SaaS Sales Hiring for Beginners: How to Build a Winning Team From the Ground Up

Besides having an amazing product, SaaS sales hiring is arguably the most critical part of building a successful business. It’s also one of the most daunting, with Bersin Research, reporting that 75% of companies struggle with SaaS sales hiring.

Even for established companies with deep pockets and a dedicated recruiting team, it can be tricky. But if you’re a new startup just getting your bearings, it can be truly intimidating.

For this post, I’m going to lay down a simple template you can follow to build a winning SaaS sales team from the ground up so you’ll know which specific areas to address and assemble a team of true rockstars. Let’s get right into it.

Figure Out What Type of Culture You Want

It may sound a little cliche, but I believe that building a great SaaS sales team starts with first setting a firm foundation. And perhaps the most integral part of establishing a foundation is deciding what you want your culture to be like.


Because your culture will set the tone on how you approach sales hiring, what type of salespeople you want, what skills and characteristics you want them to have, and so on. Without a clearly defined culture, you’re almost guaranteed to lack direction, which will throw off every subsequent step in the formula.

So I recommend taking the time to crystallize exactly what type of culture you want. It will likely evolve over time, but having a clear initial snapshot should help you get started out on the right foot. For guidance on this, check out this Forbes article.

Create an Ideal Candidate Profile

Once you have a grasp on the company culture you’re going for, you’ll want to use that to create an ideal candidate profile. This can include industry experience, hard skills, soft skills, talent needs, working style, and so on. The more specific you get, the more likely you’ll be to find winning candidates that will thrive in your sales environment.

A tool you can use to streamline this process is HireDNA, which will help you build an ideal candidate from scratch.

With it, you can pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for in a SaaS salesperson, leaving no stone unturned, which brings us to our next step.

Use Data-Driven Sourcing, Assessments, and Screening

SaaS recruiting has advanced dramatically in recent years. Rather than relying on “old school” tactics for sourcing, assessing, and screening candidates, you can now leverage cutting-edge technology and concrete data that simply wasn’t possible in the past.

With HireDNA, for example, you can tap into a national network of hundreds of thousands of SaaS salespeople — both active and passive candidates — to find relevant professionals based on your ideal candidate profile.

For assessment, HireDNA uses a data-driven evaluation, looking at key factors like the role, your culture, required experiences, and unique selling skills. Each candidate receives a score in each category, and those with a match score of 75% or higher qualify for the position.

And for screening, HireDNA uses a sophisticated science-based skills assessment that tests 21 core selling competencies, such as the will to sell, motivation, and responsibility.

That way, every candidate in your talent pool is thoroughly vetted, and you can narrow it down to the absolute cream of the crop. From there, it’s just a matter of interviewing the list of candidates you’ve shortlisted and choosing those that best match your culture and ideal candidate profile.

Set Your Sales Reps Up for Success

Up until this point, I’ve talked about the steps leading up to the pre-hire moment. But for the rest of the post, I’ll focus on everything post-hire, starting with equipping your salespeople with what they need to succeed.

This typically begins with robust onboarding, which is something I’ve covered extensively in this post. Some essentials of SaaS onboarding include:

  • Offering new reps an end-all-be-all orientation resource to quickly get them up to speed
  • Formally training them on the software they’ll be selling
  • Educating them on buyer personas
  • Educating them on your UVP and competitor strengths and weaknesses

Another big piece of the puzzle is providing salespeople with proper mentorship and coaching, especially during the initial stages. This should ensure they have the built-in support system needed to “get in the groove” with minimal friction. Not to mention, it’s an effective way to reduce turnover.

Also, simply making it a point to consistently check in with SaaS salespeople to see how they’re doing and if they’re comfortable can go a long way.

Objectively Assess Performance with Analytics

Finally, you’ll want to identify a list of core metrics that most essential to success and stay on top of them with analytics. You don’t need to go crazy with it and measure every single metric, per se, but you should analyze those that are critical to your bottom line like maximizing revenue, increasing efficiency, and fueling growth.

Some examples include:

  • The number of qualified prospects a rep reaches out to
  • Conversion rate
  • Length of the sales cycle
  • Gross revenue
  • Long-term sales growth

You can find a list of the best SaaS sales analytics platforms here.

Winning with Your SaaS Sales Hiring

The fact that three-quarters of companies struggle with SaaS sales hiring speaks to the inherent difficulty of the process, especially for beginners. But by following a proven template that checks all the key boxes, you’ll know how to systematically approach the process and assemble a team of professionals that will position your business for success.

To learn more about how HireDNA can help with SaaS candidate sourcing, assessments, screening, and more, schedule a demo today. Companies that use HireDNA are able to cut their hiring time in half and eliminate 96% of hiring mistakes.

The Surefire Way to Create an Elite SaaS Sales Culture

Let’s be honest. The word “culture” has basically become a buzzword and, in many ways, is now diluted. But despite its slightly annoying ubiquity, having a strong SaaS sales culture is nevertheless highly important.

Why? Because it helps attract better reps, reduces turnover, increases synergy, and generally makes your company a better place to work. In turn, this makes your business more competitive, more profitable, and sets the stage for long-term growth.

While numerous factors contribute to an elite SaaS sales culture, here’s what you should focus on above all else.

Use a SaaS Sales Recruiting Platform to Find Top Talent

In my opinion, the first step of building a great culture starts from the top by not just finding next-level talent but finding next-level talent that’s compatible with your company. These days, a one-size-fits-all approach simply won’t cut it, and you only want to recruit candidates that check all the right boxes. This means choosing candidates based on obvious factors like knowledge, experience, and selling abilities, as well as more subtle factors like thriving in your unique selling environment and being a great cultural fit.

