The Art of Sales Team Evaluations: A Practical Guide

Your sales team is the lifeblood of your company. It’s that simple. Regardless of how great your marketing team is at generating leads and your customer service team is at resolving issues, it’s all for nothing if your salespeople can’t close. To ensure you A) have a team of qualified professionals and B) they’re operating at their best, routine sales team evaluations are essential.

In this guide, I’ll provide a practical strategy to effectively evaluate your salespeople to get them firing on all cylinders.

Assess Your Sales Team as a Whole

When determining performance, you’ll need to look at the macro level of your collective sales team and the micro level of individual salespeople. I recommend starting at the macro level because it should show you your team’s performance as a whole.

To do this, you’ll need to identify the specific KPIs that are most important to your sales team’s success and analyze them. While numerous KPIs play a role in sales team performance, here are some of the most fundamental.

  • Revenue
  • Conversion rate
  • Quota attainment
  • Average deal size
  • Sales cycle length

This graphic illustrates even more potential sales KPIs to look at.

Assess Individual Salespeople

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what your collective sales team’s performance is, it’s time to go more granular to individual salesperson performance.

Most of the KPIs here will look the same, and you’ll want to look at revenue, conversion rate, quota attainment, average deal size, and so on. However, there are a few other KPIs you’ll want to measure on the individual level to gain a deeper perspective on how big of a contributor each rep is to your organization.

Some of those include pipeline contribution, win-loss ratio, and activity metrics like the number of emails, calls, and meetings over a particular period.

As you generate this data, it’s helpful to create a graph that provides a visual overview of individual salesperson performance side-by-side. Here’s a simple example.

While this won’t necessarily tell the whole story and you’ll want to take extraneous factors into account, this should provide a fairly objective overview so you can get a sense of who your top performers are, as well as who’s underperforming.

Look at the Overall Growth Trajectory

At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how your collective sales team and individual salespeople are performing. You should also have identified any specific issues that need to be addressed, such as a particular sales rep’s conversion rate being noticeably lower than other team members.

But to really get a bird’s-eye view of which direction you’re heading, you’ll want to look at overall sales growth by comparing numbers over a period of time (you’ll usually want at least one year of data). While there are multiple areas you can analyze to assess overall growth trajectory, total revenue tends to be the best starting point and should give you a good baseline reading of what your trajectory looks like.

Creating something as simple as a spreadsheet table with a breakdown of annual revenue like this usually should be adequate.

For more on calculating your company’s sales growth, I suggest reading this post from HubSpot.

Look at Customer Satisfaction and Retention

At first glance, salesperson performance may not seem like it would have all that big of an impact on customer satisfaction and retention. But in reality, there’s a significant correlation.

I like what global brand marketing strategist Angela Hausman has to say about it.

“Consistency plays a crucial role in fostering customer satisfaction across various touchpoints in a company’s interactions with its clients. Customers expect a consistent experience when engaging with a company, whether it is through product offerings, service delivery, or communication. This consistent experience creates a sense of reliability and predictability, which, in turn, helps to build trust and confidence in the brand.”

If, for example, a lead who eventually becomes a customer has a positive experience with a salesperson where the rep promptly follows up after inquiries, effectively addresses their unique pain points, and helps them choose the best product version, this is likely to build a good rapport. In turn, this should increase customer satisfaction and help retain them longer.

On the other hand, if the person has a poor experience with a salesperson where the rep is slow to respond and fails to point them to the right product version, it will likely create friction, which could be detrimental to the customer experience, and you may lose the customer earlier than you should.

The bottom line is that customer satisfaction and retention will often lend insight into sales team performance. While you will certainly want to look at other factors like product quality and customer service, I feel it’s worth taking these factors into account during sales team evaluations, as this can help you spot problem areas.

For assessing customer satisfaction, you can use a mix of customer surveys, complaints, social media monitoring, and your Net Promoter Score (NPS).

And one of the better tools for measuring retention is Woopra, which offers a comprehensive overview of your churn rate over time.

Using Sales Team Evaluations to Propel Your Company Forward

Due to the extreme impact your sales team has on your bottom line, evaluating their performance at least annually is highly important. By staying on top of it both collectively and individually, you should be able to identify minor issues before they escalate and further refine the areas you’re succeeding in.

While the specific strategies used in sales team evaluations can differ significantly from company to company, the formula outlined above should ensure you cover all the major bases.

To get started with an evaluation of your sales team check out the OMG salesperson evaluation, it provides the most comprehensive and holistic sales-specific evaluation. You can request a free sample evaluation here.

And if you’re looking to assess potential candidates to find the best of the best, check out The OMG Sales Candidate Assessment, which accurately predicts the likelihood of a salesperson succeeding based on 21 proven sales core competencies. 91% of recommended and hired candidates has positive on the job performance.

