How to Identify Rockstar Sales Development Reps Before You Hire | Part 2 Ryan Reisert Interview

Part 2 of 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: “Once the UPtick™ platform gives you a rep’s Selling Intelligence™ score, what attritbutes are you finding most critical?”

RR: “The attributes of a successful SDR is a growth mindset. First and foremost. But also:

  • Do these individuals want to learn?
  • When they are faced with adversity, how do they react?
  • Do they want to win, or are they someone who is complacent?
  • When challenged to do something are they completing is with precision and time, or are they just kind of doing it?
  • When you provide feedback, how do they react? Do they put feedback into action?

Those are the things that I think are most important for Sales Development Reps to become successful. You are going to get kicked in the teeth, this job is not easy. You have to have this mindset of ‘always be learning’ because not only are the products changing rapidly, but what you are doing today may not be successful tomorrow. If you are not willing to put in the extra work to outperform your peers, you won’t have success long term.”

NR: One of the things I know you measure is cognitive ability. Do you find that is a factor in whether a salesperson is going to be successful?”

RR: “Yes. If you are not sharp between the ears, you are just not going to get there. When we talk about being challenged to find individuals who we think will be successful, but they aren’t interested – these are those individuals. We need people who have high cognitive ability. That is so important as a modern sales rep. Your job is to solve problems. If you can’t do that, you can’t do the job.

This old school coin operated machine mindset is bunk – we need highly intelligent individuals to find success.”

NR: As you are looking at these young sales students and you are considering whether or not they are a fit for clients, are you looking at their Selling Judgement™ score in selling situations?

RR: “That is a part of the UPtick™ platform and sales assessment. One thing that is challenging about the role we are sourcing for is that a lot of these folks don’t have any sales experience. So that is really challenging to know.”

NR: “You are doing something really hard, because you cannot look at their past sales success…”

RR: “Correct”

NR: “So what are some things you are doing to predict an individual’s success?”

RR: “This role is so difficult to hire for, and that is why Sales Bootcamp exists. You can have great candidates – but you don’t actually know if they are going to be productive in their first 90 days. And if they are productive, you don’t know if they are going to want to stick around and do that job for the next 12 months. So, we try to be very selective.

We found that if a candidate is scoring 60 or above in the UPtick™ platform, they are almost 100% likely to get converted in our fellowship. That is what I have seen so far from the candidates who have taken the assessment and are then converted – and that is before they start the Sales Bootcamp program.

If they score below a 60, we find that they are challenged within the process and they require extra mentorship to be promoted. For those who are far below 60, scoring a 20-30 in the UPtick™  platform, they are just not candidates.

So I am now using the “60” to determine whether people are allowed into the Sales Bootcamp fellowship program.”

NR: “How long into the relationship of employee-employer do you follow that person?”

RR: “The hiring partner still puts the Sales Bootcamp fellowship attendees through their interview process. Once hired, they will remain in the Sales Bootcamp fellowship program for 90 days. We do one-on-one coaching and personalized sales training with that rep every week for those 3 months. We work with their manager to get 360 degree reviews of the candidates.

At conversion, we still have some reps who will continue to work with us. We have other resources, such as a Slack community call Sales Development Pros where 600 SDRs learn about top of funnel selling every day. This continuous mindset of improving our profession through best practices. You can go to my LinkedIn profile and book coaching sessions through my Calendly link there.”

NR: “Your tagline could very easily be that you discover sales talent.”

RR: “I like to say we incubate sales talent. I don’t know if that term is well accepted outside of tech. But we are incubating future SDRs with training, mentorship and opportunities to help them launch their careers.”

NR: “There was an old saying: ‘Salespeople are born, not made.’ Do you think that is true?”

RR: “I think there is something in the middle there. There are some traits that salespeople need to have. Not everyone is going to be good at sales. But, I think there is a large population of people who could be made into salespeople within the modern sales environment.”

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