If you can do this effectively, you should make significantly fewer bad hires and lower turnover, which will naturally strengthen your culture.

A proven way to find top talent is by using a SaaS sales recruiting platform like HireDNA. It takes a scientific, data-driven approach where you first create an ideal candidate profile.

Based on this information, HireDNA sources top talent via a national network of active and passive candidates.

From there, candidates are screened…

…and the best ones are then given a sales skills assessment.

Then it’s just a matter of making your choice while having quantifiable data at your fingertips.

SaaS companies that use HireDNA are able to eliminate 96% of wrong hires and lower turnover by a staggering 50%. You can learn more about HireDNA’s recruiting process here.

Build a Framework That Promotes Collaboration and Communication

One of the quickest ways for a culture to turn toxic is to have reps silo information and “go rogue” where each person works individually instead of as a team. While independence is fine and should be encouraged to some extent, it’s important to create an environment where there’s strong collaboration and communication. And this won’t necessarily happen on its own.

As a leader, you’ll want to intentionally build a framework that facilitates this type of teamwork. A good example would be using Slack to create a centralized digital space where your reps can interact, share information, offer tips, and so on.

Besides that, it eliminates much of the back-and-forthing that comes from using email and is perfect for building rapport.

Encourage Friendly Competition

Another critical component of establishing a winning SaaS sales culture is creating an environment that’s conducive to friendly competition. Notice the key word here is “friendly” — not cutthroat where reps try to steal each other’s leads and outdo each other to the point that it becomes toxic.

Ideally, there will be an atmosphere where your sales team gets along and “has each other’s backs” but also has a healthy competitive spirit where everyone consistently does their best. But how do you achieve that?

Here are some ideas:

  • Offer incentives for top performers
  • Hold contests
  • Encourage reps to keep reaching new personal bests and beat their old records
  • Give kudos for achievements

Let Reps Be Themselves

Each salesperson has their own unique strengths and brings something of distinct value to the table. The last thing you want to do as a leader is to suppress that and try to put them into a box. Rather, you want to let each rep tap into their specific skillset and personality so they can fully leverage it and extract their full potential.

This, admittedly, is often easier said than done, and you want to obviously have some type of structure in place rather than letting reps “run wild.” But there are two specific things you can do that will help reps be themselves.

One is to avoid micromanaging and take a step back if you find yourself “hovering.” I think this quote from The Harvard Business Review sums it up perfectly. “Recognize that your way is not the only way, or even necessarily, the best way.” Adopting this mindset should help you avoid this common issue among many leaders.

The other strategy is to give your salespeople more freedom, which can include:

  • Letting them work from where they’re the most productive (e.g. home vs. in the office)
  • Giving them some wiggle room during sales presentations rather than following a detailed script
  • Offer support without telling them what to do

Promote Ongoing Learning

The final piece of the puzzle of building an amazing culture is making learning a habit. Here’s what Forbes has to say about it.

“One characteristic that routinely sets top-performing reps apart is their habit of always staying open to ongoing training, coaching, and development. When we surveyed more than 150 senior sales leaders, top performers earned an average score of 7.5 in this category versus 5.9 for the rest of the reps.”

Whether it’s giving them free access to innovative sales courses and lectures, having them participate in sales programs, or simply sending a team-wide email featuring an interesting YouTube video to help hone their craft, creating this type of atmosphere can do wonders for your culture.

Setting Your Team Up for Success

Given that SaaS sales culture trickles down into virtually every other area of your business, it’s something that demands top priority. While finding success will look a little different for each company, the strategies listed here address the key areas you’ll need to create the perfect environment.

And if you’d like to learn more about HireDNA and see it in action, be sure to schedule your free demo today.

SaaS Sales Recruiting: 5 Essential Tips for Hiring the Right Talent

In 2022, the United States contained more than 17,000 SaaS companies within its borders. Those 17,000 companies serve over 59 billion global customers. In 2023, Statista projects the global SaaS market to exceed $195 billion in market value.

What’s the common thread pinning these statistics together?

They wouldn’t be possible without SaaS sales jobs.

Salespeople deliver results that directly contribute to company (and industry) growth. But, selling SaaS products and solutions is not easy. Tech companies are observing major issues with their SaaS sales recruiting and staff retention metrics—why?

SaaS Sales Recruitment: Obstacles & Challenges

Companies are finding it extremely difficult to source, hire, and more importantly retain competent, high-performing sales staff. Below, I’ll examine some of the key reasons why businesses are experiencing these issues, and then how to revamp your sales hiring strategy.

It’s a Skill Issue—Soft Skill Issue

One of my past blogs was on sales recruiting challenges. In it, I detailed one of the biggest challenges for sales recruiters and SaaS hiring managers: lack of soft skills in new hires. Why is that one of the biggest challenges? It’s notoriously hard to quantify a candidate’s actual soft skill competence with hard data. Companies often hire salespeople who have underdeveloped soft skills.

Empathy, collaboration, the ability to build rapport, and communication skills have always been difficult to quantify with hard data. However, there have been many innovations in this arena in recent years. For example, certain forward-thinking recruiting platforms are providing companies with the ability to accurately quantify a candidate’s soft skill competence level.

For example, HireDNA is able to measure specific sales competencies, such as emotional regulation, foundational beliefs, and resilience in the face of rejection. This enables precise determinations of one’s sales potential. This capability can have a significant impact on SaaS recruiting and hiring success.

