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How to Hire the Right BDRs and Set Them Up for Success

3 min
Meeting Between BDRs and Sales Leadership to Discuss Wins and Challenges

Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are the frontline of your revenue team, tasked with performing initial outreach and qualifying leads. They’re also are the most significant pipeline drivers of world-class companies, generating an average of $415,000 per month and 57% of overall pipeline, according to a report from TOPO.

This also makes them the most important channel for successful account-based programs. Yet, most BDRs fail to hit their numbers. Why, you may ask? Because it’s a hard job!

Most BDRs must work through a long list of cold (and colder) leads to contact with minimal background information to go on. So when a buyer picks up the phone, BDRs are left trying to connect with them using assumptions and guesswork — often failing to make a lasting impression.

Being rejected non-stop is enough to give anyone a permanent hang-up: It’s not uncommon for BDRs to burn out quickly.

To successfully kick-start account-based experiences, BDRs need to go into every interaction armed with insights that empower them to initiate trusting relationships with leads and turn them into real opportunities.

Below, we share our process and strategy for hiring the right BDRs, keeping them happy, and maintaining their motivation to drive positive business outcomes.

Building — and Keeping — Your Team

The BDR role is changing, especially in account-based go-to-market strategies. Rather than simply hiring people who are willing to work hard and hit the phones nonstop, you want to find candidates who can draw relevant insights from account data.

When hiring, look for the following attributes:

  • An ability to connect the dots
  • A high level of organization, preparation, and thoughtfulness
  • A consistent pursuit to achieve intended outcomes
  • A passion for continuous learning and improvement

No matter how strong a new BDR hire is, they need effective onboarding to help them understand the specifics of your industry and business, including target personas and what value your solution brings to customers. Onboarding sets the tone for a BDR’s tenure with your organization and facilitates faster time to full productivity.

The more support you provide BDRs, the more success they’ll have and the more likely they’ll be to stay. Help these reps get where they want to go professionally, whether that’s within your company or elsewhere, by developing career paths and showing them the light at the end of the tunnel. Acknowledge both individual and team achievements to build camaraderie and boost morale, and provide opportunities for reps to learn from one another.

Don’t forget that at the end of the day, your employees are working to make money, so give them the ability to be compensated based on a variety of results. For instance, rather than offering commission based only on sales-qualified opportunities, compensate reps based on a blend of sales-qualified and sales accepted opportunities. This will make financial goals feel more attainable for BDRs, which is critical for individual and business motivation.

Strategies & Processes

Once you’ve hired the right people, you’ve got to establish a strategy to set them up for success. And that starts with alignment.

Marketing supports BDRs and sales reps with the tools and resources to convert accounts into opportunities. But marketers don’t know what they don’t know. Establish a meeting cadence to close the feedback loop on accounts. As BDRs have first-hand insights into prospects’ needs, those reps should provide input on what content is resonating and driving results. Together, BDRs and marketers can strategize future attack plans to ensure all are well positioned for success.

Also critical is a partnership between BDRs and account executives. Regular one-on-one collaboration enables the two to formulate a strategy for certain territories, including:

  • Setting shared goals
  • Reviewing new and working in-market accounts
  • Determining the most relevant content and programs to deliver
  • Sharing data and feedback they’ve received to inform how best to move forward

With teams working closely, BDRs can effectively qualify accounts based on demographic, firmographic, technographic, and intent data. This data enables teams to segment accounts based on buyer activity, buying stage, and more. Alignment on data means BDRs know exactly who to prioritize, how to reach them, and what content and messaging to use.

This collaboration must continue once an account has converted to an opportunity. BDRs and AEs can gather buyer feedback, identify key personas, and evaluate activities to review overall buying team engagement. Utilizing the data at their disposal, they can work alongside marketing to execute outreach such as:

  • Educate on business problems with webinars and analyst reports
  • Validate your solution by sharing reviews, blog posts, and case studies
  • Showcase your solution with webinars and how-to videos
  • Encourage action with a personalized assessment


Taking the approach detailed above, 6sense’s outbound account-based team saw strong results. We doubled our average pipeline per BDR, per month, and achieved an average first meeting time within 20 days. There was also zero voluntary attrition. Yes, you read that right.

Supporting BDRs with tools and processes drives performance, which is a win for everyone. 6sense Revenue AI™ promotes alignment and empowers BDRs with the most insightful buyer data, shining a light on B2B activities and buying stages so teams know exactly who to engage — as well as when, where, and how — for maximum impact.

For more on how to help your BDRs win, check out The Guide to Empowering BDRs to Help Them Thrive.

Dan Hieb

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