SaaS Sales Management Strategy: Tactics to Improve Underperforming Teams and Drive Results

A recent survey found only 18% of sales teams were reaching 70% or more of their quotas. And only 43% were even hitting 50% of their quotas. Further, 58% of sales teams were only reaching 20-40% of their quota attainment or less, which clearly shows there’s room for improvement in the SaaS sales management strategy of many companies.

If you’ve been feeling underwhelmed with your team’s performance as of late, this post is for you. In it, I’ll offer a simple yet effective step-by-step SaaS sales management strategy that should get your numbers to where they need to be.

Assess Your Current Team to Identify Low Performers

The first step is to gain an objective understanding of who’s carrying their weight and who’s not. You’ll likely have an idea of who your top performers are, but it’s important to look at some concrete data to identify low performers.

I like CEO and co-founder of SaaStr Jason Lemkin’s take on it. According to him, “Realistically, in most cases, the best thing to do is let some of your low performers go and reroute those leads to your higher performers. Get back to a core group of folks that can close, and then keep the bar high, and add to it. No one is happy with < 50% quota attainment.”

So how do you identify low performers?

I suggest looking at these metrics:

  • How many conversions each salesperson has made in the past six months to a year
  • What each person’s close rate is
  • What each rep’s average deal size is
  • How much their accounts have grown or diminished
  • What their overall quota attainment rate momentum is (are they trending up or down?)

Looking at these numbers should provide clarification so you’ll know for a fact who the low performers are, which brings me to my next point.

Let the Low Performers Go

Once you know for certain who’s not carrying their weight, it’s a good time to let go of your low performers. While this isn’t always pleasant, and you’ll want to take any extenuating circumstances into account, “trimming the fat” and sending leads to your top performers is usually an effective way to recalibrate your sales team and get your quota attainment rate to an acceptable level.

As Lemkin explains, “The best sales teams really do see 70% or more of their team hitting quota, or at least 70% of scaled reps (which often means 60% or so overall). It just energizes everyone, and success builds on success.”

Offer Ongoing Sales Training

At this point, you’ll want to equip your top performers with the tools they need to be their best — something that can often be done with proper sales training. While a one-off course can be helpful, I find that it’s ideal to offer ongoing sales training given the fast-paced nature of the SaaS industry.

With trends constantly changing, the teams that perform the best are usually the ones that stay on top and continually refine their collective skillset.

To find a suitable sales training platform for your SaaS company, I recommend browsing through this list from HubSpot.

They offer 36 of the top programs that can fit every need and budget.

Use Sales Tech and Productivity Tools

Sales tech and productivity tools help improve efficiency and performance with less so you can sell more without adding headcount. And with AI becoming increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous, the potential results you can get are off the charts.

A good example is using a scheduling tool like Calendly to allow leads to conveniently choose a time slot for a product demo.

Calendly kills two birds with one stone because it lets your sales team capitalize on the momentum and strike while the iron is hot while also saving your reps time. Rather than making a hot lead wait to get a response and schedule a demo, they can do it right away when they’re most interested.

And instead of wasting time back-and-forthing with leads, your reps can confirm demo times and automatically have them penciled into their calendars.

You can find a comprehensive list of sales tech and productivity tools here.

Hire Top Tier Talent

The last piece of the puzzle for our SaaS sales management strategy is to improve your SaaS sales hiring process from here on out. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to bring new team members on board immediately (even if you’ve let low performers go). But it’s important to fine-tune your hiring so you don’t run into the problem of low performers in the future.

Easier said than done, right?

While there is no magic bullet for finding elite talent 100% of the time, using a comprehensive sales assessment can accurately and consistently help you find top performers using objective data.

Objective Management Group’s Sales Assessment, for example, looks at critical criteria like the will to sell, how much a person enjoys selling, motivation, core competencies, and more to filter through a large pool of candidates and narrow it down to the best of the best. It can be customized for your unique selling environment and tailored to your specific needs. And it can be used for nearly any sales role.

So if you’re looking for a simple way to evaluate SaaS salespeople and pinpoint top tier talent, this is a good way to go about it.

In terms of results, 92% of the candidates that are recommended by the assessment go on to reach the top half of their sales force within their first year.

A SaaS Sales Management Strategy to Get Your Team on Track

If you’re less than excited about your current sales quota attainment rate, you’re not alone. Only 18% of sales teams are hitting 70% or more of their quotas.

But if you follow the SaaS sales management strategy outlined above, you should be able to 1) steady the ship to quickly bump up your quota attainment rate and 2) set the stage for continued success in the long run.

If you’re interested in learning more about Objective Management Group’s sales assessment, you can get the full details here.

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.

Here’s Why 79% of Talented Salespeople Quit

While today’s sales brands face numerous challenges, one of the biggest is salesperson retention — an issue that’s especially pressing for smaller businesses. A recent study even found that 55% of companies cited retention as the number one challenge, officially usurping lack of capital.

