8 years ago
April 18, 2016

Recruiting Great Sales People Requires More Than Great Compensation

Sales professionals care about more than just compensation. Recruiting great sales people requires you to think about other critical factors, too.

Rhys Metler

In the past, competitive compensation was all you needed when recruiting great sales people. Sales professionals went where the money was. But today’s new generation of sales professionals care about a lot more than just their commission and bonuses. They’ve grown out of the money-hungry stage and acquired new priorities for their careers.

So when you’re recruiting sales reps to hire, you’re going to need a new strategy to get the attention of top talent. Money doesn’t make the world go ‘round in sales anymore. Creating a great compensation plan isn’t enough to recruit the best.

Here’s what you need to know.

Your Products or Services Matter

You’ve probably heard the expression that great sales people can “sell ice to Eskimos.” But what if they didn’t want to sell ice? These days, the products and services that you’re selling matters. If what you’re selling is compelling, interesting, and in line with the sales candidates’ interests, you can actually offer less money. In fact 62% of sales professionals would likely accept less money to work at a sales organization that sells something interesting.

Sales people want to sell things they believe in, that they’re passionate about. So the more compelling your products or services, the less money you may have to offer. But if you’re selling something boring and uninteresting, you might have to compensate for this fact with more money.

Your Reputation Matters

You know that your reputation is critical when it comes to gaining new business and selling products or services, but did you know that it’s also important when it comes to recruiting great sales people? The large majority of sales professionals are more likely to apply to a company that is recommended by a friend.

The way you treat your sales team, the way you run your business, and the atmosphere your employees work in can all have an effect on the type of sales talent you are able to recruit. Make life miserable for your workers and no one’s going to recommend your place of work to their friends. They’ll probably tell the people they know to stay away and look elsewhere, so you’ll end up losing out on great sales people.

Your Culture Matters

Your company culture is built on your values, beliefs, workplace environment, your organizational design, and your leadership style. And effectively recruiting great sales people works best when your candidates view your company culture in a positive light. If you’re only recruiting duds, your company culture might be the problem.

Make it a priority to create a strong company culture and market it online so top sales talent will want to work at your company. It could end up saving you on payroll costs, since 71% of sales professionals would accept less compensation to join a company with a great culture that they fit in with well. Millennials, in particular, would rather work for a company that fosters a great work ethic and has similar worldviews than one that doesn’t. They want to be satisfied in their work and do more than their jobs—they want to be around people they genuinely care for and they want to work for companies they truly believe in.

There’s more to Life than Money

If you want to start recruiting great sales people, you need to start thinking about more than just money. Compensation matters less than it used to. Sales professionals have begun to realize that there’s more to life than money; if you follow their lead, you’ll be recruiting great sales people in no time. Learn what works and what doesn’t when recruiting sales people in today’s job market so you can create the prime sales team that you want and need in your organization.

Rhys Metler

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.