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December 17, 2019

3 Myths About Effectively Hiring SDRs

GUEST: Lisa Schnare, Director of Sales Development and Head of Halifax Operations at Influitive B2B_Revenue_Executive_Experience_-_Lisa_Schnare-02

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Hiring for SDRs that hold out for the long haul, can be a daunting task. Maybe you’ve had bad luck in the past or have seen colleagues struggle to fill SDR roles.

Even so, try not to feel discouraged if hiring SDRs is your responsibility. There are a few misconceptions that tend to sway our opinions about SDRs.

In this episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, I catch up with Lisa Schnare, Director of Sales Development and Head of Halifax Operations at Influitive (and former SDR).

Along with some really helpful hiring tips to keep in your back pocket, Lisa shares three major misconceptions about hiring and onboarding SDRs.

1. SDRs are only telemarketers

The misconception that SDRs are all telemarketers can lead qualified candidates to avoid job listings for SDR roles. While some SDR roles do take place in call centers, as experienced sales pros we know that there’s a need for SDR teams in all types of business settings.

The SDR role, in general, has a bad reputation.”

LISA SCHNARE, DIRECTOR OF SALES DEVELOPMENT AND HEAD OF HALIFAX OPERATIONS at Influitive


It’s true that one of the core responsibilities of an SDR is to perform outbound techniques such as cold calling. However, SDRs are able to use other channels to reach out to potential buyers as well.

SDRs + social media

Take social media for example. With the right training, SDRs should be able to effectively engage prospects through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social channels. Managers should be actively training reps on the manner in which to communicate with targeted audiences on social platforms.

SDRs + personal branding

Furthermore, SDRs shouldn’t feel limited to hiding behind the company’s social profiles. Reps should be encouraged and trained to shape their personal brands. By creating their own personal brands, reps are taking on the responsibility of representing the company. Not only can this accountability spread awareness for your business, but it will strengthen the rep’s feeling of ownership within the company.

SDRs + email prospecting

Email communication is another area in which SDRs need to be sufficiently prepared. Provide SDR team leaders with templates and any other needed information for outbound outreach, readily available for their reps.

All of the different facets of the job should be clearly noted in the job description so qualified candidates understand the responsibilities they have and see that there’s room to move up in your company.

Otherwise, plan on attracting candidates hoping to make some quick cash and split.

2. Properly onboarding SDRs is an unnecessary expense

Holding the misconception that properly onboarding SDRs is an unwarranted expense is setting your team up for failure right from the get-go.

Onboarding is a necessary investment

If your hiring efforts have proven effective, there’s no reason to not spend the necessary time and resources preparing your reps to succeed. Lisa emphasizes that proper onboarding of new SDRs is an investment to your revenue stream. Putting the time and budget into building up your SDR team will pay off in more ways than one.

In a perfect world, you’d be able to hire a rep and they’d have the job down in a day. In the real world, if you want someone to deliver results, you need to put in the time and equip them with the best tools for the job.

Have a template for every use case. Make it as plug-and-play as you can.”

LISA SCHNARE, DIRECTOR OF SALES DEVELOPMENT AND HEAD OF HALIFAX OPERATIONS at Influitive

The right tech stack streamlines onboarding

Lisa suggests that SDRs go through at least three months of training and onboarding before their first contact with a prospect.

Moreover, having an effective tech stack as Influitive has will make the onboarding process a snap. Implementing technology that enables your team will help your overall sales efforts substantially in all areas, not just onboarding.

The tech stack that Lisa and the team at Influitive use includes:

A robust tech stack will ultimately increase your ROI for onboarding.

3. New SDRs need a lot of experience

Many sales leaders believe that if they hire SDRs with years of experience it will offset the time and resources needed to train a less experienced SDR.

In Lisa’s case, she prefers hiring people right out of college with some sort of customer-facing job experience. This is due to the fact that Influitive values proper onboarding and training of SDRs. Luckily for Lisa, she can then focus on hiring new reps who demonstrate advanced soft skills and coachability.

Plus, her hiring technique has proven itself worthy of being repeated. In just one year, Lisa had a 100% turnover rate in her department due to internal promotions.

Not to mention, when you require a certain amount of experience in an SDR job listing, you’re instantly disqualifying candidates who might actually have what it takes to help your business grow.

Companies struggle with the amount of experience they feel an SDR needs.”

LISA SCHNARE, DIRECTOR OF SALES DEVELOPMENT AND HEAD OF HALIFAX OPERATIONS at Influitive


A few qualities Lisa looks for in SDR candidates:


  • The ability to “sell themselves” over the phone
  • Enthusiasm
  • Prior research on the company
  • Reasons why they think the company is a good fit for them
  • Competitive or ambitious about something in life (sports, music, reading, volunteering, etc.)
  • Posses ways to stay motivated in “the grind”
  • Examples of staying motivated after rejection

Lisa encourages companies that have the bandwidth to properly train an SDR to hire an individual based on their soft skills, not their experience. Because, unlike skills with technology, those are aptitudes that are nearly impossible to teach.


Effectively hiring SDRs

When you get down to it, effectively hiring for SDR roles takes thoughtful job descriptions, proper training processes, and an eye (or ear) for advanced soft skills.

Invest in your hiring and onboarding processes and see your SDR success rate surge.
 

This post is based on a podcast interview with Lisa Schnare, Director of Sales Development and Head of Halifax Operations at Influitive. To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe to the B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

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