How to Hire NBD in a Software House? (Part 1)


If you’re wondering how to hire NBD in a software house, let me assist and explain how we do it ourselves.

Pagepro is quite famous for its tough recruitment process.

But internally we don’t think it’s so much hard (at least knowledge-wise), compared to many other software houses. However, it is indeed more aligned to the people that willing to push a bit harder and deliver more than expected.

Searching for dedicated and ambitious people may appear to be challenging. For us, finding a great person to work with in-house has a totally different approach and expected outcome than finding a freelance developer just to do one job.

While hiring an agency or subcontractor, we mostly focus on the result, but when we hire an in-house employee, we think of the future and growth of both of us, which change our recruiting objectives quite a lot.

To make sure we are all going the right way, we prefer to make it a bit harder at the beginning and be sure of what can be expected from the newcomers.

Define the role of NBD in your company

In Pagepro NBD role is building quality network, finding and qualifying leads,, and schedule calls for CEO.

Every business would like to grow big and fast.

This is why many agencies and software houses treat salespeople as their most important factor of growth and putting too many expectations that are almost never met.

If your business is lasting for several years and you have more than one client, you probably already have some sales knowledge inside the company. In most of the cases, founders are the people that sell. They sell because they have a lot of domain/technology knowledge and a lot of commitment. It will be hard to hire a similar person, but you can do a few things that make founders’ life easier- get rid of the tasks that are easy to delegate.

In Pagepro NBD role is about building a quality network, finding and qualifying leads and then schedule calls for CEO who is there to close the deals.
If you’re just starting with expanding your sales department we would recommend hiring a Junior Business Developer. You could also hire an external consultant to help with your processes and train JBD.

Junior Business Developer

One of the rules in sales is that you don’t talk about the sales on the first meeting. Or first conversation. The early stages should be focused more on actually getting noticed, heard and build any kind of interest.

If you already know who is your client, where to look for them and how to speak to them, you can hire a Junior Business Developer, who wills to learn and start his career by taking care of the very early stages of your sales.

Here are some task JBD can take care of:

  • Qualifying potential clients
  • Scheduling meetings for senior team members
  • Engaging prospects via email/social media/phone
  • Creating lists of ideal potential clients
  • Conducting internet/social media search
  • Managing sales data in company CRM
  • Responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner

Recruitment stages

Recruitment stages help us verify the knowledge, talent, and the attitude of a candidate.

If you already know who you want to hire, and what for, it’s time to set up some filters on the recruitment process that will help you choose the right person.

You already heard that before. Knowledge and talent are important, but the attitude beats any knowledge and any talent in the world.

If knowledge is what you know, and talent is the ability to pick up a certain knowledge a bit easier than somebody else, then the attitude (or effort), is like the engine making the actual use of both talent and knowledge.

If you compare it to a car, the knowledge, and the talent are like the steering and the cooling system. Without the engine and driving car, they can be the best in the world, yet still useless.

This is why we came up with a recruitment process to verify all three factors (knowledge, talent, and attitude) of a future salesperson.

Our recruitment process consists of up to 4 steps:

  • Online tasks
  • Language test (phone interview)
  • Initial interview
  • Final interview

Online Tasks

Sending CV and portfolio is typical. We believe that the candidate should care a bit more than just to send it out and wait for things to happen. We want to be sure he is ready to do the effort and don’t mind going the extra mile.

Sometimes a CV can be misleading. We like to give chances to “people from the streets” even with a weak CV or no proven experience. Online tasks are the best ways to check up on somebody’s persistence and how brave someone is, or how serious he treats the job.

Future Business Developers are working in the early stages of the sales funnel. closely with the CEO and other sales and marketing team members.
Their principal responsibilities – qualifying and approaching customers – will include knowledge of our business and market.

This is why we came up with two tasks:

Task 1:

Check our website and find across the internet ten potential customers for our company. The ideal task should include your comment on why we should approach them.

After we receive the list of potential contacts, we check the value of them, compared to our ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). If they are far away, we ask to send us more, until we have at least ten good matches.

This task is our favorite persistence-meter. Some people are giving up on it before they even start.

Task 2:

Create a compelling message that we would send to our potential customers. The copy should be delivered across LinkedIn or by email.

This one is less obvious, and we also think it’s way much harder than the first task.

It helps us explore how well the person is able to understand the position of our ICP and people that may be interested in what we do.

Also, we think that the first message should be more of a trigger than the sale, which gives the task a lot of space for the creative approach we value the most.

If the list of companies and the message seems good enough, we go to another stage to check how communicative the person is on the phone.

The test task is also a good filter- some candidates won’t do it properly or on time.

Language test (phone interview)

Language test is to check the level of language as well as clarity of communication.

Communication is crucial, and there are two things we check on the phone interview.

The first is language. When you come from Eastern Europe, you will always look suspicious to everyone from the UK, thanks to your slightly “Russian” accent, and that’s totally understood.

Don’t get me wrong. Just when I was pretty sure my English is fluent and I could even write a book easily, I went to visit London.

I couldn’t understand sh*t.

Talking to Londoners or UK people was one of the most disruptive and muddling things to my mind. The more they spoke, the more I felt a helicopter in my head and the less I could understand and believe it is actually the same language I’ve been learning for the last couple of years.

It took me around two months to catch it up and understand what these people actually say, and this is what we check in the first place on the phone.

Is the person able to communicate and understand English correctly?

However, language is only a small bit of the big picture.

In Pagepro, we value the clarity and simplicity of a message even more than the language skills.

And this is the second thing we check during the phone interview. You can ask whatever comes to mind. Just pay attention to the form of thoughts presented.

Remember, presenting knowledge is something different from having the knowledge, and it is the core of every communication, especially in IT, where people value each and every minute.

To be continued

The next step is obviously a face to face interview, but we prefer to write the whole another dedicated article about it.

Stay tuned!

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