Inefficient Hiring Processes

The top salespeople don’t often stay between jobs for very long. In one of my past blogs, I mentioned that it’s common to have a window of only 10 days to find and hire the cream of the crop sales candidates. This is why inefficiency can destroy an organization’s ability to hire the best talent possible. In the fast-paced world of SaaS sales and IT sales recruitment, this rings especially true. 

Below are a few of my recommendations to improve your recruiting and hiring processes:

  • Have a clear understanding of the role you are hiring for and the goals you wish to achieve through this hire.
  • Leverage both passive and active candidates: A lot of the industry’s top talent will not be actively looking for a job.
  • Use a thorough pre-screening process that includes state-of-the-art tools and science-based evaluations. Interviews that focus on behavior, and an in-depth examination of candidates’ past performance, are also beneficial.
  • Employ a sales-specific assessment tool to ensure a candidate’s “sales DNA” competencies are accurately assessed and measured against your organizational needs.
  • Simplify the application process: It’s possible you are losing great candidates very early in the process simply because your application process is too complex or drawn out. I wrote more on this topic here.

Recommended Tools to Source, Screen, Interview, Hire, and Onboard Top SaaS Sales Talent

The end-to-end process of recruiting and hiring top sales professionals can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially for SaaS companies. But it doesn’t have to be. I want to share with you two powerful tools that can help streamline your hiring process and ensure you find the optimal fit for your team.


 eSkill provides a detailed evaluation of a candidate’s communication and collaboration skills. These traits are critical in a sales role. Here are a few of the main advantages that eSkill can provide your company:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of how well a candidate will work within your sales team, increasing the chances of a successful hire.
  • Easy to use and can be integrated into your existing hiring process, making it seamless and efficient.
  • Wide range of assessments, including pre-employment assessments, behavioral assessments, and skills assessments, allowing you to assess a candidate’s fit for the role and your company culture.
  • Detailed reports on each candidate, allowing you to make more informed hiring decisions.
  • Identify potential red flags early on in the hiring process, saving you time and resources.
  • Cost-effective and can help you save money by reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming interviews.
  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your candidates’ emotional intelligence, so you can provide specific, targeted training and development after they are hired to help them (and your company) flourish.


Using HireDNA as a part of their recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training processes, SaaS companies can gain access to a powerful platform that leverages AI and science-based assessments to find the perfect fit for their sales team. Custom-developed for the needs of technology sales teams, HireDNA enables a faster and more streamlined pipeline of qualified candidates, accurate and predictive sales assessments, and effective onboarding and training.

Here is a short overview of our platform’s features and service offerings:

  • Powerful AI matching technology coupled with a proprietary sales recruiting platform, ensuring companies can source and attract top sales producers who fit their ideal candidate profile and selling environment.
  • Crowdsourcing and candidate referral models provide access to an extensive network of sales professionals. This creates a faster pipeline of qualified candidates.
  • Partnership with Objective Management Group (OMG) provides access to sales-specific candidate assessments and salesforce evaluations. These evaluations have been independently verified at 95% accuracy.
  • Onboarding and training processes designed to help new hires ramp up faster and improve retention. HireDNA’s training includes micro-learning, videos, quizzes, and action plans. All are tailored to the new hire’s sales DNA.
  • HireDNA’s results speak for themselves. 50% faster new hire ramp-up, 80% of searches ending in a successful placement, and 92% of candidates recommended and hired reaching the top half of the salesforce.

Using a science-based approach to SaaS sales hiring will continue to become more prevalent over the coming years. As tools like HireDNA and eSkill continue to evolve, companies will be able to attract, hire, and retain more of the best candidates possible—candidates who fit perfectly into their sales ecosystem, company culture, and performance requirements. 

Top 5 Best Practices for SaaS Sales Recruiting and Hiring

1. Have a deep understanding of your “why”

What is your company’s “why?” What about your sales department’s “why?” Culture, vision, goals, objectives, etc.—these all play an important role in the formation of your company’s “why.” When you lack a clear understanding of your company’s vision, ideals, and mission, it can be extremely difficult to find the right talent that fits into your brand’s unique culture and sales ecosystem.

2. Streamline and use a data-driven approach

Having a long, over-extended recruitment process is a talent killer. Luckily, recruiting in SaaS has come a long way (even compared to just a few years ago). Platforms like ours empower companies to fully transform the way they source, recruit, hire, and retain top sales talent. The importance of streamlining your approach to recruiting cannot be overstated. Likewise, leveraging the power of data and AI-driven recruiting tools can be a real game-changer for SaaS companies. 

3. Use your company’s value proposition

One of the more overlooked sales recruiting tips is leveraging your company’s value proposition. Your unique value proposition is a strong selling point to potential sales candidates. Using your value proposition during the recruitment process is crucial. It makes sure that potential hires align with the mission, culture, and “why” of your company. By clearly communicating your unique value proposition, you can ensure you are only bringing on individuals who are genuinely excited about what your company has to offer. 

4. Leverage the power of incentives

Incentives, for both on-hire and performance-based, can make a large difference in attracting top talent that is able to perform versus mid-range salespeople that deliver lukewarm results. Another major reason why incentives are vital to elevating your hiring strategy—passive candidates, which are often top performers, will typically need to be coaxed out of their current roles. Incentivizing passive candidates is highly recommended. Examples of compelling incentives include:

  • Bonus upon hiring
  • Compensation increase
  • Stock ownershp
  • Flexible and/or hybrid work environments
  • Growth opportunities within your organization
  • Ongoing SaaS sales training using industry-leading frameworks, workshops, and resources

5. Consider using SaaS sales recruiters

Delegating the traditionally resource-intensive process of recruitment to SaaS sales recruitment agencies can be helpful for certain companies. Top-notch agencies and their rosters of recruiters are experts at matching top talent with the right companies. However, many recruitment agencies in the tech industry use outdated methods and source poor-quality talent, so I recommend doing your due diligence if you’re considering hiring an agency.


