Sales Empowerment Group Blog

4 Tips for Recruiting Top BDRs Beyond Their Resume

Posted by Christine Schafer on Apr 19, 2023 | Updated on 04/19/23 5:48 PM
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Recruiting entry-level sales roles can be can challenging task for any organization. While the sales industry can be lucrative and rewarding, it also demands a unique skill set and mindset that not every person has. As a recruiter, my goal is to identify candidates who have the potential to become successful salespeople, even if they lack experience in the field. 

In this post, we will explore some of the key factors to consider beyond the resume when recruiting entry level sales roles. 


Here are four things to consider when looking for a business development representative candidate (BDR):


1. Communication skills


When assessing candidates for a BDR position, it is important to look for several key communication skills that are essential for success in this role such as:

  • Active listening: BDRs need to be able to listen actively to customers and prospects to understand their needs and pain points. Be sure to ask candidates about times when they had to listen actively and how they responded.
  • Adaptability: Communication styles vary widely across industries and management levels, and BDRs need to be able to adapt their approach to different audiences. Look for candidates who can demonstrate an ability to tailor their communication style to different situations.
  • Writing skills: BDRs will be required to send out DM's, emails, and LinkedIn messages to prospects on a regular basis. Be sure to assess candidates' writing skills and look for those who can communicate clearly and concisely without errors.
  • Empathy: Building relationships with prospects and customers requires empathy and an ability to put oneself in their shoes. Look for candidates who can demonstrate empathy and a customer-centric mindset.


2. Relationship-building skills


BDRs need a variety of relationship skills to be successful in their roles, as they are responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients.


Arguably the most important relationship skill for sales reps is the ability to be responsive and proactive. This means following up with clients in a timely manner and addressing any concerns or questions they may have. BDRs must also be able to anticipate their clients’ needs and offer relevant solutions.


Don't forget internal relationships! Being able to work collaboratively with their colleagues and build a strong team dynamic can make the difference between a "good" and "great" BDR.


Pro tip: Ask candidates for examples of a time they showed strong teamwork skills. 


3. Problem-solving skills


The time-old interview question of "Tell me about a time you faced a challenge..." comes into play here.

It's imperative for a BDR to have the ability to identify & solve problems for their clients. Always strive to provide exceptional service and exceed expectations to build strong relationships with clients. Remember to continually assess and improve processes to prevent future problems from occurring.


Candidates who are analytical, creative, and resourceful are a good fit. They should be able to think on their feet and pivot quickly when proposing solutions for their clients.


4. Adaptability


It's essential to hire reps who can adapt to changes in the market, industry, and company culture.


Here are some specific interview questions you can ask during the interview process to evaluate adaptability:


  • Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a major change in your sales territory. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time when you had to work with a difficult customer. How did you handle the situation, and what did you learn from it?
  • Describe a situation where you had to work independently to achieve a sales goal. What steps did you take to ensure success, and what was the result?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to collaborate with a team to close a deal. What was your role in the team, and how did you contribute to the final outcome?


Asking these types of questions can help you determine whether a candidate has the open-mindedness, flexibility, and grit required to be successful in sales. 


Recruiting sales candidates requires a holistic approach that goes beyond the resume. While education and work experience are important, they're not the only factors that determine potential success in sales.

While I feel it's essential to look for candidates with the above-listed skills, it's equally important for the candidate to have a sales mindset and adaptability. By focusing on these key traits during the recruitment process, you can identify the candidates who have the potential to thrive in a sales role. 


With a strategic and thorough approach to recruiting, you can build a strong and diverse sales team that drives revenue and exceeds expectations. 


Pro tip: Outsourcing your hiring needs to recruitment experts like Sales Empowerment Group is a lot easier and more affordable than doing it in-house.


Find out why 

Tags: Talent Acquisition, hiring