Nobody wants to see their business go under, no matter the circumstances. You may find yourself in a position where it seems like, no matter what you do, old clients are leaving, and new ones stop coming in. What’s happening? Is it the market, the industry, or is it something else?
It looks like your sales team no longer knows how to sell anymore. What’s even worse, those that do are looking for different prospects at your “me too” competition.
To mitigate matters, you may have already reached out for help. Perhaps you’ve hired some sales strategy “experts” to look into the situation, but it got you nowhere. Or you may have spent a small fortune on all sorts of consultants, seminars, and coaches, only to see your money go down the drain. At the end of the day, all you’re left with is frustration, discouragement, and a sense of dread of the instability of your company’s financial future. What you need to do now is to find a top team of sales reps able to bring you back on an ascending track.
Top performing sales professionals can drive profits and increase company morale. Bad sales hires, on the other hand, can become a burden on your department and tend to drag everyone else down with them. As such, hiring salespeople with relevant selling experience or the potential to become a sales leader should be given priority.
However, hiring in sales and finding the ideal salesperson will come with its own set of challenges and will require some time, effort, and specific business strategy. The reason for this is that sales roles demand certain sales skills that aren’t often taught in schools.
In fact, more than half of US college graduates, no matter their majors, will end up working in sales. Yet, there are less than 100 colleges across the country (from a total of over 4,000) that have sales-specific programs or courses. This means that even if the candidate profile shows the applicant for the sales position graduated from an impressive college like Harvard Business School, they may still lack sales talent.
To make matters worse, turnover rates among sales persons is at 34.7% per year. This makes it one of the highest of all professions in the United States. Roughly 80% of these are a direct result of a bad hiring decision. That said, companies that can master the art of attracting top talent and hiring sales reps will have big opportunities for long-term success. Below is some advice on how to organize your online recruiting strategy and only hire top candidates.
Sourcing Top Talents With Job Portals
One of the most effective ways to recruit salespeople is through referrals. These can be from friends and partners, colleagues in the industry, customers, and even your own employees. Employee referral programs are among the most effective at attracting and retaining qualified sales reps. But unfortunately, they don’t really fall within an online recruiting strategy.
Job board sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or Monster can, however, help you source great candidates. For a more targeted approach, you can also try sites such as SalesGravy.com or SalesHeads.com, as they can make your job ads visible to even more professional candidates.
Keep in mind that some of these platforms also allow employees to comment on their companies, management, salaries, benefits, etc. Pay attention to issues that former employees may have left out in their exit interviews may end up on these sites or forums. You can take advantage of this feature by tracking specific sales organizations in your area. When it comes time to hire, and there’s a surge of negative comments coming from employees, contact those sales reps that may be looking for new employment.
Attracting Top Sales Reps Through Social Media
With Millennials making up a large section of today’s workforce and with Generation Z coming close behind, social media is a favorite online sales recruitment strategy. In fact, over 92% of recruiters use social media to find high-quality candidates. Your sales hiring strategies should include platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, which can be used for talent acquisition and result in numerous qualified candidates.
To use social media networks effectively, you need to start your sales hiring process by first focusing on employer branding and building your brand’s reputation on all platforms that you intend to use. The next step is to connect with influencers, thought leaders, and experts in your industry. This helps you come in contact with like-minded people and potential hires, as well as further boost your brand’s reputation. Don’t forget to use the right hashtags that salespeople tend to follow.
When it comes to hiring sales representatives through social media, LinkedIn tends to generate the most results. Over 87% of recruiters use this particular platform to recruit salespeople, while 55% use Facebook, and 47% use Twitter. With LinkedIn Talent Solutions, for instance, you can match your job post to the most relevant candidates based on a wide range of variables such as years of experience, hard and soft skills, etc. In 2018, 95% of Fortune 500 companies included this feature in their recruiting strategies. You can also use Facebook Ads to target and recruit new hires while Instagram is great for providing a more informal, behind-the-scenes preview of your organization.
Using Your Company’s Careers Site to Close the Deal
Aside from the techniques mentioned above, you can take it one step further in your online recruiting strategy and develop a career page on your website that integrates with your social media profiles. Not only will this page better convey your company culture, but it will also make it easier for potential sales candidates to apply for your job openings. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS)-integrated career page will also eliminate the hassle of manually posting your job listings and improves the overall candidate experience by providing a customizable application process.
Clear and Attractive Job Descriptions
A clear, compelling, and attractive job description and hiring profile will make the difference between a good and a bad hire. But when we’re talking about a sales audience, there are several other things to consider to find a potential candidate with the perfect sales performance background.
Keep in mind that top-performing sales reps are typically more energetic and action-oriented than other employees. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use more active verbs to describe the job post. Also, highlight their expected sales skills and responsibilities more enthusiastically so as to catch their eye. In addition, make sure to mention the company culture, the interviewing process, and the possibility for career growth by giving details of the position’s career path.
Also, make sure to be as transparent as possible and provide all the information that candidates need to know. Job descriptions that don’t mention important details such as location, company name, or exact responsibilities, etc., tend to fall short in attracting top talent. The same level of transparency should follow with every other interaction with the company.
Focus on the Right Incentives
Since millennials make today’s core workforce, you need to figure out what drives them the most. As it so happens, cash incentives don’t seem to work equally as well as they did with Baby Boomers. Millennials and younger generations are more interested in their social impact and personal fulfillment than how much money they make.
Millennials are more interested in things such as flexible schedules, travel vouchers, wellness benefits, and more. Baby Boomers have also instilled in millennials a great sense of appreciation for continued education. As such, by offering comprehensive sales training to your employees, you will draw top talent to your organization much easier than you would with other sorts of cash premiums.
But if you want to keep these top performers over the long-term, not just every run-of-the-mill training program will do. You’ve probably already tried sending your sales staff to some annual sales seminars, hoping that some of those insights will rub off on them. How did that work out? Who can really expect a complete 180 in sales performance from an hour-long presentation of what can only be described as the latest trends and fads in the sales process? No!
What you need here is regular and ongoing coaching that’s able to consolidate the fundamentals on a weekly basis. It needs to be easy to understand and to put in practice. And only when your team knows these principles like the back of their hands will you move on to more advanced selling techniques. It’s just like Chet Holmes said in his book entitled The Ultimate Sales Machine: “I realized that becoming a master of karate was not about learning 4,000 moves but about doing just a handful of moves 4,000 times… It’s the same with business; there are basics that you can do over and over again until every aspect runs like a machine.”
If you want to take part in an ongoing sales training exercise that will completely revolutionize how your sales team is performing, contact us today and experience how it is to enjoy your Growth…Simplified.
If you found this article helpful, you might also like: The Complete Guide to Hiring the Best Sales People