Sales recruiting has changed more in recent years than ever before, as rapidly as sales itself has changed.
Sales recruiting has changed greatly over the years, and if you’ve not updated your process recently you’re likely missing some great innovations—and in turn, missing some great potential recruits. Having the right sales people on your side can make or break a company, so it’s vitally important that you get your sales recruiting up-to-date and grabbing you the best of the best. In this article, we’ll discuss three ways your sales recruiting techniques are likely out-of-date, and what you can do to get yourself up to par and picking up the candidates you need.
The tools of the trade look nearly unrecognizable today. Recruiters rely upon custom-tailored applicant management software and social networks like LinkedIn serve as a primary hiring tool for major corporations—if you’re not on top of the tools of sales recruiting, you’re already falling behind your competition. Fortunately, catching up is simple.
Getting started utilizing modern sales recruiting tools takes minimal effort, although it may take a little cash out of your pocket. You want software for managing applications that can rapidly sort by skills and other traits, somewhere to grab recruits like LinkedIn or a web application, and someone who can manage those tools effectively. With those in hand, you’ll close the technology gap in no time.
The sales game has changed greatly over the years, and that means that your goals in sales recruiting need to change. It’s not enough to pick up someone who managed to charm you sufficiently in a sit-down he or she secured through a mutual acquaintance (although that’s an excellent sign when hiring sales people). You need someone who can learn the tools, who can utilize multiple mediums of approach (or is so spectacular in a particular area that you can leave them to that exclusively), and someone with the traits for success.
Speaking of traits for success, your idea of the ‘perfect salesman’ might be outdated too. The days of the slimy-but-effective rep are gone, if they ever existed. Harvard Business School research indicates a different type as the perfect salesperson: self-assured but humble, honest and trustworthy but not over-friendly, goal-oriented and responsible. The nature of sales has made customer satisfaction more important than ever, so your sales recruiting should emphasize grabbing people who don’t just close the sale, but make the buyer glad they bought.
Knowing whom you want is one thing, but how up-to-date are you on obtaining and retaining excellent talent? If the beginning and end of your incentives reads ‘Cash and more cash’ you’re doing it wrong. Studies indicate that higher salaries, bonuses, etc., are remarkably weak for incentivizing good work and retaining skilled talent. You want personalized, work-associated rewards. When a top salesperson uses a cash bonus to buy a car a few weeks later, he doesn’t strongly associate ‘work done’ with ‘car received’. When he gets to use a company car because he’s a top performer, he remembers that and strives to keep it. When he gets health benefits and paid vacation, he remembers that. Benefits trump cash every day. So get your sales recruiting up to date, and start offering candidates what they really want.
Sales recruiting has changed more in recent years than ever before, as rapidly as sales itself has changed. It’s not always enough to know the basics of modern sales recruiting and put the right tools in your recruiters’ hands—make sure your recruiters are up to snuff. There’s a reason the top corporations either maintain full-time recruiting departments or hire third parties—expertise matters when you’re after the best recruits. A team leader may know what he or she needs for their team, but they’re not going to be the best at obtaining that perfect candidate. Therefore, don’t just stop at sales recruiting techniques; the greatest techniques and tactics mean anything without experience.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.