Salespeople play a vital role in the growth of SaaS companies and the industry as a whole. Finding and retaining the industry’s top talent can be difficult, but the advice laid out above can help transform your recruiting process. A quick recap of what we covered:

  • Leverage next-gen recruiting platforms (e.g., eSkill, HireDNA, etc.) to help weed out poor-fit candidates.
  • Restructure your offer – focus on your value proposition, incentives, and attracting talent.
  • Recruit both active and passive candidates.
  • Streamline your processes.

Although companies face many challenges in SaaS hiring and recruitment, the strategies outlined in this blog can help maximize your recruiting efforts and source tier-one talent for your organization.

Elite Salespeople Get Hired in Just 10 Days: The Importance of Acting Quickly with Sales Recruiting

There is a wide range of variables that contribute to successful sales recruiting. Creating a compelling job ad, efficiently filtering through candidates, and optimizing interviewing, for example, are three areas where recruiters place a lot of focus. But one aspect that doesn’t necessarily get as much attention but needs to is acting quickly when you find a strong candidate. 

For this post, I’ll explain why speed is so important in our current sales recruiting climate and provide you with simple tips for streamlining the process without compromising your decision-making. 

The Average Time to Hire is 24 Days

Although the data varies slightly from study to study, research indicates the time to hire for most sales positions is between 20 – 30 days, with an average of around 24 days.

So, there’s a period of about 3 ½ weeks between the initial screening of candidates and them accepting a position. And that’s fine for average salespeople who aren’t in high demand. Because they typically have limited offers, odds are most will still be available if you wait 24 days. However, this won’t usually cut it for elite salespeople, which brings me to my next point. 

Top Sales Candidates Get Hired in Just 10 Days

Research has found the most talented salespeople get snatched up much quicker in just 10 days. “High-quality candidates with loads of experience, robust soft skills, and a network of contacts have an average job search time of only 10 days,” explains SmallBizGenius. And this makes perfect sense. 

Individuals at the top of their industry will naturally have more options and be in much higher demand than their run-of-the-mill counterparts. Because of this increased demand, they don’t stay in job search mode for long. “HR managers should take this into consideration when they spot a promising candidate, SmallBizGenius adds. “If they want that candidate to join the company, they need to act quickly.”

So, if you wait around, triple-check a candidate’s credentials, agonize over their experience, perform several more interviews, and so on, with an extended period of time elapsing, you can’t expect the candidate to still be available. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll already receive an offer from a competitor. 

Time is of the Essence with Elite Salespeople

While every situation is different, 10 days is the quantifiable timeframe you usually have to work with before making your final decision and giving a highly-qualified candidate a formal job offer. If you wait too long, there’s no guarantee an A+ candidate will still be around. That’s why it’s so important to A) recognize when you’ve got top talent on your hands and B) make your offer as quickly as possible.

Here are some strategic tips for doing this to ensure you secure the right salesperson who has the potential to be a strong asset to your company. 

Don’t Overthink It

Let’s say you’ve found a home run candidate who you’re almost sure would be an amazing addition to your sales team and has the “it factor.”  But you hold off on pulling the trigger right away simply because you’re wondering if there’s someone out there who’s even better. After several more engagements with other candidates to satisfy your curiosity, you realize that the rock star candidate is in fact your best option. However, once you circle back and give them the offer, they’ve already been taken by someone else. 

Overthinking it like this is one of the most common mistakes sales recruiters make and one that often costs them. I’m not saying you should be overly hasty and not consider anyone else for the position. But if it’s clear that you’ve got a big fish on the line, nine times out of 10, they’re the candidate you should choose. So keep this in mind and be willing to commit when the time is right. 

Don’t Bypass Rockstars Because They Lack Industry or Product Experience

In a previous post, I explained why selling skills are often more important than industry/product experience. And that’s a topic that’s super applicable here. Many recruiters get caught up in only hiring sales candidates with direct industry or product experience, and they end up missing out on great talent as a result. 

While having this type of experience certainly helps, at the end of the day, what’s most important is being able to sell well. If a candidate can do this, they can always learn your industry and product. My point here is that high-level sales skills are transferable. So if you find a candidate that checks all the right boxes but doesn’t have the exact industry/product experience you’re looking for, it’s by no means a dealbreaker. 

Set a Definitive Deadline to Make a Decision

Finally, you can often prevent heavy hitters from slipping through your fingers by having a firm deadline in place when making a hiring decision. While this probably won’t apply to all candidates across the board — especially the mediocre ones — I suggest having a maximum of a 10-day deadline to make a final decision with rock star candidates. However, even less is better, and if you trim it down to 5 days or fewer, that would be ideal. 

Acting Quickly When You Spot Talent 

Let’s recap. The average time to hire is 24 days. But elite salespeople get hired in just 10 days. This two-week gap can create issues if have a top candidate on your hands but fail to act quickly enough. That’s why it’s essential to pull the trigger when you find top talent and wait no longer than 10 days to give them a formal job offer. 

Want to cut your hiring time in half and find pre-screened, qualified, interview-ready candidates? See how HireDNA can help

Developing a Sales Candidate Communication Plan: A Step-by-step Blueprint

Just as it’s important to keep customers in the loop, sales candidate communication is also integral to recruiting. But here’s the thing. 63% of sales candidates say recruiters don’t communicate adequately, and 53% report not receiving a response until three months after applying. 

