Recruiting for sales talent is a challenging business, but then again what business isn’t these days. Too much capacity chasing too few opportunities to make it easy, and arguably it never was, simply degrees of easier. Yet, never easy.
The same is true for your sales people – its tough out there. Which means they need to be sharp, competition resistant, and capable at all times. There are some good reasons to use recruiters for sales people, yet not that many. Another article. Let’s look at a 4 things you need to know most sales recruiters won’t tell you:
Hidden Weaknesses that Neutralize Strengths
In short, what is wrong with this candidate. There is no perfect sales person, and its foolish to pretend otherwise. Everybody will tell you how ‘right’ they are, yet few recruiters can identify, let alone report what’s ‘wrong‘ with this sales person. It matters.
Trainable or Not
Every new hire goes through a ramp up period, and its length, and shape is determined by the candidate and the on boarding program. Most recruiters don’t even contemplate this dimension, while over focusing on past success. A million dollar a year quota is worth $83,333 per month in sales productivity. Knowing someones probable ramp up time and potential adds up quickly. It matters.
The Degree of Difficulty for Prior Success
Many hiring agents focus on domain expertise and the ‘logos‘ the candidate has worked for in the past. Moving a candidate fro Rogers to Telus to Bell at a corporate level is simple stuff. What often gets missed is the degree of difficulty and resistance the sales person faced in the past, and must be able to over come @NewCo. It matters.
Desire and Commitment Level
A lot of people are driven to be successful, yet only a few of them really want to be successful at selling. Some people in sales have the gift of gab, are persuasive, and personable – all useful traits until the going gets tough. Then it takes something else – Desire and Commitment. Given a choice between candidates with these attributes, and those only with a past to sell, which would you choose? It matters.
Now its not that sales recruiters won’t tell you what you need to know, the truth is that they can’t. Few of them know how to get this information, let alone invest the time money and effort it takes to learn the necessary.
Traditional sales recruiting methods are based on the same practices used for clerical, administrative, and professional roles. These practices work well for the inward focused members of your company. When it comes to selling, they just aren’t effective. If you’re looking to plug a hole in your headcount any approach will work, however if you want to build an ‘A’ player sales team there are things you really need to know and do!
Which would you prefer?