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How to hire the best SDRs?

Victoire Leveilley
June 11, 2024
Remote Works

Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) play a crucial role in the sales process, acting as the bridge between marketing and sales. Their primary responsibility is to identify and qualify leads, ensuring a steady flow of prospects for the sales team to close.

But hiring SDRs can be a daunting task. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about hiring your next SDR, from understanding their role to defining the hiring criteria and outlining a streamlined hiring process. Let’s get started!

What does an SDR do?

An SDR, or Sales Development Representative, is a key player in the sales team, responsible for the initial stages of the sales funnel. Their main tasks include:

  • Prospecting: Identifying potential customers through various channels such as social media, email, and phone calls.
  • Qualifying Leads: Evaluating potential customers to determine their fit and interest level in the product or service.
  • Setting Appointments: Scheduling meetings or demos with qualified leads for the sales team to close.
  • Follow-Up: Keeping in touch with leads who are not yet ready to buy but may be in the future.

By handling these tasks, SDRs free up the sales team to focus on closing deals and generating revenue.

Why do you need SDRs in your sales team?

Sales teams need SDRs to ensure a steady flow of qualified leads, allowing sales reps to focus on closing deals.

For example, SDRs at a tech company might use LinkedIn to identify potential clients, qualify them through initial outreach, and schedule demos, ensuring sales reps spend their time on high-potential prospects. This division of labor boosts efficiency and helps maintain a robust sales pipeline, ultimately driving revenue growth.

Here are the main reasons why you'll be glad to have one or more skilled SDRs on your sales team:

  1. Efficiency: SDRs allow your sales team to focus on closing deals rather than spending time on prospecting and qualifying leads.
  2. Lead Nurturing: They ensure that no potential lead falls through the cracks by consistently following up and engaging with prospects.
  3. Pipeline Growth: SDRs help maintain a healthy pipeline by continuously feeding qualified leads to the sales team.
  4. Specialization: By specializing in lead generation and qualification, SDRs become experts in their field, improving the overall quality of leads passed to the sales team.

Hiring criteria for SDRs

When hiring your next Sales Development Representative (SDR), you’ll look for candidates with the right mix of skills and qualities. Here’s what you should consider:

Strong Communication Skills

Your SDRs are the first point of contact for potential clients. They need to be articulate, engaging, and able to convey your product’s value clearly. Your next SDR must be at ease on all communication channels, whether through email, over the phone, or on social media.

Persistence and Resilience

Your future SDR might be reaching out to dozens of prospects daily, often facing rejection. The ideal candidate must therefore have the tenacity to keep going and the resilience to stay motivated despite setbacks.

Sales Aptitude

While they might not need extensive sales experience, as they are not involved in all stages of the sales process, your SDRs should possess a natural sales instinct. They need to understand the basics of sales processes and be able to identify opportunities where others might not.

Tech Savviness

SDRs must be comfortable using CRM systems, email marketing tools, and social media platforms. You need to ensure that your candidates can quickly learn and leverage your sales tech stack to optimize their outreach efforts.

Analytical Skills

Think about how valuable it is for an SDR to analyze the success of their outreach campaigns. They should be able to interpret data and adjust their strategies based on what’s working and what’s not, ensuring continuous improvement.

For example, your SDRs can use speaker insights from Claap, such as the talk-to-listen ratio, and other data points to take a look at their performance and continually improve.

Team Player

Your SDRs need to collaborate seamlessly with both marketing and sales teams and therefore be comfortable with cross-functional collaboration in general.

To enable your sdr to have easier contact, whether sync or async, with each of your teams, Claap is a highly effective platform.

Your complete guide to hire SDRs - that's how we do it at Claap!

Define the Role and Responsibilities

Start by clearly outlining what you expect from an SDR. Detail their daily tasks, key performance indicators (KPIs), and the skills required.

Here are some of the tasks often found in SDR job descriptions:

  • Lead Research and List Building: Conduct research to identify potential leads and build targeted lists.
  • Outbound Calling and Emailing: Reach out to prospects via phone and email to introduce the company’s products or services, aiming to qualify leads.
  • CRM Management: Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of all interactions with prospects in the company’s CRM system. This includes logging calls, emails, meetings, and any follow-up actions required.
  • Appointment Setting: Schedule meetings or demos with qualified leads for the sales team, ensuring a smooth handoff of information and context.
  • Follow-Up and Nurturing: Engage with leads who are not yet ready to buy by following up regularly, sharing relevant content, and nurturing them until they are sales-ready.
  • Collaboration with Marketing: Work closely with the marketing team to align on lead generation strategies, provide feedback on lead quality, and help optimize campaigns based on SDR feedback.
  • Qualifying Leads: Use specific criteria to evaluate whether a lead is a good fit for the company’s products or services, ensuring that only high-potential prospects are passed to the sales team.
  • Market and Competitive Research: Stay informed about industry trends, competitive landscape, and potential market opportunities to better position the company’s offerings.

