Published on Aug 7, 2017
Learn how to recruit and retain top sales talent to grow your business.
Sales has never been more popular, successful recruiting practices never more needed. Here’s why we can say that with such confidence. According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, there are more job openings each month than new hires. This is great news, right? Yes, but we know that growing workforce requirements have companies competing to recruit and land top sales talent. This need, combined with the knowledge of the high cost associated with sales turnover (an average $97,690 per employee loss, according to DePaul University’s Center for Sales Leadership’s Sales Effectiveness & Sales Acceleration Survey), has companies focusing on improving their sales recruiting practices for good reason. Here are some insights we’ve learned over the past ten years of recruiting sales professionals at all levels.
Talented salespeople are crucial to any organization. They help build the brand, grow the business and establish a positive company culture. We can all agree that finding the right sales talent is important for ensuring long-term business success. Recruiting top talent, however, requires more than just posting ads to job boards. You need a current, multifaceted, proactive approach to attract, engage and hire the best candidates, and your competitors know this. Here are some ways to draw the sales talent your organization needs.
Solicit Referrals – You won’t get the right candidates if no one knows you are hiring and what you are looking for. Ask your networks, live and online, to refer candidates. Your top employees can also be a good resource for finding new candidates, as they know your company and the skillset required. You can reward your sales team for referrals that result in a successful hire.
Network Creatively – You don’t have to get your next employee referral at a networking meeting. Highly motivated people attend seminars, training classes and other events to advance their knowledge and careers. Participate in these events, as they provide a wide pool of talent. Request business cards from professionals who impress you. Even if they are not currently searching for a position, they might be in the future, or they might know someone who is.
Harness Social Media – According to LinkedIn, socially engaged companies are 58 percent more likely to attract top talent. So use social media to promote your company brand and build professional relationships. LinkedIn in particular is a potential goldmine of talent waiting to be discovered and professionals eager to give referrals. Do your contacts have any sales reps that they would recommend based on their professional or customer experience with them? You won’t know until you ask.
Maximize Your ATS – Your applicant tracking system (ATS) is a powerful ally. Tools such as Bullhorn and iCIMS can help you manage a talent acquisition process that works. Create a database of salespeople you’ve met through business interactions or networking that can be accessed whenever there are job openings. The database should include not only candidates you’ve previously spoken to, but also ones you wish to contact in the future. FREE HIRING MISTAKE CALCULATOR
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The best way to hire and retain sales talent is to provide a company culture where employees want to work and where they feel valued. Sales reps are drawn to companies that value their sales force and provide the critical tools and resources needed to be successful. Over and over, we’ve seen that the recruitment process makes the first impression when it comes to a company’s culture and values. We know that developing a structured and efficient recruitment process that enables companies to find the best fit for their job openings, as well as providing candidates with a positive experience with the company, is key in recruiting top sales performers.
Be Specific – Candidates want to know what they are getting themselves into. Create a targeted job description with ideal criteria and essential qualifications. Be sure to include the kind of information that will entice top producers. Remember, hiring goes both ways – your candidates are going to interview you as you interview them. And don’t be shy about telling job seekers about your compensation plan – which means you need a structured one in place that you will be able to explain clearly.
Prioritize Motivation – Don’t limit your talent pool. Many companies limit their access to top talent with four simple words: “previous industry experience required.” An ambitious sales rep with a strong desire to succeed can be trained on product knowledge and soft skills regardless of industry.
Measure Sales Capabilities – Use a sales-specific assessment to measure the candidate’s core sales skills and competencies to ensure they are the right fit for your organization and sales environment.
Communicate Proactively – Candidates should receive clear, consistent, timely and upfront information on their application status during the hiring process. Poor communication post-interview can create a negative company impression and lead to losing good candidates. Slow communication can have the same effect, especially if the lag is a result of slow decision making.
Share Onboarding Processes and Growth Potential – Discuss your company’s onboarding strategy. Let candidates know they will have resources and support during their initial time with the company. Talk about the candidate’s current skillset, along with a clear training and development plan for growth opportunities.
You’re facing challenges as you build your sales team. We understand that. But they are not insurmountable challenges. With the right people on the job, your organization can find and hire the right sales force the right way. Get the support you need now to avoid scrambling for talent later.
HireDNA experts recruit, train, equip and manage high-performance sales teams to accelerate revenue growth. Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.
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