In June 2014, when Jack McNeilly joined the Take the Interview sales team he became the second person in a young, but growing team. Founded in 2012, the company’s sales organization–much like any startup’s sales organization–was a bootstrapped team. At the time, the Take the Interview sales team was a purely an outbound Sales Development prospecting team with 95% of their leads coming from the outbound channel.
Recruiting is a massive undertaking. Take the Interview employs digital interviewing to improve recruiting processes and outcomes. Before a company invests the time needed for an in-person session, with Take the Interview, the company has the opportunity to ask the candidate three to five questions–and get this–a candidate responds via video.
Jack knew he was going to be part of something big.
Back then, even though Take the Interview’s SDR team was a two-person operation, the daily output produced by Jack and his SDR colleague established the company’s pipeline and has seen it grown to a very healthy set of future partners.
Take the Interview had a great product, now they needed a strong sales force behind them to take it to the next level. For the company, the next level meant building a formal sales organization with a laser focused Ideal Customer Profile and a solid set of SDRs.
In the startup world, eight months ago can feel like four years–and that’s meant to be taken in the very best way. For Jack, he was an early moving part not only in the company, but in the processes and shaping of the future sales organization.
“In those early days, we were still figuring out our ICP. We set a wide net for our ideal customer and tested the waters across different industries, geographies and titles,” said Jack.
In evaluating and determining an ICP, the sales organization at Take the Interview deliberately sifted out only candidates that would have a keen interest in digitizing their interviewing process. For Jack and the Sales Development team, having an ICP made prospecting tangible and ensured that they had the same understanding on which types of specific prospects would find value in their product.
Armed with a bulletproof ICP, Jack was able to engage in the battle of reaching out to hundreds of prospects. With his list of leads, Jack took to LinkedIn and researched each prospect and skimmed for experiences, skills and interests. Then he took a bold leap and requested a connection.
Part two of Jack’s outbound prospecting strategy called for a 5×5 Campaign:
“I saw your experience on LinkedIn and wanted to reach out. I thought you’d be a great person to discuss your company’s interview process.
My company, Take the Interview, works with high-growth clients like Dropbox and Zappos to hire better talent faster using digital interviewing. I noticed your company has been growing quickly, so I thought a system to identify great talent and hire them ASAP might be a priority.
Would you be free next Thursday at 4 PM EST to chat?”
Jack found that if prospects are interested–they’ll respond right away. For the 150 recipients of the above email, Jack took a step back from the educational-advisor role and took a targeted approach. His brief and confident email paid off in his metrics:
Response Rate: 50%
Demo Rate: Over 10%
Sometimes you have to make eye-catching moves in order to connect with a prospect and get ahead of the game. For Jack, this worked.
Eight months later and hundreds of campaigns later, Jack continues to fine-tune Take the Interview’s prospect pool and is beginning to build the infrastructure for a larger SDR team. In the upcoming weeks, he envisions having a focus on high-level SDR strategy and training new reps.
Interested in following Jack’s lead? Jack offers up this piece of advice to new SDRs, “pick your own journey.”
Congrats to Jack for his nomination as a ToutApp SDR Hero!