Let’s look at the recent stats on the US economy:
- The DJIA has crossed 24,000 for the first time November 30, 2017.
- Annual GDP has increased from 1.5% in 2016 to 2.6% in 2017.
- Unemployment rate as of January 2018 is at 4.1%.
Managing a sales team is a complex and challenging job. It’s also a very different job within companies of varying revenue sizes. In some cases, you’ll need to be a front-line seller, in others, you’ll need to be a sales strategy master. Yet in all sales leadership positions, you’ll have to have command of more than just sales skills, you’ll need to be able to lead others.
Anyone who's recruited for their team's openings already knows that posting a list of job openings alongside a graphic of your company’s values is the easy part. Demonstrating those values in person is the real challenge. There is an attitude from both sides of the interview table that can leave the entire interview process flat, disconnected, and cold.
Sometimes an executives busy schedule is not his or her own. Let’s face it, “things happen.” Unfortunately, this happens to some busy hiring managers or recruiters more than others. When you are unable to consistently keep your calendared appointments, arrive late, or constantly reschedule there are both direct and indirect costs.
Today’s employees have one thing on their mind: flexibility. With traffic increasing, work hours rising, and vacation day usage decreasing, the one thing employees seek is flexibility. Two out of three candidates today don’t think they must be sitting at their desk to be productive and do their job according to ManpowerGroup Solutions’ Global Candidate Preference Survey
To build a rock solid high-performance company you must hire the best salespeople you can recruit. So, what can you do to attract A-players? First, it’s important to understand what salespeople want. What keeps salespeople engaged? When we ask thousands of sales reps across the country what kinds of environments they thrive in, we heard common themes.
Today’s job hunters are savvy. Today it’s easier than ever to find out inside information about almost any organization. But when you have negative reviews on Glassdoor, it can hurt your ability to recruit top talent. Some organizations have taken Glassdoor reviews into their own hands by employing a proactive approach to managing their external reputation.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a potential client. He was frustrated because he hadn't been able to find a replacement hire for over seven months. He was already working with three other recruiters and had no candidates in current consideration for the role.
Are the recruiters to blame? They had presented multiple candidates, and the one that the client was most interested in was over the budgeted compensation level. He made a comment that he thought perhaps the recruiters just wanted more money and were inflating salary expectations.
In good economies and bad, finding top talent is difficult. Think it's any easier for Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Google? Sure, they have distinct competitive advantages, but it still takes teams of recruiters interviewing around the clock to recruit and hire staff even for well branded growing organizations.
Telling candidates they won’t be moving forward in the interview process can be awkward, uncomfortable, or even something you tend to procrastinate. Some recruiters and hiring managers ignore providing feedback for candidates altogether. Others wait days, even weeks to reject candidates. Letting too much time elapse before delivering the "bad news" hurts everyone, including your company’s reputation.
If you’re a sales leader, the fastest way to success is to recruit the right team members. Without the talent you need to succeed, you’ll find yourself with a whole new set of problems. Recruiting is hard work, and requires a top slot on your priority list. Now is the time to start looking for the talent you need to achieve your goals.
With everyone promising high-growth, big OTEs, and amazing products, it can be hard to compete for top sales talent. Many of today’s sales candidate have been promised the moon a few times, only to become a bit more skeptical with each job move. A CEB study in 2014 concluded that 65% of Millennials are more skeptical of employer claims than they were in 2011.
Sales Recruiting in 2017
What’s in store for your sales team in 2017? The Employer Associations of America’s 2017 National Business Trends Survey confirmed hiring challenges will continue for employers in 2017.
If you were hiring at all in 2016 you probably noticed recruiting top sales talent became increasingly difficult. With counter-offers, turn-downs, and increased competition for talent, recruiting the top 10% was no easy feat.
Quality of Hire: Another Meaningless Metric for Sales Hires
Measuring recruitment success in the sales department has never been more important. In today’s hyper-competitive landscape, every sales hire counts. Time-to-fill, the all-time most important recruitment metric, has been replaced with an overarching obsession for “quality of hire.” Yet one deeply entrenched problem remains inherent in this metric. Unlike measuring time-to-fill, which is a fairly straight forward calculation, untethering quality of hire from other variables is virtually impossible. You don’ have a shot at making this measurement meaningful for your sales hires. It’s too intertwined and dependent upon other pre-hire variables.
Isn’t it frustrating when you reach out to a recruiter to help you fill a role and you don’t see strong results? As a hiring manager or an internal recruiter, when you’re looking for top sales talent, your neck is on the line. You need to get roles filled with the right salespeople and you need to make it happen fast so you can hit your hiring and top line revenue goals.
I had a candidate in my earlier years that loved to talk. At the time, I thought perhaps he just loved to talk to ME. I considered myself to be a pretty good listener so I figured he would cut down his answers in the proceeding interviews.
Well, despite my warnings about being careful not to “hog all the air time”...he wasn’t able to apply the feedback when he met with my client.
If you told me you’ve tried using a recruitment firm in the past, and things didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be surprised. Although there are a lot of exceptional recruiters out there, a few bad experiences can taint a person’s willingness to try again.
If you’re looking at a recruiting firm like a commodity, you probably won’t get good results. I’ve gotten calls from companies who’ve had searches out to multiple firms and are were adamant about paying discounted fees. Saving a few thousand dollars today was more important than hiring the best employee.
It’s no secret sales turnover is expensive. Putting a number to the financial loss can make you feel queasy. But what’s even worse is finding a replacement for your top rep. It’s an exercise in frustration, disappointment, and frankly, it’s an excruciating process.
Although some turnover is obviously healthy, when you start losing the top 25% of your sales team, things can start to look bleak. Too often it starts when one top rep leaves, then before you know it; your top three performers are gone.
So what can you do to keep your best sales pros happy and productive?
If I want to bake a chocolate cake, I’ll pull out a recipe book. Then I’ll follow the directions and in about an hour and a half or so I’ll have a cake. If you just follow a recipe, you’ll get predictable results. Right?
Except every time I try to bake a chocolate cake, it never comes out quite the same. Sometimes they’re good , sometimes they’re burnt, other times they just taste like a cardboard sponge. (Not sure I’ve ever eaten a cardboard sponge, but you get the point.)
One of my clients, a small private technology headquartered in Norway saw things differently.
When we first met, the tech hiring philosophy of day was to hire salespeople quickly, try them out, and if they didn’t make a deal in x number of days (usually 30, 60, or 90 days if you’re lucky) to fire them.