To ensure consistent B2B growth, your company should establish a steady stream of leads entering your sales pipeline and their further qualification. A person in charge of these tasks is known as a Sales Development Representative (SDR)—the one the sales outreach success solely depends on.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about attracting a qualified SDR to your team and how Snov.io can help you in this….sometimes rather tricky… process.
What is an SDR?
A Sales Development Representative (SDR) is a professional in your team responsible for sales prospecting and qualification of fresh leads. An SDR should conduct a thorough research about potential prospects, initiate communication with them in the early stages of a sales funnel, identify their buying intent, and prepare them for further conversation with a sales team.
I don’t want to upset you, but an SDR is one of the most challenging roles to hire a specialist for.
As a rule, people work for about 1-2 years in this position and get promoted. This is why finding talent with enough experience wanting to continue working as an SDR in another team can become quite a puzzle.
The truth is, if you know the SDR’s habitats, this task becomes a bit easier. Let’s discuss the places where you can try looking for candidates.
Where to find an SDR for your team?
To find an SDR for your company, you can go two ways: inbound and outbound. Just like with prospecting.
The inbound hiring process presupposes that you’ll place a job description on job sites or your website so that interested candidates can contact you and send their CVs.
However, if your aim is to get a professional with the right skills for the position, relying only on the inbound hiring method is not an option. Hiring a qualified professional is a real battle you should be well prepared for. And this is what outbound hiring is all about.
There are a variety of places where you can find the best-fit SDR for your sales team:
- Job sites. Just like with inbound hiring, you should use special websites for hunting an SDR. This time, however, you’ll be looking through the CVs of potential candidates and picking those who fit your ideal profile. I recommend relying on such websites as SalesJobs, Rainmakers, SalesTax, Glassdoor, and Indeed.
- LinkedIn. This network has extraordinary power when it comes to recruiting. On LinkedIn, you can connect to SDRs worldwide, search for candidates that match your requirements and reach out to them directly through InMails.
- Sales communities. There are dozens of online hubs where SDRs hang out and exchange experiences, such as SDR Nation, Sales Hacker, and RevGenious, making these platforms the right place to headhunt for these professionals.
- Your sales team. Don’t miss a chance to ask your colleagues if they know any SDR that can be a good fit for the opening. Your sales team members are already familiar with your product and the specifics of working in your company, so they might better understand who among their acquaintances will best meet the requirements.
- Sales events. Sales conferences, summits, and other sales-related events are other gatherings of people who can suit the position of an SDR for your company. They offer great opportunities for presenting your company and attracting the best SDRs to your team, of course.
How to hire an SDR step by step?
In this chapter, we’ll focus on the outbound way of hiring an SDR, splitting the process into 6 steps – from looking for the talent to the interview stage. Let’s go!
Step 1. Define the ideal candidate
Before starting your search, you should first have a clear understanding of who your ideal candidate is. Otherwise, you may risk wasting lots of resources (both time and money) on the wrong people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The challenge in hiring an SDR is that it is commonly an entry-level position, so you can hardly rely on the candidate’s experience. Nevertheless, you can focus on the traits the ideal SDR should have to succeed in the role.
Of course, you better understand what SDR qualities matter for your business. I’ll share the basic recommendations for those readers who only step onto the SDR recruiting path:
- Strong communication skills. Mastering the art of words and having the power of persuasion is crucial for any sales professional. A good SDR should be great in both verbal and written communication, as one of their prior roles will be engagement with prospects.
- Confidence and optimism. Look for a person who won’t give up after the chain of ‘No’s’ from a prospect. Neither should they lose optimism if they can’t win their first deal. Your candidate must be ready to work under pressure and rise like a phoenix each time the deal doesn’t go even.
- Self-discipline. A position of an SDR presupposes multitasking. Find a person who can handle the non-stop wheel of tasks (looking for prospects, managing them in a pipeline, doing cold outreach, etc.) on their own, without the constant supervision of a manager.
- Curiosity. Your SDR should always be interested in finding out more about a prospect. This ensures they’ll always do the research well, and building rapport with potential customers won’t be a problem.
- Drive. Look for an ambitious person who always strives for more, so making another phone call or sending a follow-up email will be their inner necessity, called by the desire to achieve better results.
