values, and what makes it a great workplace.

2. Responsibilities & Duties

  • Outline the core tasks of the SDR role, including prospecting, lead qualification, generating appointments, and data entry.
  • Emphasise the SDR’s role within the sales team, highlighting how their work contributes to the bigger picture.

3.  Skills & Qualifications

  • List essential skills like communication, prospecting, time management, and CRM proficiency.
  • Mention desired qualities like coachability, resilience, and a drive to succeed.
  • Consider specifying your preferred educational background or relevant sales experience.

4.  Compensation & Benefits

  • Clearly state the salary range or mention a competitive compensation package.
  • Outline benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or commission structures (if applicable).

5.  Company Culture

  • Showcase your work environment and company culture.
  • Highlight perks, team dynamics, and opportunities for growth within the organisation.

Here’s an example incorporating these elements:

Title: Sales Development Rockstar

About Us:

[Company Name] is a fast-growing [industry] company revolutionising [what you do]. We’re a passionate team driven by innovation and committed to making a difference.

What You’ll Do:

  • Be a prospecting powerhouse, identifying and qualifying high-potential leads.
  • Craft compelling outreach campaigns to generate leads and excitement for our products.
  • Champion our CRM system, ensuring accurate data entry and insightful reporting.
  • Partner with the Sales Team to schedule demos and qualify leads for conversion.

You’re a Perfect Fit If You:

  • Have a silver tongue and can captivate prospects with clear, concise communication.
  • Are a born go-getter, thriving in a fast-paced environment.
  • Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and possess ninja-like prospecting skills.
  • Embrace data and become a master of our CRM system.
  • Are coachable, hungry to learn, and possess an unwavering drive to succeed.
  • (Optional: Add preferred qualifications like a Bachelor’s degree or one year of sales experience)

We Offer:

  • A competitive salary and commission structure (if applicable).
  • Comprehensive health insurance, paid time off, and other unique benefits.
  • A dynamic and supportive work environment where your contributions are valued.
  • Opportunities for professional growth and development within a thriving company.

Ready to Join Our Rockstar Sales Team?

Apply Now!

Pro Tip:

  • Use strong action verbs and positive language throughout the description.
  • Quantify achievements whenever possible (e.g., “generate 20 qualified leads per week”).
  • Tailor the description of your company culture and target audience.
  • Include a clear call to action to encourage applications.

The Prerequisite Skills of a Sales Development Rep

sales development rep
  • Communication and interpersonal abilities through mock calls and presentations
  • Writing skills via email, social media and messaging scenario exercises
  • Tech/data savviness getting prospects into your CRM and tools
  • Sales acumen by handling real-world qualification scenarios
  • Cultural fit through peer interviews and personality assessments
  • Motivation, ambition and grit via targeted interview questions
  • Any required experience, certifications, or language skills

Communication Skills:

  • Clear and concise written and verbal communication: SDRs must be articulate and persuasive in emails and on calls.
  • Active listening: They should be adept at genuinely understanding a prospect’s needs and challenges.
  • Customisation: Tailoring outreach and communication to resonate with each prospect.

Prospecting and Research:

  • Identifying ideal customers: Understanding who the right fit is for the product or service.
  • Research skills: Being able to gather relevant information about potential clients.

Organisation and Process:

  • Time management: SDRs juggle many tasks and must manage their time efficiently.
  • Strong follow-up: Persistence is critical in sales, and SDRs must follow up with leads well.
  • CRM proficiency: Familiarity with Customer Relationship Management software to keep track of interactions and progress.

Additional Skills:

  • Tech Savvy: Comfort with various sales and outreach tools.
  • Social media savvy: Understanding how to leverage social media for prospecting and building relationships.
  • Coachability and Desire to Learn: The sales landscape constantly evolves, so a willingness to learn and adapt is essential.
  • Resilience: Being able to handle rejection and keep a positive attitude.
  • Empathy: Understanding the prospect’s perspective to build rapport and trust.

Throughout this vetting process, you will be evaluated for key traits such as resilience, intellectual curiosity, and a drive to improve continually as an SDR.

Moreover, you can also incorporate skills tests, case studies, and assignments to gain deeper insights. For example, candidates can be contacted in a mock territory to demonstrate their full SDR capabilities. Top performers will knock your socks off.

Average Salary of a Sales Development Rep in the US

Only a few universally agreed-upon average salaries for Sales Development Representatives in the US exist. Here’s a breakdown from a few reliable sources to give you a good picture:

Total Pay Range$64K – $96K/yr
Base Pay$46K – $62K/yr
Additional Pay$18K – $34K/yr

A realistic range for the average US Sales Development Rep’s salary is around $50,000 to $60,000 annually.  Remember, this can be significantly affected by experience, location, industry, and company size.

Average Salary of a Sales Development Rep in the UK

The average salary for a Sales Development Representative (SDR) in the UK is between £30,000 and £35,000 per year. Here’s a breakdown from various sources:

Total Pay Range£33K – £57K/yr
Base Pay£27K – £37K/yr
Additional Pay£6K – £20K/yr

Additional factors to consider:

  • Salary can vary based on location, with major cities like London typically offering higher wages.
  • Industry also plays a role, with some sectors offering more than others.
  • Benefits packages can add to the total compensation.

You can explore job postings on platforms like Indeed or Glassdoor filtering by location. Also, you can filter experience level, and get a more specific idea of SDR salaries.

how to hire a sales development rep

Where to Find Sales Development Reps?

