As inside sales teams and BDRs adapt to the “new normal”, we’re interviewing BDR managers about how their playbooks have changed. We’ve worked with Lorraine Joseph for years, and she literally wrote the book on BDR teams. In this interview, she shares what she looks for when hiring BDRs, and how she gets them on the phone by day 2.
Q: When we debated in-house vs. outsourced BDR teams, you acknowledged that managing BDRs can be a headache. What can a manager do to make it easier?
Lorraine: They need to really understand what the BDR role and function is. I cannot tell you how many times folks do not understand what the BDR role is.
Q: How would you define it?
Lorraine: In terms of job description, the BDR (or LDR or SDR… whatever the initials are) builds sales pipeline by setting meetings. That’s it! Managers should be fluent in the mechanics of calls, systems, screen views, and record-keeping. They should make calls themselves! There should be no mystery as to how lists are generated, how they place calls, how they schedule meetings, and how they keep records.
Managers also need to have realistic expectations and some empathy for BDRs. They’re hung-up on. They’re treated rudely. The days can be a grind. And the conversion rates are brutal.
Lastly, I would say this is a temporary role by design. BDRs are here to constantly learn, grow and hunt. I want hunters! A lot of companies want to hire a BDR and keep them on for at least a year. Wrong! I know it’s hard for companies to hear that, but a really good BDR is going to get hungry within six to eight months. You should never stop hiring.
Q: What do you look for when you’re interviewing BDR candidates? How do you know they’re hungry?
Lorraine: I prefer to hire somebody that’s never been an LDR before, but they have people skills and a personality. Most people can learn a simple structure, but can they think on their feet? One of the best LDRs I had did stand up comedy! Being open minded has served me very well. Some of my best BDRs never finished college – it made them very hungry to find a path into software sales.
Q: You said before you try to get new hires on the phone on day 2. How do you get BDRs ready that fast?
Lorraine: Well, first of all I don’t expect them to understand the product or memorize a script. Instead, I make calls and explain the logic behind it. I show them phone etiquette, how to listen/respond, and how to handle objections. And then I expect them to add their own personality to it.
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