How Shippit Rebuilt Their BDR Function with Earlywork Academy

How we helped Shippit hire 5 high-performing sales reps for their growing team.

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Average Rep Time to Productivity
2.5 Months
No. of Earlywork Hires
5
Average Time to Hire
26 Days
Earlywork has been the perfect partner to help us scale our sales team. The reps we have hired in partnership with Earlywork have allowed us to focus on selling instead of interviewing.
A professional headshot of Chris Weaver
Chris Weaver
Chief Commercial Officer @ Shippit
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The Challenge

Building a scalable BDR structure in 2023, in preparation for aggressive growth targets and profitability in 2024

Aussie logistics scaleup Shippit was founded in 2014 and over the past decade, they’ve built a market-leading position within the eCommerce and logistics space.

Having a sales-led customer acquisition motion, BDRs are an integral part of their go-to-market strategy and in the backdrop of a challenging macro environment, they were looking for stability in the hiring and management of the team.

Having managed dozens of sales reps over the last few years at Shippit & Datto, Lauren Escalona (Head of GTM Operations) understood the value of expanding the talent pool for their BDR function beyond existing sales reps and focusing on intrapersonal skills above all:

"Over the years I've seen the most successful sales careers sprouted from a diverse set of backgrounds - from teachers to chefs to mechanical engineers. One thing all the best DO have in common: a level of introspection that drove a hunger above the rest."
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I've seen the most successful sales careers sprouted from a diverse set of backgrounds. One thing all the best DO have in common: a level of introspection that drove a hunger above the rest.
Lauren Escalona
Lauren Escalona
Head of GTM Operations @ Shippit
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The Solution

Turning to Earlywork Academy

Lauren had been an early contributor in the industry conversations that led to Earlywork Academy starting, participating in a user research study when we were first ideating the program in late 2022.

In particular, she shared some valuable insights on screening talent that influenced the design of our school’s admissions criteria:

"I’ve hired SDRs from lots of backgrounds, what they look like on paper doesn’t matter too much, I want to see evidence that people have stuck to something and shown progress in their role."

So when looking to build their BDR team in 2023, Lauren directly understood the value proposition of the Academy model.

The Shippit team partnered with Earlywork Academy to bring on pre-trained BDRs, as they wanted to build an internal talent pipeline to more effectively fill future hiring needs across the broader commercial org. In focusing on quality BDR hires upfront, they saw an opportunity to grow their next account executives, sales management, customer success and even finance.

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I’ve loved stepping into the BDR role at Shippit. It’s incredibly rewarding to see companies I researched and approached sign with us and shape the future of the company.
Harry Oates
Harry Oates
BDR @ Shippit
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I’ve loved stepping into the BDR role at Shippit. It’s incredibly rewarding to see companies I researched and approached sign with us and shape the future of the company.
Harry Oates
Harry Oates
BDR @ Shippit
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The Results

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Hired multiple BDRs that ramped fast and performed at a high level

In their first year as a partner, Shippit hired multiple BDRs through Earlywork from backgrounds many startups would normally write off including B2B customer support, a cancer researcher, an acoustic engineer, alongside folks switching from marketing and consulting.

First, Derek joined the team in April, coming from a background in corporate customer support and he hit the ground running performing 133% to target in the first ramped quarter, and achieving 150% performance pro-rata in the quarter thereafter.

After wanting to do a hiring push in Q4, we had James Younes (Shippit’s Head of Sales) present in one of our cohorts on tips to help SDRs get promoted faster.

Then, Harry joined in October coming from a consulting background and had a strong start, taking on his full quota in 2.5 months, ahead of his 3-month schedule, creating $1.4m worth of opportunities in his most recent quarter.

I’ve loved stepping into the BDR role at Shippit. It’s incredibly rewarding to see companies I researched and approached sign with us and shape the future of the company. The team is dynamic and hardworking, and I’ve learned so much and made some great friends."

Shippit BDR Reflection:

Following that, Adam and Mike joined together over the summer period from engineering and science backgrounds, and the team is now set up for success in 2024 as they prepare for ambitious growth targets.

Undertaking a big hiring push is usually a heavy drain on sales team resources, often having to block out 1-2 days per week purely for interviews, most of which are time-wasters.

With Earlywork, efficiency is in our DNA and in this sprint, Shippit were able to hire 3 reps from a total of 9 fellows interviews, an average of 3 candidates per hire, compared to an industry average of 21. Here's what Chris Weaver, Shippit's Chief Commercial Officer, had to say about the partnership with Earlywork

"Earlywork has been the perfect partner to help us scale our sales team. The reps we have hired in partnership with Earlywork have allowed us to focus on selling not interviewing with all the reps hired coming in with positive attitudes, curiosity to learn and exceeding expectations quickly."

Now, we’re actively co-developing BDR career progression pathways with Shippit to set up the function for strong retention and prepare for their next round of hiring later this year.

By focusing on attitude & culture fit over experience, and partnering with Earlywork to meet vetted, pre-trained talent, Shippit has transitioned to build a more sustainable BDR hiring strategy with a team of reps that have laid the foundations for repeatable growth.

If you’re a startup looking to hire sales reps who are comfortable working in growth-stage environments, would love to have a chat and see where we can help.

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