Create an Attractive Job Posting

Your job posting should highlight not just the responsibilities, but also what makes your company a great place to work. Emphasize your company culture, growth opportunities, and any unique benefits.

You may want to use Claap to record and share testimonials from current SDRs about their experiences, adding a personal touch to your job posting.

Screen Resumes and Applications

As applications come in, look for candidates with relevant experience and skills. Focus on those who demonstrate strong communication abilities and a knack for sales.

Using Claap as a video interview platform, you can streamline this process by having candidates submit video introductions. This not only saves time but also allows you to assess their communication skills and enthusiasm early on.

Conduct Initial Phone Interviews

Conducting initial phone interviews helps you gauge candidates' communication skills and cultural fit. Prepare a list of questions that cover their experience, understanding of the role, and motivation.

[Optional] Set Up Assessment Tasks

Provide candidates with practical tasks that simulate real SDR activities. For example, ask them to draft a cold email or conduct a mock sales call.

With Claap, you can use the platform to provide detailed instructions and examples of what you’re looking for. Candidates can then submit their tasks through Claap, allowing your team to review their work asynchronously and provide feedback.

In-Depth Interviews

Now that you've screened your candidates, it's time to interview them. Whether it's in person or remotely, you'll want to make sure of several things. To make sure you leave no stone unturned, I recommend using an interview template or script.

During in-depth interviews, dive deeper into the candidates’ experience, skills, and motivation. You should discuss specific scenarios and ask how they would handle various challenges, such as objections during a sales call for example.

At Claap, we often have candidates meet with multiple team members to get a well-rounded view of their potential fit. Use Claap to record these interviews (with candidate consent), making it easier to revisit and compare candidates later.

Additionally, using interview scorecard templates and an interview scoring sheet can help ensure a structured and objective evaluation process.

Debrief the Interview with Your Team 

After conducting the interviews, gather your hiring team to debrief and discuss each candidate’s performance.

If the interview took place online and you were able to record it, use Claap to replay key moments from the recorded interviews and refer to the completed interview scorecard templates. This collaborative review allows the team to share insights and make a well-rounded decision. An interview debrief template can help structure this discussion, ensuring all critical aspects are covered.

Reference Checks

Once you have a shortlist of top candidates, conduct reference checks to verify their past performance and work ethic. Ask former employers about the candidate’s strengths, areas for improvement, and overall contribution to the team. You can use a standardized questionnaire for this purpose, ensuring consistency and thoroughness.


You've found and hired your new sdrs, congrats! Now you need to ensure they have a comprehensive onboarding process.

Provide training on your products, processes, and tools. You can use training video softwares like Claap’s platform to deliver onboarding content in an engaging, easy-to-digest format. New hires can access training videos, participate in interactive sessions, and track their progress, ensuring they hit the ground running.

Discover Claap, the perfect tool to streamline your hiring process

If you're looking to improve your hiring processes, Claap is the tool you need. Here’s how Claap can transform the way you’re hiring:

1. Record all calls and interviews

With Claap, recording interviews is as simple as clicking a button. You'll never need to worry about remembering details; Claap captures everything, allowing you to rewatch interviews to double-check information and ensure consistent grading.

2. Transcribe the interviews

Claap acts as an automatic notetaker, transcribing every word spoken during the interview. This eliminates the need for manually jotting down notes, allowing you to focus on engaging with the candidate.

3. Summarize the interviews

Claap’s AI features not only transcribe but also summarize interviews, making the information more digestible. This is perfect for reporting on interviews and ensures you capture the key points without missing any details.

4. Store your interactions with candidates efficiently

Claap stores your interviews in a video library with powerful search capabilities. You can easily locate any past interview by searching for specific words mentioned during the conversation.

5. Provide precise feedback at every stage of the hiring process

Claap facilitates easy sharing and collaboration. You can share recorded interviews with team members and HR, who can comment and interact with specific parts of the recording.

Claap enhances the efficiency and fairness of the hiring SDRs process. Try Claap today and revolutionize the way you conduct interviews. A free plan is available with no credit card required!

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