7 Ways to Get Control Over Your Sales Recruitment Process and Win the War for Top Sales Talent
Losing out on good candidates to other companies? Wonder why you can’t seem to attract enough sales candidates to make a strong hire? It’s no secret that hitting your revenue targets starts with building a successful sales team. Recruiting the right players who are motivated to succeed will prevent the problems that hiring the wrong people create.
Getting and keeping your sales team in top shape requires an exceptional recruitment strategy. If you’re determined to win the war for talent, you must first win the recruitment battle. It starts with these seven strategies…
1. Get Clear
If you want to have a better chance of capturing the attention of top sales performers you need to answer the following questions with clarity:
Why is the position open?
What’s the hiring timeline?
Why is this role desirable?
When top sales candidates make a change they need to feel confidence in their future employer. Hiring managers need to be clear on what the position entails: territory, quotas, expectations, obstacles, opportunities etc.... Regurgitating the same old, “It’s a great company, great benefits, great culture, etc...” is sooooo worn out. Describe in detail what you have to offer a new recruit. And remove the word “great” from your vocabulary.
When you’re clear on what you have to offer prospective employees, new hires are more likely to give your company serious consideration. Workday Inc. (WDAY) does this well. They take a very employee-centric approach to recruiting and retaining top talent. They understand what employees want to experience on the job and this is reflected throughout the organization.
2. Connect Fast
Building relationships with new hires starts with the first phone screen. The best way to know what it’s like working for you is to work with you throughout the interview process. This is the best time to bond with top talent. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on hiring them. If they don’t feel synergy with you, they won’t be interested in the role.
Find out the goals and aspirations of your new recruit and connect with them on a deeper level. Many hiring managers make the mistake of focusing exclusively on their needs during the hiring process.
3. Share Performance Results
Sales reps like to understand what other reps are experiencing on your team. It helps them imagine themselves in the role and envision the possibilities of working for your organization. If you highlight your team’s recent wins you’ll help the new recruit feel like they are already part of the action.
4. Compensation Always Matters
If you are underpaying, you’ll have a hard time attracting top performers. It’s not that top performers can’t make up for low base salaries with a substantial upside ‘potential’; it’s that they don’t have to in a competitive market. Candidates will make the best choices based on what’s available. The best candidates always have the most choices. They also have the most competitive offers available. You’ll need to be at market levels to compete for their employment. If on target earnings numbers are low, you’ll need to emphasize the possibility of quota over-achievement or you’ll need to rethink your compensation strategy.
5. Everyone Loves Corporate Perks
Free cookies don’t count. I’ve never seen anyone take a job because they were sold on the idea of a magical pantry stocked with tasty goodies and carbonated beverages. The top salespeople don’t trek into the office to eat. Perks that rank higher than food include:
· Stock options
· Matching 401K plans
· 100% company paid healthcare coverage
· Gym memberships
· International Club trips
· Earning potential
· Career growth
· Unlimited PTO
· Flying business class without hassles
· Timely and easy expense report reimbursement
6. Experience Working Together Now
The most influential component of the hiring process is always the direct manager. This will be the person who has the greatest control over the hiring outcome. In order to make a move, new employees need to feel a connection with the manager. This relationship needs to be developed and cultivated early. If you can show new recruits you’re a strong leader, they will feel they have something to learn from you. Top talent is engaged through learning, growing, and adding to their skill set. They actively seek new challenges and want to work for leaders who can help them grow professionally.
7. Do the Extra Mile Together
The A-player salesperson you’re trying to hire will be used to traveling a path full of resistance and obstacles. Show them you’re willing to join them on the journey.
Go the extra mile by taking the new recruit and their significant other to dinner. It’s easy to do, but almost no one does it. This shows you’re invested in them as a professional and as a person. It also allows you to get to know them on a more personal level which will give you the edge when it comes to extending a competitive offer.
When you invest time in them before they start working for you, you’ll demonstrate your leadership style, show you’re personally involved, and commitment to their future success.
Competing with Big Brands
Talent shortages are today’s recruitment reality. Top sales talent is always in demand. You will be competing with other companies who are:
- Well known
- Well branded
- Gartner Magic Quadrant leaders
- Fully funded organizations
- Headquartered in the state your recruiting in
When you’re challenged to sway top talent, the kind of talent you need to succeed and dominate your market, you’ll need to create a powerful recruitment experience to reach your hiring goals.
So ask yourself:
How badly do you want to hire top salespeople?
How do you plan on improving the recruitment experience so you can increase the odds of recruiting top sales candidates?
Start picking apart your recruitment strategy and seek ways to improve the candidate’s experience. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be attracting better sales talent and reaching your revenue goals.