- Commitment. You should hire someone who will be in love with the sales career. Sales is not an industry where everyone can achieve great results. Only devoted SDRs will be able to bring you success. Seek people who understand their part and know their future will inevitably be connected to sales.
- Willingness to learn. Your best candidate should be a person who is always open to learning something new within the sales craft. They should be ready to accept feedback, admit their mistakes, and be willing to improve their skills constantly.
Step 2. Write an effective job description
To attract the candidate to the position of an SDR, compose a job description that would be both clear and non-boring to read. And yes, it should clarify the main points of the ideal candidate profile.
Ensure your SDR job description contains:
- Title. Make it precise and short.
- Job summary. In this section, you should not only describe the role but also do your best to present your company in the most compelling way.
- Responsibilities. State what you expect your SDR to do.
- Required skills and qualifications. In this section, list what experience and certifications you want your SDR to have.
- Bonuses. Add this piece to cover the special perks your company offers to its employees.
- Salary (optional). Not many companies share this information in the job description. But if I were you, I would be open about it. At least you can state your salary policy.
Take a look at the SDR job description template example I’ve found on Glassdoor:
Step 3. Сollect email addresses of SDRs
LinkedIn looks most convenient when finding candidates as it offers possibilities for direct outreach. But there are two main challenges you’ll most likely face when looking for SDRs through this platform:
- LinkedIn is now limiting the number of connections and InMails, exceeding which can result in you being temporarily blocked by the network.
- If you want to reach the candidates in bulk, with LinkedIn, it can be rather tiresome, if not unproductive.
Luckily, there is a wonderful alternative for you—you can collect candidates’ email addresses and reach out to them via personalized emails.
Snov.io lets you find email addresses on LinkedIn and other web sources in several clicks. Let’s consider both options.
Collecting email addresses on LinkedIn
With the Snov.io LI Prospect Finder extension, you can collect a list of pre-verified prospects on both free and premium LinkedIn accounts. The tool will find emails on the following pages:
Search results page
To search for a position, content, or specific people, launch the Snov.io extension by clicking the icon in the upper right corner, find the necessary emails, and add them to your candidate list.
Person’s profile page
Go to a candidate’s LinkedIn profile, find their email with the Snov.io extension, and save it to the list of candidates.
Company’s profile page
Go to the companies search page, select the organizations you are interested in, activate the Snov.io extension, and save them to your list. Open your prospects list, select the email addresses of the SDRs you are interested in, and add them to your candidate list.
Collecting email addresses from other web sources
As I’ve said before, with Snov.io, you can find emails of potential candidates on any company website, not only on LinkedIn. All you need to do is to download the Snov.io Email Finder Chrome extension and launch it whenever you are on a website where you want to find SDRs.
Select the emails you need and save them to your contact list.
You can also use Snov.io Boolean search to look through huge databases and find the right candidates. Boolean search allows you to exclude or include some search results and even save search parameters for future lookups.
Moreover, Snov.io can help you find SDRs based on your industry and location. Just run the Company profile search, choose the industry and the country, and the tool will generate a list of companies where you can find potential candidates:
Click the company you are interested in and find the SDR among the contact list:
Tip from Snov.io: After finding emails, don’t forget to verify them. You can do it on the go individually or in bulk with Snov.io Email Verifier.
Step 4. Reach out to SDRs via email
Okay, you’ve found the potential candidates for the SDR position. Now it’s time to reach out to them. Let’s discuss creating a sparkling email outreach message for your SDR hiring campaign.
How to craft an SDR hiring email message
While composing your email message, keep in mind the following tips:
- Elaborate on a smart email structure
Ensure your email has an appropriate introduction where you explain who you are, what your company is doing, and why you’re contacting a person; the main body where you describe the position and explain why you think it suits the candidate; and the ending, where you put your call to action and share the links to your company-related web pages.
- Demonstrate you’ve done the research
Show the candidate you’ve prepared for the outreach and learned about their experience, skills, and achievements, so they feel your company values them among other talents.
- Focus on your candidate’s interests, not yours
To sell the position to the candidate, you should attach it to their interests and aspirations. Don’t talk too much about your company. Concentrate on how much the candidate can gain as soon as they become your SDR.
- Leave a clear call to action
Ensure your candidate understands the next steps. For this, crown your message with a clear call to action, e.g., invite them for a 15-minute call, ask them to let you know if they are interested in the role, etc.
