September 1, 2021

How to Stand Out in the Hiring Market for Business (Sales) Development Representatives

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One of the biggest challenges across the board for our clients this year has been hiring good BDR/SDR talent, but why? Emily, Ryan, and Jack will take a look at some of the reasons this is a challenge, ways your organization can stand out to attract the top sales talent, and some strategies that companies have been implementing that have led to a high success rate. We will also define the role and function within the organization and what the day-to-day looks like for folks interested! The Sales Recruiting Team has successfully placed 48 BDR/SDR professionals in the past year and is happy to discuss in more detail how we can help your organization find great sales talent or help you start your professional sales career!


We can also share these results –>

  • Poll Results 
    • SaaS sales leaders (and internal recruiters): if you are hiring BDRs/SDRs, what previous experience do you require?
    • Prior BDR experience in SaaS
    • 25.5%
    • Any prior sales experience
    • 34.5% 
    • No prior experience
    • 40% 
Episode Transcript

So Jack’s going to join us from the sales practice. Em’s coworker, colleague and we’re going to talk about what the heck is going on in the BDR, SDR market. So everybody welcome Jack. Hey guys, good morning. Good morning. Oh, got a nice little cup of Joe with you right now? Of course. I love it. I love it. Cheers! My dog was on like a month and a half ago I think. He’s sleeping. Oh, we thought he was going to join you. This is the reason why we had you on the show.

 

You can’t come unless Bogey’s there. Bogey’s like your ticket. Should we just push the segment to next week? We got to rework nap times to revolve around this. So just think on that for next time. We’re so excited to have you on here. So we’re going to be chatting today. Ryan, you want to do a quick intro and then we’re just going to like dive right in.

 

I do. Absolutely. Well, Jack, you’re one of our lead recruiters on the sales practice and you obviously work with Em. And you two have mentioned offline to me that a lot’s going on in the BDR, SDR market and we’re starting to see that it’s kind of getting tough to hire for those positions. So for folks that maybe have no idea what BDR, SDR even means, because I don’t even know if I do, give us a little bit of insight.

 

What are BDRs, SDRs define that for us. Yeah. It’s your business development representative or sales development representative, and really think about it as the top of the sales funnel, right. So it’s really getting clients interested in the product that you’re selling. And it’s really establishing that

 

relationship and showing value in your solution or your company. And then it’s really having a quick discovery call. So 10, 15 minutes with a potential client or prospect to really get them interested and then handing that off to a senior sales executive to take the deal from kind of that initial stage through close.

 

So it’s really the face of the company. That’s your first interaction with someone at your organization to really attain that interest and get them the hook. It seems like a pretty important role. It definitely is. And if you have more questions about like what the role is, Jack and I did another talent insights about sales vocab and definitions. So we dive a lot deeper there.  Like he said, it’s top of funnel, first interaction. I think when a lot of people think of sales, they think of like cold calling. That a lot of the time will fall under the BDRs and the SDRs who are doing that initial kind of like cold outreach.

 

Perfect. So now we know what the heck BDRs and SDRs even do, but what are some of the challenges that you’re seeing across hiring for these skillsets? Great question. We’ve seen this, Emily and I, we’re at client calls all day long and it’s been probably the biggest challenge across the board with our clients and who gets challenged for us and finding good talent

 

because if you think about, you know, it’s a lot of folks they’re coming right from school, right? They’re transitioning into a software sales industry. And it’s not an easy job, right? They’re in it for a year or two years and they want to move into that next role. So it’s tough to hire folks that have that experience because they’re already established at their organization and they want to move into a closing role. They want to move into an account executive or an account management role where they’re taking on more of that business responsibility. They’re closing deals, they’re establishing and maintaining those relationships. So just finding folks with experience that want to move into that role is the biggest challenge.

 

Yeah. I think that when you’re talking about like when we’ve been chatting with clients, a lot of the times when clients are open to entry level talent, I’d say great. I know you and Matt Tokarz talked about this as being open to entry-level talent, being open to career pivoters because what we’re seeing a lot of right now is clients wanting BDRs and SDRs with a year or two of experience.

 

And that’s really where the challenge lies for us because like Jack said, BDRs, they want to be in this heavy, outbound, cold calling type of role for like one to two years and then either move up at their company to a closing role, an account executive role or move into an AE role somewhere else.

 

But it’s very, very rare that a BDR is going to look to make a lateral move from a BDR role at one organization to a BDR role at another organization. Makes a ton of sense. Even though you might have a small percentage of folks that are interested in moving into another BDR, SDR role at a different company, why are some of those opportunities enticing or exciting for them?

 

Why are they making a decision to make a lateral move as opposed to either staying where they’re at or taking some type of EA role at a different company? Sure. I mean, I think the biggest thing right now is just some companies are offering a hundred percent remote while some companies are requiring five days in the office and they want that flexibility, is number one.