I’ll be the first to admit that solving the retention problem isn’t easy. It’s incredibly complex with a long list of ever-changing variables. That said, there is some low-hanging fruit that’s a great starting point. And that’s what I want to tackle in this post.

Here’s why 79% of talented salespeople quit and what you can do about it.

A Lack of Appreciation

Let’s get right down to it. There are countless reasons why salespeople quit. Better pay, a lack of career development opportunities, and a poor work-life balance are just a few that come to mind. But a recent study found that one of the biggest contributors to turnover is simply not being appreciated.

“A whopping 79% of employees will quit their job because of a lack of appreciation from leaders,” explains Georgi Todorov of Thrive My Way. To be fair, this stat doesn’t say that nearly four out of five salespeople have quit because of a lack of appreciation. It just says that they will quit.

But from this data, we can confidently say that a lack of appreciation is one of the biggest reasons companies lose elite talent.

Looking Closer into Why Salespeople Quit

A few years back in 2017, Forbes wrote an interesting article about the correlation between a lack of appreciation and turnover. In it, they mentioned that “66% of employees say they would ‘likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated.’ This is up significantly from 51% of employees who felt this way in 2012. Among millennials, the number of employees who’d leave if unappreciated jumps to 76%. This helps account for the overall increase from the 51% figure in 2012, as millennials are becoming the dominant generation in the workforce, with a unique set of characteristics and needs.”

Now that we’re in 2022 and millennials have saturated the workforce even more and will continue to be the dominant force for years to come (take a look at the graph below), it’s easy to see why the number of salespeople who say they’ll quit because of a lack of appreciation has swelled to 79%.

No, Millennials will NOT be 75% of the Workforce in 2025 (or ever)!

While being appreciated has always been important, it appears to be especially important for younger demographics. A separate article by SHRM corroborates this idea, saying that recognition is huge for millennials, as well as Gen Z, which is starting to enter the workforce in larger numbers.

From a Turnover Risk to a Loyal Employee

Something else I found interesting was that placing a larger focus on employee appreciation can help companies go from battling turnover to having a team of highly engaged, loyal, dedicated salespeople. And this is especially true for younger reps.

“While some employers may see these young workers as disloyal or unmotivated, the truth is that they can be turned into an organization’s most enthusiastic and valuable resource when shown appreciation for their work and rewarded in the right way,” notes Rodney Mason, CRO of payroll technology firm daVinci Payments.

More specifically, 79% of salespeople say increasing recognition rewards would increase their loyalty.

Zooming out, nearly four out of five salespeople will quit because of a lack of appreciation. But conversely, the exact same number say increasing appreciation would boost their loyalty. So you can see firsthand just how big of an impact there can be.

Going After the Low-Hanging Fruit

While knowing that such a large percentage of your salesforce could potentially quit for one single reason is a little frightening, at the same time it’s good news because the solution isn’t rocket science. In fact, it’s incredibly simple. You just need to show appreciation.

There are several ways to go about this. Some brands go all out and create a formal employee recognition program (you can learn how to create one here if you’re interested). Some write blog posts with the sole purpose of spotlighting salesperson achievements. Some show their appreciation on social media, and so on.

But it doesn’t have to be this formal. At the end of the day, it just boils down to baking appreciation into your company culture and your daily interactions. And these five tips are a great starting point.


This is one of the easiest ways to get your turnover under control, build stronger relationships within your company, and gain a competitive advantage. And it doesn’t require you to shell out huge salaries, offer over-the-top benefits, or implement game-changing career development opportunities. You simply need to appreciate your sales reps.

Understanding Why Salespeople Quit (And Fixing It)

Turnover is complex, with countless hours and big money often being spent trying to reduce it. While there is no magic bullet for curbing turnover, understanding the psychology behind why many salespeople quit is a critical first step. And as we’ve learned in this post, one of the biggest reasons is simply due to a lack of appreciation.

Fortunately, this isn’t something that takes deep pockets or a robust HR department to fix. You just need to adjust your mindset and make employee appreciation a focal point. Do that effectively, and your retention rate can’t help but improve.

Find out how HireDNA can not only help you find better sales talent faster but retain salespeople longer. By using cutting-edge technology like intelligent matching and science-based assessments, HireDNA eliminates 96% of hiring mistakes and reduces turnover by more than 33%.

Clutch Awards HireDNA Among The Best Recruitment Agencies For 2022

HireDNA is a recruiting platform that uses intelligent matching technology to generate qualified interview-ready sales candidates for growing SaaS companies.

We are thrilled to be recognized as one of Clutch’s 2022 leaders in the recruitment industry. For context, Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. There are many ratings and reviews websites out there, but what sets Clutch apart is that their trained business analysts perform in-depth interviews with clients about the quality of their interaction with each Clutch-registered company.