Let’s take a look at the SDR hiring email templates with all the tips mentioned above considered:
My name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m an HR in [YOUR COMPANY]. Currently, our company is looking for a new Sales Development Representative, and I’m contacting you in case you might be interested in the position.
I saw your LinkedIn profile and noticed you’re proficient in [SKILLS] and have experience in sales. This is exactly what [YOUR COMPANY] needs—a person who will be able to professionally communicate the value of our solution to the potential customer. I firmly believe that your knowledge and experience may become the best finding for our team.
More about [YOUR COMPANY]: [YOUR COMPANY SHORT DESCRIPTION].
What we offer:
[YOUR SHORT JOB OFFER].
Here’s the full position description: [JOB LINK].
Can we schedule a brief call to discuss our offer, so I can answer all your questions? Please, let me know if you are interested in the position and state when the best time to discuss the details is.
Hope to talk to you soon!
[YOUR NAME], [YOUR JOB TITLE] at [YOUR COMPANY]
What I like about this SDR hiring email template is that it is well-structured, highly personalized, and focused on the candidate. Much attention is paid to the candidate’s skills, experience, and the benefits they might get from this role. At the same time, the information about the company itself is presented in a modest way.
Feel free to use other HR email templates in the Snov.io database to craft your own SDR hiring email campaign.
How to create an SDR hiring email message with Snov.io
Snov.io Email Drip Campaigns allow you to create personalized email messages by adding custom variables to the subject line and message body, playing with fonts, adding trackable links, attaching files, testing your email before sending, and saving your messages as templates.
You just need to drag and drop the email element to the campaign creation field and type in your email content choosing the corresponding email variables.
You can also connect Snov.io with Calendly and insert the link to the interview with the candidate right into the message:
After you’re through with the email message, choose the list of candidates to whom your email message should be sent:
Finally, choose the sending options (your sender account and tracking settings):
Now your email campaign is ready to be sent to the potential SDR 🙂 Easy, isn’t it?
Step 5. Follow up
If you’re hunting for an exceptional candidate (who doesn’t?), you should be prepared to email them again in case your initial message got no response. A good specialist is difficult to find, so don’t let one slip away! Follow up with the candidate to increase your chances of getting the needed talent.
Here is a follow-up template you can use for your SDR hiring campaign:
How are you doing? I sent you a job proposal email several days ago but haven’t received a response from you. I still consider you the best fit for the Sales Development Representative position at [YOUR COMPANY].
We can discuss the position at any time you find most convenient. I’ll share what may really interest you. I promise it will take no longer than 15 minutes.
When’s the best time for a call?
[YOUR NAME], [YOUR JOB TITLE] at [YOUR COMPANY]
With Snov.io Email Drip Campaigns, you can program follow-up emails to automatically send them to the candidate if they don’t respond to your first email. You’ll just schedule them, and the process will run on its own.
Step 6. Prepare for the interview
Now that you’ve agreed to meet with the candidate at the interview, the last step remains – preparation.
First of all, you should conduct HR screening. That’s the practice of HR making a brief call with the candidate who seems to meet your requirements to make sure they fit your ideal candidate profile and can proceed to have an interview with the team lead.
Second, prepare the interview questions that will better reveal the talent from the point of their hard and soft skills. Here are five questions you can ask a potential SDR:
- Why are you interested in sales?
- What’s the most complicated part about working in sales?
- Tell us more about your previous sales experience and results.
- What sales tools have you used/prefer to use?
- What challenges have you recently faced, and how have you overcome them?
In addition, you can make up a practical task for the candidate; for instance, you can model a situation when a potential customer rejects the offering and ask the would-be SDR to react to it in a professional manner. This activity will help you understand how strong a candidate is in overcoming sales objections.
Note: Always provide feedback to every candidate after the interview as well as some recommendations on how to improve their skills. If you find out that a candidate has got strong knowledge and skills but doesn’t fit your team because of other factors (e.g., company policy/mode of cooperation), you may refer them to another company within your industry or network. This will help you maintain a good company image.
Hiring an SDR is not easy as this position is too short-stay to catch an experienced talent. In this post, I broke down the process of hiring the SDR into steps so you could have a clear plan of action for your SDR recruiting strategy.
And remember that Snov.io is always here to help you with SDR recruiting automation, from candidate lookup to the interview scheduling stage. I wish you good luck finding a specialist who’ll fit your company and contribute to its growth!