Making an Impression: Being the Desirable Boss
Drive is important to find in candidates, but many highly-skilled salespeople are looking to be a part of a talented sales team.
To improve your sales team, you not only need strong individuals, but people who can work together to bring your company’s sales to the next level.
Once you have identified incoming candidates who can really make a difference, do you know how to catch them?
The Search Is Only Half the Battle
Recruiting is not a seasonal job. Many sales managers understand that to get the best candidates, the search is about more than putting a job description out there and waiting for responses.
If you want to recruit the top candidates in your field, you need to make your company stand out.
Whether it is your company’s charming culture or ability to offer more than a great commission, by using marketing as a recruiting tactic, you have the potential to hook much better candidates.
Once you have caught the eye of a talented individual, you need to offer something your competition cannot. Determine your value proposition before you head into a negotiation to ensure your team is the one that walks out with the winning arrangement.
Create your team by focusing on the personality traits you need to get the job done. Not every candidate will be a hunter, a farmer or even flexible between the two.
By focusing on different attributes and highlighting your company’s brand, you can build a Driven team ready to help you and your company achieve success now and over the long haul.
Selling Your Brand to Desirable Candidates
You may find a wonderful sales representative through several different venues. Many successful sales representatives started out in completely different fields. They may not have much experience, but they do have the generic makeup needed to succeed in sales.
Whether you are trying to attract entry-level talent or established sales veterans, here are some tips to improve your sales team by selling your brand:
- Be real. Quality sales representatives are looking for a job they can sink their teeth into. Tell them about day-to-day activities and the aspects of the jobs that may be more uninviting. By being open, honest and revealing an insider view of the company, you will gain the candidate’s trust rather than promoting an overly glorified image of the place in which he or she would be working.
- Know the position inside and out. Remember, you are the one driving the interview; a candidate will look to you as an authority figure regarding the position. Make sure you are prepared to talk about and answer any questions the candidate may have. Highly skilled candidates may want to know about specific reporting requirements or other questions your company should be prepared to answer.
- Remember that you are both interviewing. Many people mistakenly believe the hiring company has the upper hand in the recruitment process. The process is actually more of a mutual convergence or even a “date.” Each party is evaluating the other for fit, expectations and willingness to compromise. If you want a candidate, it is just as important that you make a good impression on them as it is that they make one on you.
- Focus on the people. While individuals may come to a company for the pay, they will stay for the people. Sell the people you work with. They are the ones you and the prospective employee will work with day in and day out. Make sure you describe the culture to gauge whether or not the atmosphere and team will be the right match for your candidate.
- Bring in your team. Consider dividing your interview process into two parts. One part should focus on identifying and seeing firsthand the sales skills that a candidate claims to possess. The other could include the team the individual will be working with to determine fit. Keep this part of the interview more casual and conversational. You may be surprised by what you learn while the team is becoming comfortable with the candidate. Later, ask other team members for their opinions. You may be able to identify reasons for or against hiring that you may not have seen before.
- Network. Improve your sales team by asking them and others if they know of any qualified candidates. You may find that someone you know is looking for work and would fit well into your current team dynamic. But rather than taking a relationship as a sign that a candidate will work well with your team, be sure to use the same sales assessments to ensure the right fit.
- Invest in advertising. Many sales teams make the mistake of recycling generic recruiting advertisements. Create a customized listing that you update regularly, as positions often evolve over time. Use your online and local networks to highlight the position and attract talent. Make sure you not only list requirements, but the advantages of working with your team, as well.
- Give everyone an opportunity to shine. Sometimes talent may come through unconventional routes. Remember that experience is not everything when it comes to sales. If an individual repeatedly applies or makes an extra effort in getting your attention for the position, make sure you give him a fair shot. You may find the best sales recruits come from a variety of places.
- Highlight company culture. Every company starts out with a mission to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Sell whatever your company is known for. Include information about company outings, appreciation days and little known facts.
- Alternative sales structures are enticing. Commission style sales are going out of fashion. They work well for a small percentage of top producers, but leave others feeling discouraged and unable to achieve their full potentials. Highlight what makes your team’s structure unique, whether it is team accountability or further training opportunities.
If you have an existing team, let them help you figure out the qualities that are missing. Then look for those in your new sales candidates.
Remember that it takes different personalities and skill sets to truly create a well-oiled sales team. Do not be afraid of looking for non-traditional candidates and letting your company’s culture shine. By opening yourself up, you may find the talent you need to take your team from mediocre to spectacular.