Every year, Clutch honors the highest-performing B2B companies across different industries. The top service providers exhibit profound knowledge in their field and a solid dedication to high-quality customer service. We work hard to deliver the absolute best products and working experience to our clients, and we’re thrilled that this hard work has paid off.

“We are excited to have been chosen as one of the leading SaaS sales recruiting platforms in the Washington, DC Metro Area by Clutch!” – Anwar Allen, CEO of

We are truly thankful to our clients for the opportunity to partner with them to help them achieve their sales hiring goals. Their reviews on our Clutch profile confirm that we have what it takes to deliver top-tier SaaS sale candidates. Below is a quote from one of the reviews we received.

“They’re making changes and revisions to their overall platform. I don’t see anything that hasn’t worked well.” – Brad Weatherly, EVP Global Sales, and Service, Sapience Analytics

Build an all-star team. Contact us now to learn more about our services.

9 Ways to Use Data to Improve Sales Recruiting

Data is everywhere in the modern business world, and sales recruiting is no exception. A rapidly growing number of companies are now incorporating data into their recruiting operations to the point that it’s become ubiquitous. But how exactly are these companies using this data?

In this post, I’ll cover nine specific ways, citing statistics from a recent study. By seeing how others are capitalizing on the data boom and how it can improve recruiting, you’ll know how to work it into your own sales recruiting process as well. 

What the Research Says

An interesting study was performed that surveyed recruiting leaders to find out what the top uses of data were in their hiring process. The purpose was to A) identify the specific areas where data was most helpful for improving and B) rank these areas from top to bottom. 

Here’s were the findings. 

Now let’s unpack everything in detail. 

  1. Improve Retention – 56%

Salesperson turnover is an ongoing problem for many companies. On average, the salesperson turnover rate is around 34%, with involuntary turnover accounting for nearly two-thirds of it. However, 10% of companies have much higher turnover rates at over 55%. That’s why the most common reason for using data is to improve retention and keep quality salespeople around longer. 

“With data science, you can better understand trends and patterns in your workforce, making it easier to improve employee retention,” explains data science consulting firm Millan Chicago. “Improving employee retention involves hiring the right people, managing turnover, and detecting and dealing with culture problems.” By having concrete information like this, you can make intelligent decisions and continually refine this vital aspect of operations. 

  1. Identify Skills Gaps – 50%

Not all salespeople are created equally. It’s as simple as that. 

Whenever a company lacks critical skills, their productivity and inevitably profitability will suffer. But data has proven to be highly effective for identifying skills gaps to help determine which specific areas need to be addressed. Modern data tools can, for example, find competency and performance gaps to help guide salesperson hiring and training so you can eliminate major issues and better develop your talent to thrive. 

  1. Make Better Offers – 50%

Due to the recent talent shortages in the sales industry, high-level sales reps have a lot of leverage. A key part of enticing them to join your organization is making solid offers while taking things like salary, career development, schedule flexibility, and remote opportunities into account. By analyzing data, you can pinpoint what top salespeople are most receptive to so you can make better offers, and, in turn, bring on top talent. 

  1. Understand What Candidates Want – 46%

Besides better offers, nearly half of sales recruiters also use data to gain a better understanding of candidate desires and objectives. A recent poll from LinkedIn, for instance, found work-life balance, compensation and benefits, and colleagues and culture were the most important priorities overall. And flexible work arrangements, an inclusive workplace, and work-life balance were some of the fastest-growing priorities since COVID. 

Accessing comprehensive data can provide a bird’s-eye view of what’s most important for your exact candidate demographic so you can make the right adjustments with your recruiting. 

  1. Enhance Workforce Planning – 41%

Further, data can aid in several areas of workplace planning such as forecasting trends, demographic changes, talent management, and strategic direction. That way you’re more likely to have the right people with the right skills at the right time. 

  1. Predict Candidate Success – 39%

One of the biggest things that excites me personally about data is that you can use it to scientifically predict which candidates will be successful. With HireDNA, for instance, you can assess candidates based on development metrics, sales “DNA” competencies, and selling competencies to generate quantifiable data. Here’s an example. 

This makes it much easier to filter through the talent pool and find the true rockstars with the ideal candidate profile based on your unique selling environment. And it’s highly effective, with 92% of suggested candidates hitting the top of the sales force within their first year. 

  1. Evaluate Talent Supply and Demand – 38%

As I mentioned earlier, there’s been a serious talent shortage as of late — something that’s primarily due to the backlash of COVID and many new grads being hesitant to get into the sales profession. So it’s extremely important to have a grip on supply and demand and know how to evaluate talent in the current landscape. Data can help here because you can “zoom-out” on supply and demand trends and make accurate predictions for more effective staffing. 