That’s a huge problem because a negative candidate experience can quickly sour what could be a valuable relationship and potentially hurt your brand reputation. Creating a positive experience through proper communication, on the other hand, makes candidates 38% more likely to accept an offer. 

In this post, I’ll explain how to develop a winning sales candidate communication plan step-by-step so you can prevent elite salespeople from slipping through your fingers and strengthen your overall brand. 

Step 1: Respond to Each Application

There’s a lot that can go awry in the application process, so sending each candidate a quick response confirming you’ve received their application is a critical first step. This doesn’t have to be anything over the top, just a brief, friendly message through email, text, or social media letting them know they’re officially part of the candidate pool. 

That way they know for sure their application successfully went through, and they can instantly tell you’re a professional that values communication. If you’re wondering how to go about this, you can use candidate engagement software like Yello to automate application confirmations and send them out in large volumes. 

This brings me to the next step.  

Step 2: Explain How Your Hiring Process Works

Another reason for responding to each application is that it gives you the chance to get candidates up-to-speed with your hiring process and what to expect. This is an effective way to get candidates acclimated and should eliminate a lot of confusion. Here’s an example. 

Here the recruiter lets the candidate know they’re reviewing their application and will contact them about the next steps if they’re deemed a good fit for the sales position. The recruiter also lets them know they may consider their application for other positions and that it could happen a few times in the recruitment process. 

On top of that, they share helpful links, allowing the candidate to assess their profile, view application updates, and visit the company’s career center where they can find additional job opportunities. 

Step 3: Communicate at Key Stages

Besides the initial response, there will be other specific intervals where you’ll want to communicate with candidates. These will vary from company to company, but here are some common stages:

  • A week or two after receiving an application reassuring a candidate it’s being looked at
  • Whenever the status of their application changes (For example, when a candidate passes the pre-screening process or is short-listed to move onto the next round of hiring)
  • When they’ve been selected to be interviewed
  • When they’ve officially received a job offer
  • When you’ve decided they’re not the right fit and have chosen to move on without them

Regardless of what happens, this will ensure there’s an open line of communication and candidates aren’t left guessing what’s happened. 

Step 4: Offer Convenient Outreach

Even when following the steps I’ve outlined so far, a portion of candidates will still have questions or concerns. When this happens, they should have a straightforward, convenient way to get in touch with your company. That’s why you should provide a point of contact in a few key locations throughout the recruiting process, such as:

  • The job ad
  • The initial response email
  • Follow up emails
  • Social media profiles
  • Your website

Note that it’s also important to respond quickly, and there are two main strategies to ensure a fast response time. One is to assign dedicated team members to handle inquiries throughout the recruiting process. Ideally, they’ll have enough bandwidth to respond within a few hours so no one’s left hanging for an extended period.

Also, I suggest using a chatbot to answer basic FAQs and point candidates to helpful resources. This is nice because it provides an instant response 24/7 while also freeing up internal manpower. One particular platform I suggest checking out is Mya which features innovative conversational AI. You can learn all about it here. 

Step 5: Seek Feedback

I’m a huge believer in incremental progress. Just like in any other area of business, a big part of improving is gathering data and using it to get better and better. So the last step in developing a sales candidate communication plan is getting feedback. This is a win-win because 1) it provides candidates with a channel for voicing their opinion which improves the candidate experience and 2) it lets you identify your strengths and weaknesses so you’ll know where adjustments should be made. 

And at the moment, this is a drastically underutilized strategy given that 75% of recruiters never or rarely ask for feedback. But considering that 68% of candidates would offer feedback if asked, this is something I highly recommend putting to use. 

The easiest way to go about it is to simply send out an email after you’ve wrapped up your recruiting, asking what candidates liked about it and where you could improve. You may also want to ask them to rate their overall experience so you have a quantifiable number to draw from. As you accumulate more data, trends will begin to emerge which can be a huge asset in the long run. 

Acing Candidate Communication 

Candidate communication is an incredibly important yet surprisingly ignored aspect of recruiting. Being a leader in this department can give you a huge competitive edge and seal the deal with more talented candidates. It’s just a matter of developing a fully fleshed-out sales candidate communication plan by following the five steps outlined above.

Looking to hire SaaS sales talent? Learn how HireDNA can help generate pre-screened interview-ready sales candidates to fill your talent pipeline.

Sales Candidates Read 6 Reviews on a Prospective Company: Using Reviews to Win the Talent War

Reviews are nothing new in the consumer world. 93% of people say they look at online reviews to inform their purchasing decision, and 91% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. But in recent years, there’s been a trend where a growing number of sales candidates are now consulting reviews when evaluating prospective employers.

Recognizing this phenomenon and properly leveraging it can give you a huge competitive advantage and help win the talent war. Here’s how. 

At Least Half of Sales Candidates Now Read Company Reviews

Data from a 2018 study found that roughly 50% of sales candidates read online reviews about companies to learn about the working conditions, culture, and overall environment before applying for a job. While this data is fairly new, I would suspect that the number has increased even more over the last four years and is likely even higher in 2022.  

The bottom line is that a significant percentage of sales candidates turn to company reviews before applying. And it makes sense. With reviews so plentiful, candidates can quickly perform research to get a baseline reading of what it would be like to work as a salesperson with a potential employer. With a little investigating, they can determine whether the company is a good fit and if it’s a position they’d like to pursue. 

Sales Candidates Read an Average of 6 Reviews

In terms of the number of reviews candidates check out on average, it’s six. While most prospects won’t comb through pages and pages of reviews to get a feel for an employer, they’ll look at a handful to see what current employees, former employees, and job seekers have to say. So for reviews to be effective, you’ll need to have at least six (something we’ll discuss in more detail later). 