There are several avenues you can explore to find talented Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) for your team:

Online Job Boards:

  • General Job Boards: Indeed, Glassdoor or Monster can be good starting points for many candidates. You can then filter by location, experience level, and desired skills.
  • Sales-Specific Job Boards: Sales Hacker, Sales Talent Agency, or RepHunter cater specifically to sales professionals, increasing the chances of finding qualified SDRs.
  • LinkedIn Jobs: Leverage LinkedIn’s vast professional network to search for SDRs with relevant experience and skills. You can target specific profiles based on keywords, companies, or groups.

Professional Recruiters:

  • Sales Recruiters: Partnering with recruiters specialising in sales roles can save you time and effort. Additionally, they have established networks and expertise in finding top SDR talent.
  • Temp and Staffing Agencies: Temporary agencies can be a good option for short-term needs or for filling vacant positions quickly. Moreover, they often pre-screen candidates for basic qualifications.

Employee Referrals:

  • Current Sales Team: Encourage your existing sales reps to recommend high-performing SDRs they may know from their network.
  • Company-Wide Referral Program: Offer incentives to employees for referring qualified candidates, expanding your recruiting reach through your existing workforce.

SDR Training Programs:

  • Sales Development Programs: Consider SDR training program graduates. These programs equip candidates with the necessary skills and knowledge to hit the ground running.
  • Universities and Colleges: Target universities or colleges with solid business or marketing programs. You could attend career fairs or partner with them for internship opportunities.

Social Media:

  • LinkedIn Groups: Engage with Sales Development Rep groups on LinkedIn. Then, connect with potential candidates and assess their skills and experience.
  • Industry-Specific Platforms: Look for relevant groups or forums on platforms like Twitter or Facebook. Then, connect with SDRs in your specific industry.

Sales Rep Outsourcing:

  • Sales Outsourcing Companies: This option allows you to access a pool of experienced SDRs without the burden of recruiting, onboarding, and managing them in-house.

The best approach depends on your specific needs, budget, and timeframe. Consider combining these tactics to maximise your chances of finding the ideal SDRs for your team.

Closing & Onboarding

Once you’ve landed on that perfect SDR hire, sell them on joining with a compelling offer package, a career development plan, and your company’s compelling vision. Then, negotiate any terms firmly yet amenably.

Next, after they accept, integrate new hires swiftly into your sales development program. Then, pair them with high-performing mentors, get their tools/tech provisioned, and provide robust training and ramp-up resources. After, clear expectations, hands-on guidance, and celebrating early wins can accelerate their productivity.

Sourcing, vetting, hiring and onboarding SDRs is both an art and a science. Stick to this comprehensive, rigorous process, and you’ll staff up a sales development team that consistently crushes their numbers and propels your organisation’s growth initiatives.

Unlocking the Ideal SDR with Serand

Comprehensive Candidate Profiling:  “Serand doesn’t simply check skills off a list. Our assessments generate in-depth personality profiles, measuring integrity, attention to detail, and adaptability. This provides insights no traditional interview can match.”

Situational Judgement for Real-World Success: “Technical knowledge is only part of the equation. Serand’s job-specific situational judgement questions put candidates into realistic accounting scenarios. Their responses reveal how they think, prioritise, and handle challenges – critical for long-term success.”

Cutting Through Social Desirability Bias:  “Serand’s assessments incorporate subtle measures of social desirability, helping pinpoint genuinely trustworthy and ethical candidates. This adds a layer of security to your hiring process, vital when handling sensitive financial data.”

Identifying Hidden Potential: Serand’s personality profiling might uncover high-potential candidates whose resumes must reflect their full capabilities.

Beyond the Resume: Assessments reveal candidates’ thinking under pressure, communication style, and ethical compass, intangibles that are impossible to gauge from a resume alone.

Ready to find accountants with not just the right skills but the right mindset? Discover how Serand’s assessments unlock a deeper understanding of candidates. Contact Us!

hiring a SDR

How to Hire a Sales Development Rep FAQs

What is the hiring process for SDR?

Steps on How to Hire a Sales Development Rep
  • First, create a Job Description & Posting
  • Second, Conduct Sourcing Candidates
  • Third, Execute Screening & Assessments
  • Then, Conduct Interviews
  • After, Do Reference/Background Checks
  • Call for a Final Interview
  • Then, Job Offer & Negotiations
  • Lastly, Onboarding

What does a sales development representative do?

  • Conducting outbound prospecting such as cold calling, emailing, and social media outreach. It helps them identify potential customers.
  • Qualifying inbound marketing leads by gauging their needs and sales-readiness
  • Researching target accounts and contacts to personalise their outreach better
  • Logging all prospect/customer interactions and information in the CRM system
  • Collaborating with account executives to pass along qualified, sales-ready opportunities
  • Meeting and exceeding key performance metrics related to pipeline contribution

What makes a successful sales development representative?

  • Strong prospecting skills – Ability to efficiently conduct outbound activities such as cold calling, emailing, social outreach to connect with potential buyers.
  • Excellent communication skills—I can clearly articulate the product/service value, handle objections, and build rapport over the phone or email.
  • Resilience and grit – Persistence in the face of rejection and maintaining a thick skin.
  • Intellectual curiosity – Eager to constantly learn about prospects’ businesses/industries.
  • Tech savviness – Comfortable using CRM and sales tools and leveraging data.
  • Goal orientation – Driven to hit and exceed activity metrics and pipeline targets.
  • Coachability – Open to feedback and honing skills through training and mentorship.
  • Fast learner – Ability to quickly ramp up on products, sales processes, and talk tracks.
  • Time management – Juggling multiple tasks/priorities while prospecting efficiently.

How do you attract good salespeople?

  • Lead With Competitive Compensation
  • Sell The Career Growth Opportunities
  • Emphasise Your Sales Culture
  • Leverage Employee Referrals
  • Promote Your Product/Service Differentiators
  • Target New Graduates
  • Optimise Your Employer Brand
  • Craft Compelling Job Descriptions