Hiring and onboarding SDRs – The Kyle Coleman way

Hiring and onboarding SDRs – The Kyle Coleman way

Chetna Sabharwal
Chetna Sabharwal
April 15, 2022
5 min read
“What I have found is that if somebody is really curious about their process, their personas, their product and the people they work with, they're successful. It's because they care and they are self-starters and they're autonomous.”

It began with a LinkedIn poll. What's the most important quality for an SDR to have, we asked.

"Curiosity" responded Kyle Coleman, VP of Sales at Clari.

That piqued our...well, curiosity, so we got to talking. The end result is a fascinating conversation between Kyle and our very own Kushal

Kyle is outspoken, articulate, controversial (even on LinkedIn, even when he gets flak for it!) and most of all, incredible fun. 

Here's some of the highlights of the conversation:

1. “What do you do when you don't know what to do?”

Kyle thinks the answer to this question is really telling. One person may take it upon themselves to do the research and the second person may try to learn from someone else. Basically, he gets to understand how the person solves a problem. 

2. “I ask candidates to pitch me their passion.”

After candidates pass the curiosity test, Kyle wants to understand who the person actually is and how they communicate. According to him, people light up when they talk about their passion. The job of managers and leaders then becomes to get the new reps as excited about the product as they are about their passion. 

3. “I love candidates who are proactive in their outreach.”

Kyle says that candidates who proactively reach out to him (or other members of the team) can understand the role and their day-to-day job & responsibilities better. He gets to see people exhibit the skills they need to exhibit when they get into the field. 

In fact, introducing new reps to individual SDRs on the team is also a part of Kyle’s onboarding process. 

4. “I think onboarding is truly an 8-12 weeks of exercise.” 

Kyle says that onboarding a rep definitely depends on how much experience they bring in. For example, if a rep is experienced, you can skip introductions to tools or some certifications. But he strongly believes that it may still take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for people to really feel comfortable with the messaging. 

Kyle was also quite specific about the fact that 8-12 weeks of onboarding doesn’t mean that reps are not productive. Of course, they’re productive; they operate at 60-80 percent of their full capacity, not zero. 

He recommends that reps take the time to develop their skills, to make sure that they know how to think and that they really understand the process well enough to make it their own, to change it, to evolve the process.

SDRs, now you know what top sales leaders look for in candidates. So go ahead and slay those interviews!

Listen to the entire podcast here to see what other interesting things Kyle had to say.

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