  1. Compare Talent KPIs with Competitors’ – 31%

Given how competitive sales recruiting is these days, it’s helpful to know how your company stacks up against the competition. With data, you can analyze KPIs like turnover, retention, employee satisfaction, cost-to-hire, and time-to-hire to see where you’re winning and what needs work. With continued refinement over time, this puts you in a position to win the talent war. 

  1. Forecast Hiring Demands – 29%

Finally, data can help gauge future hiring demands so you can identify employment projections. Rather than taking a reactive approach to recruiting where you look for new salespeople after you need them, you can take a proactive approach where you initiate the search in advance. That way you have people in place precisely when you need them, which can eliminate a lot of unnecessary stress. 

Closing Thoughts

I think we can all agree that data is super important and has a wide range of practical applications. But when it comes down to what those exact applications are, many sales recruiters aren’t 100% sure. After reading this post, you should be clear about the most common ways today’s sales recruiters are using data and how you can apply it to your own operations. 

Learn more about how HireDNA can help you find better salespeople, faster. 

What’s Your UVP? How to Articulate Why Top Talent Should Choose Your Company.

Defined by Unbounce as “a clear statement that describes the benefit of your offer and what distinguishes you from the competition,” a unique value proposition (UVP) is one of the most important elements in business. Typically, we think of it in a consumer context where you use your UVP to entice leads into engaging with your brand, checking out your offer, and ultimately buying. 

At HireDNA, for example, our UVP is “Hire Better Sales Talent, Faster.”

It’s short, sweet, and to the point. And I’d like to think it succinctly encapsulates why companies looking to recruit elite sales reps would want to choose us over anyone else. 

But a UVP can also apply to recruiting where you clearly articulate why top talent would want to work for you versus a similar brand. For this post, I’ll explain the ins and outs of creating a UVP for recruiting so you’re able to reel in more A+ salespeople and stand out from the competition. 

The Formula

While there’s a lot that goes into crafting a killer UVP, you can boil it down to one simple formula, which Social Impact Architects summarizes as follows:

What your job seeker needs and cares about 


What you do really well

What your competition does well 


Your UVP

Here’s what that looks like visually. 

At the end of the day, defining your UVP involves pinpointing exactly what top talent cares about (e.g. finding a rewarding career where they can leverage their skill set and grow), what your brand excels at (e.g. you’re an industry leader and have an employee-first, innovative culture), and what distinguishes you from the competition (e.g. you offer outstanding benefits that others don’t).

Although, admittedly, easier said than done, and it takes some time and refining to perfectly nail your UVP, the formula is really quite simple. I recommend doing some brainstorming, writing down each of these three elements, and playing around with them until you come up with a UVP that fully articulates why top talent should choose your company. 

Simple Advice for Success

Perhaps the easiest way to ensure you hit the mark is to put yourself in the shoes of the talent you’re looking to recruit. Think about:

  • What would appeal to them when considering which company to work for
  • What’s most important to them
  • What would make them choose your brand over a competitor 

I think many companies get themselves in trouble because they don’t fully look at things from the talent’s point of view. As a result, their UVP ends up being generic and falls flat. So I can’t stress enough the importance of getting into this headspace, as it should provide clarity on how to appeal to top candidates in your industry.

A Real-Life Example

To help you better wrap your head around the UVP creation process, let’s look at a company that’s knocked it out of the ballpark — Brandwatch. They’re a digital consumer intelligence company that analyzes billions of online conversations and delivers reliable insights to help businesses understand their consumers and competitors. 

Brandwatch has a dedicated “Careers” page on their website and features their UVP front and center. It’s simply “Powered by you,” which speaks to their employees being the backbone of their organization. 

This has a very warm, welcoming feel to it, and Brandwatch elaborates with these two concise but very well-worded paragraphs below. 

The first paragraph instantly lets job seekers know:

  • The success of Brandwatch hinges on their employees
  • Brandwatch values their employees
  • Brandwatch is committed to creating a positive and supportive work environment

I don’t know about you, but I find that super appealing. If I was a talented salesperson looking for a potential company to work for, Brandwatch would definitely grab my attention. 

And the second paragraph goes into a bit more depth as to the perks of working with Brandwatch over competitors. More specifically, they let candidates know they offer flexible scheduling, personal development, and a strong community-focused culture. Brandwatch also clearly states they have remote working opportunities — something that’s huge in our current climate. 

So to recap, Brandwatch’s UVP zeroes in on their brand being employee-centric, while offering plenty of flexibility and development opportunities. It’s very straightforward, but does a brilliant job of conveying what Brandwatch is all about. 

And to drive that message home even further, they also feature testimonials from actual employees, which is a nice touch. There’s a video at the top of the page.

There’s a carousel here. 

And there’s also a section entitled “Committed to growth” where Brandwatch goes into even more detail about their dedication to empowering team members to learn, thrive, and evolve, highlights their key benefits, and includes yet another high-powered testimonial.

