On Hiring Motivated Sales Development Reps

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 10.37.49 PM“As you all know first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired. Get the picture?”

– Alec Baldwin, Glengarry Glen Ross

One of the most common “qualifications” or requirements for entry level sales jobs (like sales development representatives or lead gen roles) we see on job descriptions is that applicant must be highly motivated.

Big bonuses, attractive commissions, and the promise for quick promotions will lure many “highly motivated” entry-level sales people to take on unpleasant “entry-level” tasks like making 100 outbound cold calls per day, building prospect lists, and qualifying opportunities for senior sales executives.

There is nothing wrong with seeking highly motivated individuals to do this work.  In my experience, however, “highly motivated” sales representatives can be a double-edged sword.

Sales managers often hire young, motivated junior reps with a goal to accelerate overall sales activity and the expectation to weed out poor performers.  Yet the motivated reps generally far, far out-perform their peers and quickly outgrow their junior role in search of “closing” and all of the glory and Cadillac El Dorados that come with it.

While this Catch-22 can certainly lead to success at the bottom line, it can also lead to systemic staffing and process problems at the top of the lead gen funnel.  The organizations that invest in process and truly value the sales prospecting craft can easily withstand this internal turnover.  Organizations that churn and burn junior reps are much less likely to have a sales prospecting engine that delivers predictable results.

We love sales development at RevBoss.  And we love prospecting, process, and all of the mucky muck that comes with it.  And we’re perfectly happy to tee up opportunities for the closers over and over and over again.