How to Identify Rockstar Sales Development Reps Before You Hire | Interview with Ryan Reisert

Selleration™ CEO Nick Rini’s interview with sales enablement expert Ryan Reisert. Ryan is the Co-Founder of Inside Sales Bootcamp, now part of Sales Bootcamp. Sales Bootcamp is a sales development incubator which helps companies recruit and onboard salespeople. You can find out more about Ryan and about Sales Bootcamp at




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NR: “You started out as someone who was headed in a math and engineering direction, not the liberal arts background of a typical salesperson. What the heck happened?”

RR: ”I get that question a lot actually. When I first started out in college, I thought that I wanted to be a math teacher. I always gravitated towards math and science. It always came easy to me. I was also an athlete, and I could get my math and science homework done between wrestling matches, or after games. In college I decided that I wanted to become a high school teacher, so that I could be a coach. However, when I graduated there was a recession going on. When I went back home there wasn’t a whole lot going on, and I couldn’t see a future as a teacher, at least in my hometown.

A few of my friends had internships in San Francisco. They were talking about the Ferraris that were parked on the street. I didn’t believe them. I flew down, and hung out with them for a week during the summer and that was all it took. While the world was burning down there were indeed Ferraris parked on the street and more Porsches that I could imagine. I went home, packed my bags, and drove down to San Francisco in my ‘86 Forerunner. That was how I started.”

NR: “At Sales Bootcamp, while you may not be a ‘teacher’ you are certainly are professing and instructing young would-be sales reps.”

RR: “I am the lead instructor at Sales Bootcamp. My main role is to help young sales professionals who are just coming out of school get the foundational skills, access to mentorship, and coaching they need to be successful in a sales role.

Typically we are working with technology companies who are hiring Sales Development Reps. This can be the most challenging roles to hire for. Not because there isn’t enough applicants, or even not enough people who seem like they could be successful. It’s because in sales- you don’t really know until the new sales hire is actually in the role whether or not they will be successful. Also, the person won’t know if sales is something they are going to be excited about doing, until they are actually in a sales role.

So, what we are doing is trying to bridge the gap and provide a win-win scenario for both companies and young professionals to get the experience at a real sales organization. Not only do we help them find a job, but we stick with them for the first 90 days to provide those foundational elements of sales coaching and feedback to get the new reps up to speed and productive. At the completion of our program, our students are deciding if they are interested in sales or not. If they are, they can get a full-time position with one of our hiring partners.

I spend a lot of my time learning about the modern sales environment and what tools can help these young sales professionals be successful right out of the gate.”

NR: “Do you ever find candidates who would make great salespeople, but in the end they decide they don’t want to pursue a sales career?”

RR: (laughter) “Yeah! That actually happens a lot. And it’s one of the biggest problems we face at Sales Bootcamp. We believe sales is an amazing platform for young professionals to launch their career – especially in tech if they don’t have a “tech” background because sales can be a great career path into other roles within the organization.

We find that a lot of individuals who would crush it as a Sales Development Rep and use it to get into a career in product, marketing, or leadership – or even become entrepreneurs themselves – unfortunately think being in sales is like being a used car salesman.

There are also people who say things like ‘I’m an introvert, not an extrovert.’ – or bring up another stereotypical sales personality trait that they don’t have – as a reason why they don’t see a future for themselves in sales. There is definitely an education gap that we face when helping young professionals decide on their first role.”

NR: “What people don’t realize is while on one hand you have a lot of flexibility in sales, you also have a lot of people looking over your shoulder as a rep since productivity is such a key part of sales.”

RR: “I think that is a key part of the secret sauce of Sales Bootcamp. We have a few things we do to evaluate candidates. We have a free 5 day bootcamp online at which anyone can join. Those who sign up will be introduced to what technology sales is, and what a Sales Development Rep does. Prospective reps run through 5 days of content, videos and assignments. Students learn how to find jobs, develop their resume, etc. Several hundred people sign up every month. This is our first step in vetting them as a candidate.

Do they want to commit to learning? Do they have a growth mindset? Do they send us questions? We learn a lot about them during this 5 day process. Once candidates reach a certain stage during the 5 days, they will get a phone call from a recruiter.

The 3rd thing we do to assess whether or not a person will succeed as a Sales Development Rep, is run them through the UPtick™ platform. We use the sales assessment within the UPtick™ platform to generate a Selling Intelligence™ score. What we are looking for is a score that is high enough to predict the likelihood of them being successful as a Sales Development Rep.”

Hear more about how Ryan Reisert predicts which candidates will be successful SDR’s, on Sales Acceleration with Selleration on iTunes.