Put that all together, and it’s easy to see why so many talented salespeople are eager to work with Brandwatch. Their UVP is next level, and their “Careers” page does an excellent job at fully unpacking it. And that’s exactly what you want to go for when approaching your own UVP. 

Winning the Talent War

Hiring talented salespeople is integral to the success of your company. Unfortunately, we’re living in an age where that’s become increasingly hard to do. The combination of a high demand for salespeople and a reluctance of younger talent to get into this profession has made it difficult for many brands to find elite reps. 

But, as we’ve just learned, creating a rock solid UVP can go a long way in recruiting and is a key ingredient in piquing the interest of rockstar reps. 

Looking to fill your pipeline with qualified sales candidates? See how HireDNA can help you build a stronger sales team and fill open positions faster. 

40% of Salespeople Say Prospecting is the Most Difficult Part of the Sales Process. Here’s What to Do About It.

There’s a lot involved in the sales process. HubSpot breaks it down into these seven key steps

All of these steps present a certain level of challenge. But hands down, prospecting has been chosen as creating the most difficulty for reps. In fact, “more than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (35%) and qualifying (22%),” HubSpot explains. 

Given that so many reps have such an issue with this critical first step, for this post I’m going to tackle how to streamline prospecting so you can make it ultra efficient and keep a steady stream of quality leads coming. 

Develop Prospect Personas

Similar to customer personas where you define segments of your buyers, a great starting point is to create prospect personas that accurately represent the decision makers you’re looking to reach. 

“A well thought out prospect persona helps you to focus on both of the following,” writes sales process expert Marylou Tyler:

  • “The decision maker’s factual variables
  • The decision maker’s personality variables that impact the prospecting/selling process.”

If, for example, you’re selling a B2B SaaS product, you may primarily be going after higher level individuals within a company, such as account managers, executive directors, or COOs. They would have more sway within their organization as compared to a customer service rep, and you would likely get much further speaking with them. That covers the first part of prospect personas with the factual variables. 

As for the personality variables, you’ll want to look at things like:

  • What key pain points they’re likely experiencing
  • What motivates them
  • The best time to reach out to them
  • The criteria they use to evaluate potential vendors
  • Potential objections

You may also want to check out this resource from Business 2 Community, which outlines how to create a persona matrix to ensure you cover all the bases. 

Once you have your prospect personas fleshed out, you’ll have something tangible to reference, which should go a long way in helping your salespeople target the right people and use the optimal approach. 

Identify Top Outreach Channels

“Back in the day,” there were only a few outreach channels to choose from. Mainly phone, face-to-face networking, and paper mail. These days, there are a wide variety of options, including social media, text, chatbots, and SEO just to name a few. 

This graphic from LeadMD shows just how many ways there are to communicate with prospects. 

As you can see, it’s pretty overwhelming. Without a clear cut strategy, your outreach is likely to just become “busy work” and miss the mark. That’s why you need to be super specific about which channels you want to use and personalize your outreach for each individual prospect. 

This in itself is a science, but here’s a simple strategy I suggest that involves two main steps. 

  1. Analyze what’s worked best for you in the past based on quantifiable data and select the small handful of outreach techniques that are most potent. Then focus on those. 
  2. Do some sleuthing for each prospect to see which channel they’d likely prefer. Maybe, for instance, they’re highly active on LinkedIn, which would make this network a great choice for outreach.

This should prevent your salespeople from having a “spray and pray” mentality and greatly increase their chances of starting meaningful dialogues with quality prospects.

Leverage Referrals

Your salespeople have a 30% higher chance of converting a referral than they do an average prospect. And in the long run, referrals have a 16% higher lifetime value. 

But even though data clearly shows referrals are incredibly potent, it’s a highly underutilized prospecting strategy for most reps. In fact, 58% of salespeople say they ask for less than one referral per month, and 40% say they rarely ask at all. 

If this is an area where you’ve been lacking up to this point, I highly recommend developing a referral program, which you can learn all about here

Batch Prospecting Tasks

The concept of batching where you complete similar tasks in one high concentration session has become incredibly popular in recent years and for good reason. It helps you achieve a high level of focus and minimize disruptions, which almost always leads to better results than completing tasks at random. 

Studies have found that “we need at least 15 minutes to get fully concentrated on one task after switching to it,” and “if we quickly change from one task to another, we lose about 40% of productivity, because our brain still lingers to the previous task for a substantial amount of time.”

Batching can apply to numerous areas of business, and prospecting is no exception. I suggest having your salespeople block off a certain period of time each week (2 to 3 hour sessions tend to work well) where they focus solely on prospecting tasks. That way all of their energy goes toward this vital yet difficult stage of the sales process, and they’re not bouncing around to other duties. 