Most Sales Candidates Trust Employer Reviews 

As I mentioned earlier, 91% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and the same sentiment is shared with most sales candidates looking at employer reviews. While there’s some debate among recruiters as to how big the exact impact is, there’s no denying that reviews play an integral role in shaping the perspective of today’s sales candidates. Some would even go so far as to say that reviews are as important as the actual job postings themselves. 

This graphic below sheds light on how employer brand affects recruitment.

The main stats that stand out to me are:

  • 90% of candidates will apply for a position when the employer actively maintains their brand
  • 50% of candidates won’t work for a company with a poor reputation, even it means better pay
  • 62% of candidates say their first impression improves if an employer responds to a negative review

This brings me to my next point. 

How to Use Employer Reviews to Your Advantage

Let’s recap. We’ve established that company reviews are critical for recruiting in 2022 and beyond, at least half of sales candidates read them, and each candidate reads an average of six reviews. So how can you capitalize on this trend?

Here are my three main suggestions.

First, you should get serious about obtaining reviews from current employees, former employees, and job seekers. You don’t necessarily need a huge volume of reviews. So you don’t have to worry about getting hundreds or even dozens. But having at least six can go a long way for improving your recruiting and should supply sales candidates with the information they need to make an informed decision. 

I recommend starting with your current employees and asking them to leave a review on your website, Glassdoor profile, Indeed profile, or whatever platform you’re using. From there, you can reach out to former employees — ideally, those who went out on good terms. And when you follow up with candidates after an interview, this is a good opportunity to get feedback from job seekers. 

HubSpot is a great example of a company that knocks it out of the park with its reviews. They have a dedicated careers page on their site where they offer brief clips of actual employees talking about what it’s like working for them. For instance, they discuss what it’s like to work remotely at HubSpot and what makes a career in sales at the company unique. 

Next, make a concerted effort to maintain your brand by following best practices, including:

  • Establishing a presence on review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed
  • Keeping company information up-to-date
  • Updating salary and benefits information 

Third, be sure to promptly respond to negative reviews. With nearly two-thirds of candidates saying they have a better first impression if a company responds to a negative review, this shows you’re concerned with the candidate experience and it can minimize any harm to your reputation. Do that and you should be in pretty good shape. 

Using Reviews to Win Over Top Talent

Technology is deeply infused into the modern recruiting process, with online reviews being a prime example. While having reviews was more of a “nice addition” in previous years, we’re at a turning point where it has basically become essential. By properly leveraging reviews and getting sales candidates up to speed on what your company is like and what’s good about it, you can persuade more top talent to apply. This, in turn, should increase the quality of your talent pool and help you ultimately win over elite prospects to improve your bottom line. 

To further enhance your recruiting and find top talent using science-based assessments and intelligent matching, check out HireDNA. 92% of candidates recommended by it reach the top of their sales force within their first year, and it eliminates 96% of hiring mistakes. 

How to Calculate Cost Per Hire to Keep SaaS Sales Recruiting Costs Down

Hiring top-tier talent is one of the most essential parts of running a successful SaaS company. But of course, that takes money, and often a lot of it.

To keep SaaS sales recruiting costs down, one of the first things you need to do is figure out what your average cost per hire is and where your money is going. From there, you can determine how effective your efforts are, your recruiting strengths and weaknesses, and what adjustments need to be made. 

In this post, I’ll explain exactly what cost per hire is, offer a simple formula for calculating it, and provide actionable advice for reducing SaaS sales recruiting costs. 

What is Cost Per Hire?

“Cost per hire,” simply put, “is a recruiting metric that measures the costs associated with the process of hiring new employees,” writes AIHR. There are two main types of costs involved here — internal and external. 

Internal costs can include:

  • In-house recruiter salaries, benefits, and performance bonuses
  • Referral bonuses for employees who recommend candidates
  • Interviewing expenses
  • Money spent on onboarding, training, and development
  • Administrative costs, including office equipment and software 
  • Compliance costs for ensuring laws and regulations are met

External costs can include:

  • Recruiting agency fees
  • Job advertisements (posting ads on job boards or social media)
  • Marketing expenses (SEO, social media marketing, and company branding)
  • Candidate screening costs (time spent contacting references and performing background checks)
  • Technology expenses such as an applicant tracking system
  • Job fair expenses

How Do You Calculate Cost Per Hire?

The formula is quite simple. Add up your internal recruiting costs and your external recruiting costs within a particular period (e.g. a year). Then divide it by your total number of hires during that same time period. 

Here’s what the formula looks like. 

Say, for example, you spent a total of $40,000 on recruiting, including internal and external costs, during the course of a year. If you hired 10 salespeople during that time, your cost per hire would be $4,000.

And while making calculations is pretty straightforward, gathering information on all the costs isn’t always so easy. In fact, it can be quite time-consuming, especially if there are a lot of moving parts involved with your recruiting. To streamline the process, I suggest first identifying all of your internal and external costs during a specific period of time and writing them out in two separate columns. Then, go through it one by one working with your finance and accounting team to pinpoint each cost as accurately as possible. 

From there, it’s just a matter of figuring out how many new salespeople you’ve brought on board during the same time period.

What’s the Average Cost Per Hire?

Now that you know how to calculate cost per hire, you may be asking, “How does it compare with other brands?” While there’s a lot of data out there from countless studies, the average cost per hire for SaaS companies across the board is $4,425

Keep in mind that it costs significantly more to hire someone in a higher-ranking position like a sales account manager as opposed to an entry-level salesperson. But when you crunch the numbers, it comes out to just north of $4,000. So that’s a good benchmark to shoot for. 

