The decision to add headcount in sales has been made. That’s great, it means more revenue for your company AND more pressure on you.
The decision to add headcount in sales has been made. That’s great; it means more revenue for your company BUT more pressure on you. Instinctively, you book time with the Hiring Manager to know what you’re searching for. The Hiring Sales Manager, with piercing clarity, left you with this: “you’ll know them when you see them”. Hmm, Ok? Oh and of course they need them “yesterday”.
You think to yourself: “How in the world will that help with my search?” I get it, we’re all busy and that’s probably a brush off so the hiring manager can focus on revenue generating activity. But further discussion is needed, and it should be considered as important as traditional revenue generating activity. Proof? Read below…
Earlier this year I met with an HR Manager at a client who frustratingly was searching for a key Business Development role for her organization. Four long months had passed and she was no closer than she when she started. After a quick calculation it was determined that nearly $100K was lost in revenue. Was it the lack of talent? Nope, they had over 30 candidates interview. I found out that there was no initial meeting with the hiring manager, no understanding of what qualifies as relevant sales experience and no process. Ugh, may as well take that req and bury it.
Four weeks later we met again under better circumstances. By utilizing the tips below, the hiring team found their rep just four weeks after our meeting.
Know your role
To truly be seen as a business partner, the Sales Manager needs to feel confident that you can find their next rain maker. To do this, challenge them with questions: uncover the toughest thing about this job, who is the selling audience, how long is the sales cycle, what’s the quota, what’s the commission breakdown and my favourite, how will you determine if this has been a successful hire six months from now? One year from now? Key message: These are all things not typical of a job description.
Follow a process
Whether this is your first attempt or just another one of many sales searches you’ve conducted in the past, process reigns. Be disciplined and trust it. If you don’t have one, here’s a simple one to get you started:
The Progress Report
You don’t have to invest a ton of time with this one and it provides a neatly arranged road map for hiring success. Essentially it should be composed of the job description, notes from your interview with the hiring manager, a target universe of where to find appropriate candidates, a timeline for sourcing, interviewing and hiring and a pipeline of candidates in the process and a tool to collect feedback for calibrating your search.
The next time a hiring manager gives you a rushed answer about what he or she is looking for, stand firm and set the record straight. Explain to the hiring manager that the 30 minutes they spend out of their day sitting down with you to clarify expectations could save the company thousands of dollars in lost productivity. Demonstrate that having the discipline to clearly define the ideal candidate will save weeks of frustration and wasted effort and will help you find a sales star as close to “yesterday” as possible. They’ll still put pressure on you to come up with more candidates, but armed with relevant information about the role you’re sure to be successful.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ 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.