Turning Prospecting Into a Science 

The fact that 40% of salespeople struggle with prospecting shows that it demands more attention than any other stage of the sales process. Implementing the strategies above, such as developing prospect personas, picking the right channels for outreach, capitalizing on referrals, and batching prospecting tasks should put your salespeople on the right track to turn a weakness into a strength. 

Underwhelmed with your current sales team? Find out how HireDNA can help you find A+ reps by sourcing top talent and combining intelligent matching with science-based assessments. 

Everything You Need to Know About the Sales Candidate Experience

You hear a lot about customer experience in the sales world. Mountains of data and heaps of money are constantly being thrown at improving the customer experience. And rightfully so. It’s incredibly important. 

But another important experience that doesn’t receive anywhere near the same amount of attention is the sales candidate experience. It definitely should, however. 

In this post, I’ll explain what the sales candidate experience is, why it’s vital, the consequences of having a sub-par sales candidate experience, and how to improve your company’s approach in this area. Let’s jump right in. 

What Exactly is a Sales Candidate Experience?

It’s “the series of interactions that a job seeker has with your company throughout the recruiting process,” writes Toolbox. “These interactions include any communication that a candidate receives from your brand messaging, software systems, and/or employees.”

This can include everything from visiting your company website and filling out the job application to communication with HR team members and the actual interview. The sales candidate experience is what gives prospective salespeople their first impression of your company, heavily impacts how they perceive you, and factors into whether or not top candidates ultimately accept the offer. 

As a result, I can’t stress enough how important this aspect of sales recruiting is. 

Why You Need a Positive Sales Candidate Experience

Here are a few key stats that put things into perspective. 

  • “59% of candidates abandon a job application due to bugs, issues, or complexity of process.”
  • “42% of candidates with a negative experience won’t reapply to your company.”
  • “65% of candidates with a negative experience share them with their inner circles and publicly online.”
  • “38% of candidates who are satisfied with their candidate experience are more likely to accept a job offer.”

This data tells us that nearly 6 out of 10 sales candidates will ditch a job application if they encounter glitches or it’s too complicated. And that’s alarming given that 56% of sales candidates have encountered technical issues when applying for a job. 

That means you could potentially lose out on A+ salespeople because of issues with the job application process. 

It also shows that a negative experience will prevent more than 4 out of 10 candidates from ever reapplying and that 65% of people will share their poor experience with others. With the rapid rate at which negative publicity can spread on social media and other digital outlets, this can be a major blow to your brand equity. 

And if enough of it is spread around, it can erode the very foundation of your company where hardly anyone wants to work for you. 

On the other end of the spectrum, nearly 4 out of 10 sales candidates who have a positive experience will likely accept a job offer. So, if you have a smooth, streamlined job application, maintain good communication, respect the time of sales candidates, and so on, you’re far more likely to land the rockstars you really want. 

Besides that, 82.4% of those candidates are likely or very likely to share their positive experience with others. 

This is tangible proof of how critically important having a positive sales candidate experience is. Not only does it affect immediate hiring, it can directly impact the longevity of your business. 

For more details, I suggest reading this whitepaper by talent analytics platform, Talentgy. It features the data I’ve included, plus much more to really give you a sense of how crucial the sales candidate experience truly is. 

How to Improve in This Area

Here are some practical tips to start transforming your sales recruiting process today:

  • Optimize your website – This is often the first place sales candidates get a feel for your company and what you’re all about. So you want to ensure it looks great and they can easily find relevant information to assist them during the job application process. “Make it easy, and make it enticing! Ask yourself, ‘Is this something I’d want to take action on or find intriguing,” writes startup consultant Amy Volas.
  • Narrow down your list of candidates to the best of the best as soon as you can – This should ensure your HR team can devote more time to each candidate, not waste the time of those who don’t make the cut, and improve overall communication. A sales recruiting platform like HireDNA can help dramatically with this. 
  • Make your interview as simple and streamlined as possible – One of the most common points of friction is the interview. For example, asking extraneous questions, making it too long, or having multiple rounds of interviews when only one is necessary can be problematic. Make it a point to reduce complexities, and always look for ways to refine interviewing as you gain more insights. 
  • Be transparent throughout the entire process – Give sales candidates a timeline so they know what to expect when first reaching out to them, provide them with ongoing feedback (e.g. “You’ve been shortlisted to our list of top candidates”), and let them know upfront if you’ve chosen to move on with someone else. 
  • Equip new hires with the tools for success – Make onboarding simple and intuitive so new sales reps can get up-to-speed quickly without unnecessary headaches. This other post I wrote about new salesperson onboarding should be helpful here. 

Getting Your Sales Candidate Experience Where it Needs to Be

I see a lot of brands treating the sales candidate experience as an afterthought. But that’s a grave mistake. As we’ve just learned, it factors heavily into whether or not candidates complete the job application, the perception they have of your company, how likely qualified candidates are to accept a job offer, and your overall brand equity. 