If your cost per hire is significantly less than that, you’re doing great and probably don’t need to make any major changes. On the other hand, if it’s significantly more than that, changes are likely in order, and you’ll want to analyze your SaaS sales recruiting process to identify inefficiencies. This brings me to my final point. 

How to Lower Your Cost Per Hire with a Sales Recruiting Platform

Let’s say your cost per hire is more than it should be. How can you lower it?

While there are numerous strategies that can help, pound for pound one of the best is using a sales recruiting platform like HireDNA. This utilizes cutting-edge technology and a proven methodology to connect with leading SaaS sales candidates and successfully hire them while dramatically streamlining the process.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account and work with a talent advisor to develop an ideal candidate profile based on specific hiring criteria.
  2. HireDNA then uses intelligent matching and science-based assessments to find a pool of active and passive SaaS salespeople that possess critical core selling competencies and that match your unique hiring criteria. 
  3. Candidates are screened to narrow it down to the best of the best and ensure they’re the right fit for your company. 
  4. Qualified candidates are sent to you for approval and feedback.
  5. You then interview and hire the candidates you like best. (HireDNA even offers onboarding and training).

This provides a straightforward framework that allows you to save money by shaving off many expenses like recruiting agency fees, job advertisements, marketing costs, and candidate screening costs. And because this platform looks so closely at key data points and core selling competencies, you know for certain all candidates match your role and hiring criteria. In fact, 92% of SaaS salespeople recommended by HireDNA reach the top of their sales team within a year. 

Final Thoughts

Cost per hire is one of the most fundamental yet important metrics in SaaS sales recruiting. It tells you how much you’re spending on average to hire a salesperson and provides key insights into your strengths and weaknesses. If your cost per hire is on par with the industry benchmark of $4,425, you should be in fairly good shape. If, however, it’s considerably more than that, you’ll want to look for ways to lower it, and using a sales recruiting platform is one of the most effective ways to go about that. 

Learn more about HireDNA and book a live demo here

SaaS Sales Recruiting Stats in 2022: A Complete Bird’s-Eye View

The New Year is upon us! It’s always an exciting time for SaaS sales recruiting because there are new patterns, new trends, and new opportunities. 

In this post, I’ll share with you the latest SaaS sales recruiting stats in 2022 to guide your strategy and give you a competitive edge. Let’s jump right in. 

98% of Today’s Top Companies Use Recruiting Software

While you may not surprised that a lot of companies use recruiting software to streamline the process and find quality candidates, you probably didn’t expect it was this many. But according to recent data, nearly all of today’s Fortune 500 companies now use this technology — a stat that shows how ubiquitous and effective it is. 

Platforms like HireDNA take the guesswork out of SaaS sales recruiting, helping you attract elite candidates based on a wide range of core competencies, fill open positions faster, and reduce hiring mistakes. The key is using cutting-edge technology like intelligent matching that analyzes 20 key data points and science-based assessments to predict success. 

And with 33% less turnover, you can build a stronger, more loyal team of salespeople that are in it for the long haul.

88% of Companies Now Use AI for Recruiting

Another form of technology that’s rapidly expanding in SaaS sales recruiting is AI. Studies have found that, globally, 88% of companies are currently using it, with a staggering 100% of Chinese companies doing so. 

In terms of specific applications, some of the most common include “using chatbots to engage with candidates during recruitment (41%)” and “screening and assessing candidates during recruitment (40%).” For an in-depth list of other ways to leverage AI for recruiting, check out this resource

86% of HR Experts Say Recruitment Has Become More Like Marketing

SaaS industry growth is a bit of a double-edged sword. While it means increased opportunities and a larger customer base, it also means more competition. And with widespread talent shortages, the competition will be even more fierce in 2022. 

To keep up, 86% of HR experts say you need to approach recruitment like a marketing campaign. In other words, it’s no longer sufficient to haphazardly put out job ads and expect an overflowing pool of qualified candidates. Rather, you need to strengthen your brand and work on growing your presence across multiple mediums. 

This brings me to my next point. 

68% of Millennials, 54% of Gen-Xers, and 48% of Boomers Say They Evaluate a Prospective Employers’ Brand on Social Media

One of the main mediums in which candidates evaluate SaaS brands is social media. Over two-thirds of millennials do so, as well as many Gen-Xers and Boomers. And while this particular study doesn’t include Gen Z (candidates 24 and under), it’s safe to assume they use social media to check out prospective employers as well. 

The takeaway here is that SaaS companies need to have a strong social media presence, and it’s key for winning the competitive battle. As for the most popular social networks, here’s how that breaks down.

The main networks to focus on in 2022 are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

Having a Strong Brand Image Can Reduce Your Cost-Per-Hire By as Much as 50%

Piggybacking off that, research has found having a strong brand image can dramatically lower your cost-per-hire, with some estimates being as much as 50% lower. Why?

This naturally helps you acquire higher-quality candidates and spares you a lot of recruiting expenses that SaaS brands with a poorer brand image have to deal with. If, for example, you’re an industry stand out like HubSpot, many top-tier candidates will come to you organically rather than constantly having to funnel money into recruiting. 

That’s why it pays to always look for ways to strengthen your brand image and provide a great employee and candidate experience.

Including a Video in a Job Posting Increases the Application Rate By 34%

I’m always a fan of simple recruiting techniques (hacks, if you will) that have a huge impact. If you’re looking for a straightforward way to significantly increase your application rate that doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of effort, including a video in your job posting is it. In fact, studies have found this results in a whopping 34% more applications on average. 

