Hiring Advice for Sales Development by Sales Development

This piece is part of our series on sales development, by sales development reps.

hiring for sales development by sales developmentI read a quote yesterday that deeply resonated with me and incited a relatable emotion. It took me back to the impact that sports have had on my career and personal life over the past 26 years.

Ultimately, it led to thinking about how difficult it can be to hire the right people into a sales organization. Funny, yet justified, chain of events.

“Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults, let your kids get used to someone being tough on them. It’s life – get over it.”

Patrick Murphy, an Alabama softball coach, said this. I love it. It couldn’t be more true, and being coachable is a critical driver to success in any profession, especially sales development. Being coachable is the product of the desire to be great at what you do.

But why?

And what else is critical to success in sales development?

I’d recommend looking for these traits:

  1. Ambitious

The dreaded interview question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

The dreaded, tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear answer: “I’d love to move up in the company. Maybe become a manager or something.”

Perhaps my view on this topic is completely wrong, but I’m okay with that. I hate this answer, and I wouldn’t hire this person as an SDR.

Personally, I don’t expect to be with the same company in five years, and I have no problem sharing that with prospective employers.

Where do I want to be in five years?

to be the CEO of my own company. I have absolutely no idea what that company is yet, but that’s where I’d like to be in five years — an entrepreneur, just like the founder of the company that I’m at now.

Of course, every SDR that wants to be a CEO one day probably won’t end up in that position, but that’s the mentality that you should look for in potential hires. From there, it’s up to you, as an employer, to provide ambitious individuals with a challenging and opportunistic environment to keep them around beyond that timeframe.

  1. Coachable

The mentality and aspirations of starting my own business someday has been widely responsible for my success as an SDR.


Because I’m hungry…hungry to learn. I have the privilege of working with some of the best salespeople around and top-of-the-line leadership at the helm. I understand that I’m new to the world of sales and on day one, I had virtually no knowledge of how to sell.

I want to start my own company, though. With that in mind, I have every reason possible to absorb every bit of knowledge, information, coaching and leadership that one could possibly imagine. I want to be the best, and in order to do so, I must learn from the best. You, as the hiring company, will reap the endless benefits of hiring someone that can be coached because they want to be great.

  1. Competitive

A lot of people my age and younger were brought up in the world of participation trophies.

Remember when James Harrison (NFL Linebacker) returned his kid’s participation trophy to the league? I love it.

Competition is a good thing. In fact, it’s a must in any organization. It’s healthy to encourage competition and collaboration amongst your sales team. Find people that want to be the best at what they do. At LevelEleven, we use our own platform internally, which gives me real-time insight into how I’m stacking up against my teammates. If I’m not at the top, it drives me crazy. More importantly, it drives me to do more to get back to the top.

I hope you picked up on the second piece of that — collaboration. Internal competition is great, but as a team, you should be competing against a common goal. By instilling and encouraging a competitive atmosphere and bringing on competitive people, you’ll naturally see your people collaborating to raise the team higher.

Hiring is not only difficult, but it’s also expensive. Therefore, hiring the right types of people is vital. Make sure yours are ambitions, coachable and competitive.

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