So, the sales candidate experience is something you’ll want to be diligent about continually improving. 

Want to hire better sales talent, faster? See how HireDNA can help. 92% of recommended candidates are top achievers within their first year. 

Top Skills Sales Managers Assess Based on In-Depth Data

In my last post, I discussed that having the ability to close was the number one skill top sales managers assessed in salespeople. This was the most important metric for 70% of sales managers. And it’s easy to see why given how critical closing deals is to profitability and the overall success of a company. 

I got my data from a survey conducted by digital learning and enablement platform Allego. Their data is incredibly robust, and while the ability to close was one of their main points of emphasis, there’s still a lot left to unpack. 

So for this post, I’d like to dive even deeper and go over all of the top skills sales managers assess, which is eight in total. Let’s jump right in. 

The 8 Top Sales Skills

In Allego’s survey, they determined which specific sales skills were most essential to sales managers, both when considering potential candidates for new hires, as well as assessing current team members. “We looked at the eight key aspects of sales competency including sales planning, prospecting, qualifying pipeline, pitching to prospects, negotiating contracts, closing deals, managing customers, and retaining customers,” they explain

As I mentioned in the intro, having the ability to close was the number one skill assessed by 70% of respondents. 

But just after that was the ability to prospect new opportunities at 69%. 

This indicates that the beginning and end of the sales process are the most critical areas of sales competency to measure. The best salespeople are able to effectively prospect new leads, move them efficiently through the sales cycle, and ultimately close. 

After that is the ability to retain existing clients at 59%. 

Churn is an inevitable part of running any type of business, especially a SaaS company. But it’s obviously something that needs to be kept in check, and sales managers will invariably want to seek out salespeople that help them retain the maximum number of customers. 

If you’re wondering, a retention rate of 35% over an eight-week period is considered elite for SaaS and e-commerce companies, so that’s a good number to shoot for. Here’s a graph that perfectly illustrates minimal churn (SaaS is the blue line and e-commerce is the orange line). 

Next is the ability to pitch a solution at 53%.  

Let’s be honest. Pitching isn’t easy, and there’s a serious art to it. Although having detailed product knowledge and providing salespeople with a formula and script to go off is a huge help and something I personally recommend, some reps are naturally better at it than others. 

When it comes to cold, hard selling, I honestly believe there’s only so much you can teach a rep. That’s why I consider having innate selling skills to be more important than extensive industry/product experience. Anyone can learn a product, but few people are A+ rockstars. So, it’s not surprising that having the ability to pitch is such a coveted sales skill. 

After that is the ability to qualify new deals at 52%. 

A qualified prospect is someone “who has a high probability of becoming a customer,” Zorian Rotenberg of HubSpot writes. “An opportunity should have a pain point your product or service can solve and an interest in the offering. Salespeople should ensure the opportunity is a good-fit for what they’re selling.”

Otherwise, your rep is basically wasting their time, which is why this is another key skill sales managers assess. 

This is followed by the ability to negotiate and the ability to plan strategically, which are both at 50%. 

When it comes to negotiation, reps will often be placed in tricky situations where they may need to adjust pricing, features, etc., on the fly to successfully close deals while at the same time remaining within the accepted parameters of your company. Because this has such a strong impact on closing deals, it’s easy to see why it’s such a major metric for sales managers. 

As for the ability to plan strategically, it’s a competency that affects virtually every aspect of a rep’s sales approach. From determining how to effectively qualify leads to building a script for pitching products to communicating with customers post-sale, reps need to have a clear strategy in place at all times. 

Finally, there’s effective time management at 46%. 

You may have heard the stat that nearly 65% of an average rep’s time is spent on non-revenue generating activities, such as administrative tasks and downtime activities like checking social media. While I personally think that number may be a little inflated, it definitely illustrates the importance of effective time management, which is why this skill made the list. 

Let’s Recap

The top eight skills sales managers assess in reps breaks down like this:

  1. Ability to close – 70%
  2. Ability to prospect new opportunities – 69%
  3. Ability to retain existing clients – 59%
  4. Ability to pitch a solution – 53%
  5. Ability to qualify new deals – 52%
  6. Ability to negotiate – 50%
  7. Ability to plan strategically – 50%
  8. Effective time management – 46%

While there are a ton of factors that determine how likely a salesperson is to succeed, these eight skills are the ones top sales managers focus on the most. So, if you’re looking to identify the best of the best metrics for gauging candidates during the hiring process, or if you’re assessing the performance of current team members, these are excellent metrics to examine.

Looking for a surefire way to find elite level sales talent to close more deals and take your business to the next level? Check out HireDNA today. Brands that use HireDNA are able to eliminate 96% of hiring mistakes, and 92% of candidates recommended through it are top performers within their first year.