What to look for in a BDR Candidate

Building powerful, empowered teams

David Berardi
4 min readJan 12, 2021


When building a high powered sales team, each new hire is an important opportunity. Not only does fresh talent allow you to add fuel to your sales engine, but it can actually act as a multiplier for your current team. Each new hire can bring new skills and perspective to your team, and make it that much better.

Below are four crucial characteristics to look for when hiring new BDRS to your sales team.

  1. Drive
  2. Quick Witted
  3. Team Player
  4. Brings something new to the table


Drive is one of the single most important characteristics in a successful BDR. In an industry where you can expect to set a meeting with about 2 people per 100 dials, you need reps who will be able to continuously push for more. Drive will allow your reps to break into the most difficult accounts, overturn weak objections, and create more opportunities with prospects who may be working with your competitors. A BDR with drive will not stop at the first no, especially if it is a weak no. Reps with drive are the ones who make 80 dials when the target is 60, and are constantly pushing to be over quota.

In order to test for drive, try adding a mock sequence step to your interview process. This will show you how familiar they are with basic sales development, but it will also show you how much they are willing to push for a meeting with a particular account. If their mock sequence is 2 auto emails and a linkedin — they may just be going through the motions.

Quick Witted

Intelligence is extremely important when looking at BDR candidates. A major part of business development is overcoming objections, especially on the phone. You need reps who will be quick witted enough to be able to think on their feet and reframe objections as selling points. This is much harder than it sounds, and requires a high level of understanding of a particular product / industry.

A good way to test for intelligence and quick wits is to try a mock-pitch or mock-cold call on the interview with very little notice. This will tell you how well the candidate can think on their feet, as well as how quickly they can conceptualize the value props of your product.

Team Player

This one may sound obvious, but it is extremely important to find a BDR who can thrive in a team setting, especially as many companies are fully remote. Adding a BDR who is not a team player can be toxic, and make the other reps on your team feel uncomfortable to be themselves. Furthermore, from a managerial standpoint, team players will see the forest through the trees. They will let reps co-work accounts, share commissions, and limit any inter-team conflicts.

There are a few good ways to test for Team-Centric reps. First, look for people who were a part of an athletic team or organization in highschool or college. They will likely understand what it means to put the team first.

Past that, try asking if they have ever had a conflict with someone on their current team and how it was resolved. It is important to look at not just WHAT the conflict was, but how they describe it. Are they passing the blame to everyone but themselves? If so, they may not be a real team player.

They Bring Something Different to the Table

It is important to remember diversity of perspective and current team needs when hiring for a BDR. BDRs come from many different industries, backgrounds, and philosophies. If you hire BDRs that all fit a very tight criteria, you will lose out on the diversity of thinking needed to grow and evolve your team.

It is also important to bring in reps who have had success in different channels of outreach. If you have a team full of email-gurus — find someone who crushes Cold Calling that can share their experience with your team.

To test for diversity of perspective, you may want to diversify your candidate recruiting methods. Don’t rely on one recruiter to fill out your whole team. Source candidates on Linkedin, ask your company for strong referral candidates and make sure that the recruiter(s) you use are aware you want to cast a wide net!

Characteristics of a successful BDR

While these four characteristics are not the and-all-be-all for a successful BDR, they will help you weed out some of the candidates that may not be the exact right fit. Try to fill your team with a wide range of perspectives, outreach methodologies, and backgrounds. Make sure your reps are happiest working in a team setting and try implementing mock sequences/pitches to test for drive and intelligence. Remember: a good BDR makes a great AE. Finding the right candidate will set your company up for success for years to come!



David Berardi

David is the Business Development Team Lead at Rhino, a fast growing startup based out of NYC.