The Business Development Representative (BDR) program at Rapid7 is an entry-level program that develops our next generation of successful sales professionals. The program aims to provide early careerists the opportunity to kick-start their career and grow their selling skills. Much like the sports theme of our Boston office sales floor, being in sales is a lot like being on a sports team. Hear from some of our own about what it’s like to be a Rapid7 BDR and what it takes to succeed.
Every great sports team can attribute their success to their coaches—and the same goes for our BDRs. The BDR Program Managers are responsible for scouting and developing the newest talent. Their sole focus is to make you successful as an entry-level sales professional.
As our coaches evaluate fit for the program, sales skills and relevant experience is key, but a positive attitude is just as important. BDRs should be prepared to embrace competition in our fast-paced environment and not only meet, but exceed, their goals by thinking of creative solutions for potential customers.
When you put a diverse group of motivated, competitive, and positive-minded individuals together, that’s when you can truly make an impact. Ally Slowe knew she wanted to join the BDR team because of the familiarity with her experience as a college athlete:
“I was a college field hockey player at Trinity College, and the experience of being an athlete makes me focused and competitive. Being the captain of the team for my senior year provided me with the experience of being a leader. As an athlete, I learned that the culture of the team is the key to success, so I wanted to work with a team of positive, motivated, and focused individuals.” – Ally Slowe, Sales Development Representative
When looking for our newest BDR class, we recognize that there is not a traditional path that leads to sales. Some people have a background in sales and know that’s what they want to do. Other people have had experiences that have taught them the skills and attitude that it takes to be successful on our team. Innovation requires diversity of thought, and we need innovators in order to create solutions for customers. We’ve learned from experience that the most successful salespeople often come from unexpected places. Kevin McCord (previously a BDR) is proof of this:
“Prior to joining Rapid7, I was a Merchant Marine in the offshore oil and gas industry. That regimented lifestyle fueled an already strong work ethic, persistence and grit, and encouraged me to be a calculated risk taker. These traits, along with hands-on experience with dynamic, complex ships systems, helped set me up for success in the BDR program.” – Kevin McCord, Account Executive, Mid Market
Regardless of where you are before joining Rapid7, your aptitude to learn and receive feedback is also important. The program begins with an intensive three-week training program that teaches BDRs relevant selling skills and introduces them to all of Rapid7’s products. During the training program, BDRs receive support and feedback from their manager and mentors, which is a key factor in their success. Previous BDR Blair Orr agrees that support from your manager is essential to your growth:
“My manager has helped me immensely in my development. … He encourages us to find new ways to be successful and constantly welcomes our opinions. He effectively sets us up for success through phone call role plays and weekly one-on-ones that address our strengths and areas for improvement.” – Blair Orr, Business Development Representative
Once you’ve joined the team and gone through our in-depth onboarding program, you’ll be ready to sell. As exciting as that can be, it’s important to remember that with success comes failure. Much like sports teams experience highs and lows during their season, BDRs will experience both success and failure during this program. That’s why we look for people who have a good attitude when facing rejection or adversity. Failure can provide as much learning as success can, so you must be able to look for lessons in both.
“It did not take me long after my arrival at Rapid7 to realize that there is a lot of rejection and disappointment associated with sales. I can spend the majority of my week dealing with customer rejection, but it is that one positive connection that I make with a prospect that makes my day.” – Ally Slowe
Although sales calls for a competitive nature, it’s important to remember you are part of a larger team that supports each other in order to grow Rapid7’s business. You will always be held accountable for your work, but will have the rest of the team there to support you through your endeavors. Your experience as a BDR is often defined by the connections you form with your team and the support you receive from them.
“The best team members at Rapid7 are people who are not just successful in what they are doing, but also the same people who are assisting and rooting for others. This positive culture in the office motivates me to be successful and demonstrates that my success is directly tied to the success of the people around me.” – Ally Slowe
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The team understands that while sales is a competitive environment, it takes team effort to reach our collective goals at the end of every week. To accomplish this, the team prioritizes communication; from objection handling to overall encouragement, the team has helped me learn so much about how to be successful in this role.” – Blair Orr
Interested in becoming the next sales all star at Rapid7? The ball is in your court. We typically hire four classes throughout the year, so we are always scouting for new talent. Keep an eye on our Careers Page for our next class of BDR openings!
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