 

And then it’s just industry innovation. If you’re doing something that’s really cutting edge and you want to get into that technology or industry, I think that’s number. And then I think number three is just career advancement. If they can go into a role and they know that within six months they can move into that next role, whether it be leadership, moving into kind of that full cycle role, career advancement would probably be number three.

 

Yeah. And I’d add number four would be, I don’t know if you mentioned this, but compensation. Straight up sometimes, you know, a lot of the- I’d say the market’s dictating right now around like 40 to 45 in a base 65 to 70 ish all in. Jack, would you agree with that? Yes. And so some companies, if they can offer BDRs and SDRs a lot more in terms of compensation, then I’d say that that’s something that somebody might make a more of a lateral move for in terms of title, but getting that bump in compensation.

 

Yeah, and it is such a small, I mean, difference that five to 10,000, but it’s more so that investment in your employees, right? If you’re willing to pay a little extra, you’re going to get the best talent and you’re going to be thankful that you did.  Great point, great point. So what are the companies that are hiring BDRs and SDRs, like over and over again?

 

What are they doing well right now? When it comes to hiring for those positions, what are some of the things that there may be offering that their competitors aren’t? Yeah, I think right off the bat, it’s the training and the investment in that first 60 to 90 days is crucial because a lot of folks come in with

 

limited experience and they want to feel that they’re invested in. They want to feel that they’re becoming a product expert in that first couple of months, right. So I think in the first 60 to 90 plus days is huge and the companies that we’ve seen the most successful are taking a huge investment, whether it be onboarding, whether it be shadowing with more tenured folks, that would be probably one of the biggest things.

 

Yeah, I would agree completely. And then I would also say just being very clear about path for advancement. I know Jack mentioned the advancement before, but it’s walking the walk also because entry-level folks can see when you’re hiring every single higher level role from the outside,

 

right. I think the training is huge. To train people from the bottom and that’s going to be beneficial to your employees, that’s going to be beneficial to your company also. If you’re investing from the bottom and really growing people from within, their loyalty to you is going to be greater, right?

 

Their knowledge of your offering is going to be incredible by the time they get to a certain point. So I would say on top of the training, just opportunities. Legit opportunities for an advancement, right? If you say like, “You’ll be in this role for  6 months to a year, not waiting until three years for the promotion.

 

Yeah, absolutely. Well, you two are obviously experts in this space and I appreciate all of the insights that you’ve shared so far. Any final thoughts or things that maybe employers need to think about or change their mindset on when it comes to the market right now? Yeah, I think just asking themselves a couple of questions, right?

 

Like why would someone want to come work for you and take the same role, right? You have to have two to three things that are really going to be exciting or appealing to folks that are going to be taking lateral moves. And really have a good answer to that question and be able to communicate that in an interview or communicate that kind of throughout the process.

 

I’d say also companies asking themselves what experience are we requiring for this role?  I think that that’s really big. So if you’re going to go out there and say like, “Hey, we need this BDR to have one to two years of BDR experience in a software as a service environment” ask yourself why? Do we need that as a requirement?

 

I’d say that that’d be just some food for thought. Yeah, great points. I think that’s really important in this environment for employers to think about like, is this a market problem or is this an us problem, right? We’re seeing that across recruiting positions as well. We’ve been talking about those all year long.

 

The market is just not going to keep coming up with talent and if you’re not able as an employer to adjust your perspective on things, your requirements, you’re still going to have a difficult  time finding talent, because we can’t just create these positions or skill sets out of thin air. So it’s about adjusting your thoughts to what the market is voting.

 

Absolutely. And like you said, the market’s crazy. We even took a look at some numbers and what is it like? We’ve placed like 50 BDRs, SDRs this year. Is that right Jack? This year plus. I’m not really good with our numbers and internal systems, but I had our expert Robyn, help me out. We had an expert. This week, so she got me some numbers and yeah, I mean it’s upwards of 48  that we’ve placed in the year plus.

 

So we definitely have a good understanding of the market and you know how to find this talent. So if there’s any companies that are out there that need some help or even just want to chat with Emily, myself, Ali, Louis or Caroline on the sales team, we’re happy to share some more insights and the kind of places that we can find some of these folks whether it’d be Victory Lap, Sales Assembly, right.

 

Re work. Yeah. They run these couple of week courses, as opposed to finding folks that have experience. There’s a lot of different routes and methods that  we can share. Incredible. Well, thank you both so much Jack. Loved having you on the show, even though you didn’t bring Bogey. That’s all right, we’ll forgive you. You still gave us good insights.

 

So we appreciate it.

 

I’ll hold a little bit of a grudge but- we’ll talk after this and we’ll have to adjust his napping schedule to factor it in. Appreciate you, yup. We’ll get a video of him in the next week.

 

All right Jack thanks for joining us. We’ll see you later. Bye. 

 

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