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sales recruitment strategyWhen it’s time to review your employees, your company has a defined strategy for measuring performance and a clear outline for how nonstandard performance is to be improved. This ensures that your staff knows what is expected, and your company has a way to measure its performance overall. With this emphasis on measuring and retaining existing employees through review, it’s surprising how many businesses fail to measure and obtain new employees through an equally comprehensive sales recruitment strategy. Not having an effective sales recruitment strategy not only impacts existing employees and the bottom line, but reduces future opportunities and even a company’s reputation. Here are just a few reasons why it’s important to have a sales recruitment strategy in place.

Without a Sales Recruitment Strategy, Time to Fill Can Stretch

Without a comprehensive recruiting strategy, every hiring opportunity starts from scratch. The job description is written again, different recruiting channels are used, and different hiring managers interview the candidates that respond. You already know that sales hiring mistakes are costly, but to put the cost of not having an effective sales recruitment strategy in place in perspective, your company should measure the cost of an empty position through:

  • Lost sales against average sales performance
  • Lost leads against average initial meetings
  • Lost productivity from impacts to the existing team
  • Lost time from managers trying to fill in or otherwise reduce disruptions

Without a Sales Recruitment Strategy, Bad Hires Can Become the Norm

Without a clear idea of what the candidate should bring to the table and at the mercy of candidates who are responding to your company’s ads, even after an interview you won’t really know who you’re hiring. The cost of a nonperforming sales person easily exceeds the costs incurred by an empty position. Not only must you take into account the lost opportunities of an empty position, but the sunk costs of a position filled by someone not meeting standards. These additional costs typically include:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Base salary
  • Separation fees
  • Lost business from dissatisfied clients

How to Build a Sales Recruitment Strategy

The only way to avoid long times to fill and to ensure strong hires is to have a sales recruitment strategy in place that aligns with your company’s needs and goals, and puts your company in charge of the recruiting process. The companies that take the time to build their recruiting strategy around finding the best possible candidate in a reasonable period of time, rather than the shortest possible period of time, are the companies that see lower turnover and higher sales numbers. To ensure your sales recruiting strategy is the best it can be, take these additional steps for success:

    • Know the skills and qualities you need to hire for
    • Write the best job description possible
    • Use standard tests to measure sales skills
    • Implement a thorough interview process involving at least two experienced interviewers

An effective sales recruitment strategy is measured and benchmarked against its own performance. If your sales recruitment strategy is not bringing in the results you need, or if your company does not have a clear strategy at all, it’s time to implement the type of strategy that will attract star performers and get your sales moving in the right direction. With experience in sales recruiting in nearly all industries and sales department sizes, sales recruiters can help you benchmark your sales recruitment strategy to the competition and identify areas that might be deterring candidates to ensure that when you are ready to hire sales people, the candidates you want will be knocking at your door.


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Doug O'Grady

Doug is the sales director at SalesForce Search. He has over 10 years of experience in sales and recruitment. Doug works with clients to help them get more ROI out of their sales programs. He specializes in sales recruitment, leadership, and sales consulting (compensation plan design, sales messaging, and sales process). He has an MBA in finance. Doug enjoys playing hand hockey in the basement with his three young boys. As the starting goalie, he goes by the nickname Swiss Cheese. He is also the penalty minutes leader and live play-by-play commentator.

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