An SDR interviewer’s cheatsheet
“It’s really important that an SDR wants
to master the role of the SDR and they’re not
just looking for a promotion to AE. It’s a nuanced
but important distinction between average and
There you were. Desperate for an experienced SDR. And lo and behold, one applied to work with your company.
Amazing. Let’s sign them up as fast as possible – we can’t lose them! Slow down.
Given the primary goal of most SDRs is to get promoted to a more senior role, it’s important to be more diligent than ever at the interview process. This will save you from the fallout of hiring the wrong person. An expensive and emotionally-draining experience.
At SaaSLeads, both our Co-founders have built successful SDR teams for some of the UK’s fastest-growing start-ups – Perkbox, Peakon, Tessian – and have both been privy to this fallout.
In response, we’ve identified three areas an experienced SDR should be an absolute expert in at interview level. If they can’t convincingly nail your questions in each area, you shouldn’t hire them. Simple as that.
1. Experience – 6 questions to ask:
- How often did you hit target?
- Why weren’t you promoted to AE/Sales in your last role?
- What are you going to do to master the role of the SDR?
- What’s your meeting-to-opportunity conversion rate?
- How much of your pipeline converted into revenue?
- What was the number of touch points needed to convert a lead?
2. Skills – they need to demonstrate these:
- Time management: To demonstrate how they structure their day. Outbound calling: Not calling inhibits SDR success.
- Writing personalised emails: Invaluable.
- Video messaging: Quickly becoming a prerequisite. It simply delivers. Ideal customer understanding: To be able to explain a previous ideal customer even better, yours.
- Cadence: To know how to build a sales sequence and why they’re important.
- Personal brand: Social media and old-fashioned networks are an ace-up-the-sleeve.
- Qualification: It’s a broad and varying spectrum, but it’s important to know how your future salespeople qualify their leads.
- SDR to AE: How do they plan to progress? What’s their handover plan?
3. Behaviours – here’s what to look for:
- Hunger to learn
- Emotional awareness
- Responding to pressure
A good way to test for all of these is to ask situational questions…
“Your teammate asks for help on a deal in which you have expertise. If you help them it might save them this job, but it will mean you missing target for the quarter. What do you do?”
” Tell me your three favourite discovery questions and why they are your favourite?”
“You implement a new strategy to target a new industry vertical. 2 months in still no results, although your gut feel is that you can definitely crack it – what do you do?”
These types of questions won’t only get you insights beyond the typically rehearsed answers; they’ll also test for the behaviours you want to drive in your business, ensuring a culture fit.
It’s worthwhile having 8-10 of these questions prepared. Not only are they good for SDR’s – they’re great for hiring across the business.
Overall, it’s really important that an SDR wants to master the role of the SDR and they’re not just looking for a promotion to AE. It’s a nuanced but important distinction between average and great.
If you need any further assistance on what to look for in a great SDR, reach out to our co-founders, CEO Will Koning firstname.lastname@example.org or COO Chris Ritson email@example.com
Good luck with your interviewing!
The SaaSLeads Team
Ready to talk? Get in touch today