And that’s not surprising given the massive success of video platforms like YouTube. As of 2021, it had 1.86 billion users, and that number should only continue to increase into 2022 and beyond. 

52% of Applicants Say a Lack of Response From Employers is Their Number One Frustration 

Finally, it’s important to know the biggest sources of friction in the SaaS sales recruitment process. According to recent data, the main issue candidates have is not receiving a sufficient response from employers, with over half citing this as their main frustration

This shows the importance of being as communicative as possible throughout recruiting and not leaving candidates hanging. While you don’t necessarily need to fill them in on every last detail, it’s nice to let candidates you’re passing on know when you’ve decided to move on and keep those who’ve been shortlisted in the loop. Doing so sets the tone for a positive candidate experience and should help improve your brand equity as we discussed earlier. 

Starting 2022 Out on the Right Foot

From leveraging technology like recruiting software and AI to approaching SaaS sales recruiting like marketing to building a strong brand image to lower cost-per-hire, these stats paint a clear picture of what to expect in 2022. By making the right adjustments and focusing on core objectives, your SaaS company can start out on the right foot in the New Year. 

Want to learn more about how HireDNA can optimize your sales recruiting? Get the full details and see how 92% of recommended candidates reach the top of their sales force after working with HireDNA. 

How Pre-Screening SaaS Sales Candidates Can Cut Your Hiring Time in Half

SaaS sales has one of the slowest times to hire, according to recent data from LinkedIn. Their study found this industry has a median time to hire of 38 days, which means it takes well over a month for most SaaS companies to fill vacant positions. 

But what do you do when you’re in a rush and need to find qualified SaaS sales candidates in a hurry?

Here’s a proven strategy that can slash your hiring time in half.

Pre-Screen SaaS Sales Candidates

There’s a lot that goes into making the right hire. For example, you need to look at hard and soft skills, previous experience, education, core competencies, and so on. This, however, presents a problem because it can quickly become overwhelming to sort through all of this information manually. And many SaaS companies simply don’t have the bandwidth to devote to intensive recruiting. 

One of the best ways to filter through a high volume of applicants and narrow it down to the top contenders is through pre-screening. This is where you gather critical qualification information about candidates so you know who meets the necessary criteria and who doesn’t. That way you can quickly determine who to move to the next round of hiring and who to pass on.

When done correctly, this can expedite the hiring process dramatically.  

But There’s a Caveat

There’s just one issue. The pre-screening systems that many SaaS companies currently use often fall short.  

“The problem with most pre-screening processes is they are misaligned with your company’s needs related to missing skill sets, knowledge, or experience,” writes Murray Newlands in Forbes. Also, “antiquated pre-screening techniques could be prone to human errors and those involved in this part of the process may not be trained to make the right decisions.”

In other words, failing to have the right pre-screening system in place can actually do more harm than good. And if it’s not having any tangible results, what’s the point?

Use a SaaS Sales Recruiting Platform

That’s where a SaaS sales recruiting platform comes in. This software uses a proven, repeatable process that enables you to quickly find top talent that’s interview-ready without having to manually sift through dozens or even hundreds of candidates yourself. More importantly, it takes into account all of the essential qualification information necessary to ensure you make the right hires. 

Here’s how it works. 

First, you define the skills, competencies, and characteristics you need in a sales candidate —  their “DNA.” Next, the software uses powerful technology to pinpoint a list of active and passive candidates that perfectly match your criteria. HireDNA, for instance, taps into a verified national network sales talent to generate a pool of top-tier candidates. 

From there, candidates are screened and assessed using the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment which uses quantifiable data to predict success before being hired. HireDNA uses intelligent matching that analyzes 21 key data points to determine role, culture, and experience fit. This ensures every single person who makes it to the interviewing round fits your ideal candidate profile and has the core competencies needed to thrive in your SaaS selling environment. 

Here’s an example. 

At that point, the best of the best candidates are delivered to your inbox where you can conveniently manage them and decide who you want to interview. It’s then just a matter of going through the interview process and selecting new SaaS salespeople for your team. Platforms like HireDNA even include onboarding and training programs to get new hires up-to-speed quickly and have them hit their quotas in a shorter period of time.  

Additional Benefits

While results will vary, many SaaS companies are able to slash their hiring time in half with this pre-screening process. So, if you’re frustrated with your current time to hire, a SaaS sales recruiting platform is definitely something to consider. Besides the impact it can have on hiring duration, it offers some other key benefits as well. 

Perhaps the biggest is that it allows you to attract higher-quality candidates. Research has found, for example, that utilizing the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment can reduce hiring mistakes by 96%, and 92% of recommended candidates reach the top half of the sales force within their first year. Enabling SaaS companies to swiftly navigate through the process without running into any major glitches. 

Finally, there’s a correlation between using a SaaS sales recruiting platform and higher retention. In fact, turnover decreases by more than 33% with HireDNA — a trend that’s largely due to the industry-leading assessment science. By building a stronger team of sales reps that are naturally a great fit for your company, you can keep more of them around for the long haul and often set the stage for internal promotions. That way you’re not stuck in the endless cycle of finding and onboarding SaaS salespeople, only to wind up needing to replace them.

Drastically Reducing Your Time to Hire Without Sacrificing Quality

With 38 days being the median time to hire for SaaS companies, it’s definitely an area that needs some improvement. After all, if a key position is sitting vacant for over a month, this can take a chunk out of your productivity and profitability. Developing an efficient, pre-screening process, however, ideally with a technology sales recruiting platform, can dramatically reduce your time to hire by as much as 50%. 

Want to learn more about how this technology can accelerate your SaaS sales hiring?. Reach out to HireDNA today!