Few things can impact the bottom line of a company so much as skilled sales recruiting. Bad sales recruiting practices result in more than just a few bad apples that can't sell well enough, they give you mediocre workers at premium salaries, technically perfect individuals that clash horribly with the company and damage other workers' output, and, most destructively, sales people that will hurt your reputation and relationships with past, current, and potential customers.
The importance of excellent sales recruiting, then, cannot be overstated. Fortunately, once you've dedicated yourself to the task of mastering sales recruiting, you can be fairly sure that you'll avoid the biggest pitfalls of the process. In this article, we'll discuss 5 easy steps to mastering sales recruiting, and getting the workers your company deserves.
Get The Right Recruiters
Sales recruiting being so important to your company's function, it's not a task to foist on whoever seems handy. Someone from HR, the team leader, a member of upper management...any of these people might be an excellent sales recruiter, but that's not something you should merely hope for. When possible, make sure you have someone with experience recruiting involved in the process; that might even mean asking a coworker for insight, or it might mean looking at an external sales recruiting agency for help.
Consider Your Needs
You may have a vague idea of what you're looking for, but sales recruiting mastery means understanding EXACTLY what your company needs in its sales recruits, and being able to discern those needs from wants. Serious consideration will likely reveal needs you hadn't recognized before and wants you thought were needs until you thought it over. If not, you either have excellent instincts or you've not really thought about it enough.
For example, does your company NEED someone who understands your ERP of choice, or is that something they'll have time to learn if they're an otherwise excellent candidate? You may want employees that can walk in and do everything like a master on day one, but that's not a realistic goal for any sales recruiter. Knowing your true needs gives you more opportunity to find exceptional talent and lets you waste less time on choices that wouldn't work out long-term.
Recruit People, Not Pedigrees
Is that genius sales agent with experience with Fortune 100 companies really going to fit your team and sell better than the fresh college graduate? Maybe, maybe not--there are countless factors that matter more than pedigree in sales recruiting. It's very easy to overlook the value of hiring people that will fit your corporate culture, that will get along with coworkers and inspire greatness--without spending all their time hunting a better job.
Your instincts are a powerful tool hiring sales people, because in theory someone who sells themselves to you can sell themselves and your product to prospects. But give them the chance--don't make snap judgments on things that ultimately don't matter. If you're looking for experienced workers, consider the recent graduate--you can mold them to your culture and if you recruit cleverly you can find the geniuses of tomorrow at a fraction of the expense you'd pay if they were experienced. If you're looking at grads only, consider the experienced worker--he might be more flexible than the norm, better in touch with technology and the latest social media fads than you'd anticipate.
Few things can be as difficult as learning how to get skilled people to work hard for you without hunting better pay, but once you've done so you can claim true sales recruiting mastery. This comes down to understanding people, how they interact with your company, and what motivates them. Money isn't the answer, unless you can pay more than any competitor. Company car access, paid vacations, excellent health benefits...personalized incentives tied directly to work are the key to getting and keeping workers at your company.