If you’re a sales manager, you’re always recruiting—or, at least, you should be!
According to the Bridge Group, the average sales rep will only spend 18 months with their current company before they’re fired or decide to seek a new job.
This wouldn’t be as much of a problem if turnover wasn’t so expensive…
The good folks at PeopleKeep claim that a bad sales hire can cost your company anywhere from 50-75% of the departing rep’s annual salary. Put simply, it could cost you as much as $37.5K to replace a sales rep earning $50K a year due to hiring, training, and other expenses.
What does this mean for your sales department? It means you need to develop a proven sales recruiting process. That way you can hire better and faster and minimize turnover costs.
SPOTIO recently had the opportunity to work with Brandon Lairsen, a Partner at 360 Consulting. Brandon has 15+ years of experience in sales team leadership so he was the ideal person to help us optimize our sales recruiting process and fill open roles quickly.
Keep reading to learn how we improved our recruitment efforts and how you can do the same.
8 Steps to Improve Your Sales Recruiting Process
Once you develop an effective sales recruiting process, you’ll be able to hire better employees in less time, saving your company a bundle of cash along the way. Just follow these steps:
1. Assess Company Goals
Before you do anything else, Lairsen suggests assessing your department’s big, overarching goals.
What are you hoping to achieve? When you know the answer to that question, you can look for specific salespeople who will help you accomplish these objectives.
For example, if you’re looking to expand territories, you’ll want to look for an experienced field sales rep. If you’re looking to take some of the burden off of your top sellers, you’ll probably want to hire a young, enthusiastic seller to handle prospecting duties.
Identify your goals. Then look to hire new employees who will help you achieve them.
2. Review Your Compensation Plan
Most sales reps are motivated by money. If your company doesn’t offer a competitive compensation plan, you’ll have an extremely difficult time attracting top talent.
So take time to review your pay structure. Will incoming reps find it enticing? Does it encourage them to strive for success? Will it ensure their happiness with your company?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” consider adjusting your compensation plan.
We cover compensation plans in depth in this article. Give it a read to learn about the different pay structures available to you and how to choose the right one for your company.
3. Create an Ideal Candidate Profile
Just like sales and marketing has an ideal customer profile for audience targeting, you should also have one for finding the right talent. This is called an ideal candidate profile.
Your ideal candidate profile should include three sections:
- Must-Haves: These are the traits, skills sets, experiences, etc. that every legitimate candidate needs to have. For example, an upbeat attitude, knowledge of Salesforce, and/or 5+ years of experience in field sales—it’s up to you.
- Nice-to-Haves: These are the traits, skills sets, experiences, etc. that you’d like for candidates to have, but aren’t completely necessary. For example, you may want candidates to have 5+ years of experience, but will consider those with only 3.
- Can’t-Haves: These are qualities that, if a candidate displays them, will allow you to automatically cross them off of your list. For example, a candidate that doesn’t display respect for authority would probably miss the cut.
Lairsen suggests writing all of your must-haves, nice-to-haves, and can’t-haves down. That way you and your team can easily access them when evaluating candidates.
4. Design a Candidate Evaluation Process
At this point, you’ve created an ideal candidate profile. Now you need to decide how you’ll evaluate each candidate that applies for your open position(s).
Start with who, as in who in your company will be a part of the evaluation process. Is it just you? Or is there another person or two who will have input on hiring decisions?
Next, move on to what, as in what do you need to learn about each candidate to properly evaluate them. This is where you must-haves, nice-to-haves, and can’t-haves come into play.
Finally, assess how, as in how you’re going to evaluate each candidate. Will you conduct face-to-face interviews? Are you going to give potential employees a specific task to complete? And how much weight will you give to a candidate’s resume?
5. Establish an Employee Value Proposition
Why should candidates want to join your sales department?
Do you offer competitive pay and incentives? Have you created a fun atmosphere that people want to be a part of? Do you give your reps more autonomy than other sales managers?
Employment is a two-way street. As such, you need to convince potential employees that your company is worth working for, just like they need to convince you that they’re worth hiring.
Think about the things that make your sales department an awesome place to work. Then brainstorm ways to convey them to each candidate. Maybe you add perks to your job listings. Maybe you put together a two-minute presentation to play during interviews. It’s your call.
6. Build an Employee Onboarding Process
Effective onboarding is essential.
In fact, great onboarding processes can improve employee retention by 82%. Unfortunately, 88% of organizations fail to onboard new employees in an effective manner. Because of this, many companies have a hard time keeping their top team members.
According to Lairsen, a good onboarding process will make it easy for both the new employee and his or her manager to get up to speed quickly.
When building an onboarding process for your sales department, give new hires easy access to company information. If possible, pair them with a more experienced seller, who can answer questions when they have them. And make yourself available as well.
7. Participate in the Candidate Evaluation Process
Lairsen suggests a hands-on approach to hiring — even if your company’s HR department is technically in charge of recruitment.
As a sales manager, you’re the one who will be working with this new employee on a daily basis. You need to make sure that they have what it takes to succeed.
So, sit in on every interview and debrief. Share your thoughts with HR, or your company’s CEO, or whoever it is that has final say over hiring decisions.
Here’s are a few tips to help you deliver good feedback:
- Be Timely: Try to schedule your debrief immediately after the interview—or as close to it as you can. That way the encounter is fresh in everyone’s mind
- Be Objective: Try not to compare candidates to each other in your debrief. Simply share your thoughts on each potential hire in an unbiased manner.
- Be Focused: Focus your debrief on the boxes each candidate checked and didn’t check, as well as the other advantages they bring to the table.
- Be Candid: Now is the time to make your opinion known. Be open and honest. And remember nobody knows what traits make a good salesperson better than you.
8. Instill Candidates With Confidence
As mentioned earlier, candidates will be interviewing you at the same time you’re interviewing them. They need to make sure that they actually want to work for your company.
To land top talent, you need to instill candidates with confidence. The question is, how? Here are two ways you can present your company in the best possible light:
- Share a Clear Sales Strategy: Potential employees want to feel like they will succeed with your company. By sharing your sales strategy, complete with processes and goals, you’ll show them that you can lead them to sustained success.
- Invest in Industry-Leading Tools: The best sellers know the value of quality tools. Show candidates that your company is willing to invest in top-rated technology. For example, field reps love SPOTIO because it helps them become more efficient and hit their quotas more easily. When a potential field rep sees your team has access to the SPOTIO platform, they’ll likely be more interested in accepting your employment offer.
Supercharge Your Sales Recruiting Process
An optimized sales recruiting process will help you land top talent in less time. It will also help you retain said talent, saving you thousands of dollars in the process.
We were fortunate enough to connect with 360 Consulting to improve our recruitment efforts. Now, SPOTIO has the processes in place to attract and land the best salespeople, marketers, and other professionals. We’re confident this ability will help us immensely in the future.
Are you interested in working with 360 Consulting as well? Give them a call. Not only will they give you advice to improve your sales recruiting process, but they’ll also guarantee new hires. If your new hire isn’t a fit after 90 days, they’ll find someone else who is, free of charge.
Contact 360 Consulting today!