If you read my recent article, you already know the first critical step in landing your next sales superstar: defining your ideal salesperson. By establishing this crucial baseline, you can picture your preferred candidate’s personality, behavioral style and professionalism, and you can imagine him or her flourishing in the sales position. With that image in place, it’s time to move on with confidence to recruiting your next salesperson.
The process of recruiting candidates to fill a sales role in your organization has many facets, some of which may seem surprising:
Sales recruiting should be an ongoing process. Do you think the act of recruiting your next sales superstar occurs in a vacuum? That it has a distinct beginning, middle and end? If you believe that, I hope you’ll consider expanding your perspective. I believe that recruiting sales position candidates should be a continuing exercise. In other words, it should become such a part of your organizational mindset that your sales recruiting eyes are always open and the wheels are always in motion. Why is this important? Simply put, you can strengthen your hiring position if you recruit from a place of “want” rather than “need.” (The worst time to hire a salesperson is when you desperately need one.) By being proactive rather than reactive, you can maintain a strong “bench” of good sales position prospects who can step in when called upon.
Sales recruiting isn’t just about your company’s needs. Put yourself in the potential candidates’ shoes. Understand that, just as you are looking for the best possible fit for your company and your sales team, the candidate is also looking for the best possible fit for his or her life and aspirations. Consider what your company has to offer, make sure it is in alignment with what great sales position candidates might need, and then consider your best marketing – yes, recruiting is marketing – channels to reach them.
Sales recruiting requires multiple channels of influence. When you market your business, it is wise to use multiple platforms to fill your pipeline with viable prospects. Likewise, when recruiting, you should consider using multiple tools, resources and media, including:
- Internet job postings
- Business journal classifieds
- A banner ad on your website
- Local colleges and military bases (working with their placement offices)
- Radio ads
- Job fairs
While many of these recruiting vehicles may seem common (and therefore obvious), don’t forget these additional (if less traditional) sales recruiting channels:
- Employee referrals: Via an employee referral program or just through general awareness of the sales position’s availability, your staff can help identify candidates who will be more likely to fit the company’s culture.
- Client referrals: Clients can let you know the types of salespersons they prefer to deal with
- Personal referrals: Let friends and acquaintances know what you are looking for; chances are they know a potential candidate or two.
- LinkedIn: Leverage your connections and other resources on this monster online professional network to help you recruit.
- Other online sourcing: Speaking of “monster,” use Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com or other similar online resources to discover a pool of qualified candidates. Tip: Learn to use these sites and their systems to maximize your sales recruiting. (For example, in the “job title” field, always use key search phrases that candidates are likely to use. Make sure “sales” is part of that phrase.)
Obviously, your business organization and your sales department’s needs are unique. Thus, your sales recruiting channels and methods should be specific to your needs. But with the right recruiting mindset, systems and processes in place, you can succeed in hiring your best salesperson. In my final article in this three-part series, you’ll learn how to actually hire that great sales candidate you’ve defined and recruited. Of course, if you need help today understanding your sales recruiting options or how to identify your best sales resources, give us a call at 1 (844) 874-7253, or contact one of our Advisors in your area. They’ll be glad to help you chart your course to recruiting and hiring your next great salesperson.