One of the things that have consistently intrigued me over the course of my career is the lack of effort hiring managers put into finding and grooming Sales Pros. Many companies agree that training is vital to the success of their sales team - even if they don't fully practice what they preach. But too few of those same people allocate the necessary resources to finding the right team member in the first place.
I often hear prospective clients mention that they can't "find the right people". But when I ask them what steps they take to find those people, the problem becomes evident. Filling a sales seat is not a numbers game; you will not be successful by subscribing to the old "throw 'em against the wall and see who sticks" philosophy. Here are 4 quick tips for building a dynamic sales team.
Don't find them, attract them!
The easiest way to find your next sales superstar is to attract them instead of trying to hire them. Keep in mind that the top salespeople already have jobs and, if they don't, they have multiple opportunities coming after them. Establish a company culture that attracts the kind of salespeople that you are looking to bring aboard. Those that select your company will be more productive than if go hunting after them in sales ads.
Identify your ideal candidate
Know the attributes that you are looking for in your ideal candidate. Your biggest clues are found within your current sales team. Look at your top producer and ask yourself, "Where did I find them?" "What qualities in them do I desire in potential team members?" This is what you look for again!
You can also benefit from looking at the underperforming members of your team. Make sure you don't hire another round of underperformers by neglecting to assess your current team. If you have to eventually terminate the employment of everyone who came from a specific source, stop hiring from that source!
Speak their language
One of the biggest challenges with attracting top salespeople is not understanding what drives them. An example would be titling a sales ad "Looking for a Sales Superstar" instead of "Hiring for Salespeople". The first title suggests that you have a solid team and are looking to selectively add the right person. The latter title shows desperation and will not attract a seasoned professional
If you've ever had the luxury of having a superstar on your team then you know they require flexibility. That may mean anything from a different pay plan to an adjusted schedule. Think about it...why would an experienced salesperson with documented results accept the same offer as a new salesperson with no track record? Unfortunately too many companies "take a swing" and end up tarnishing their chances of bringing a producer aboard.
These are by no means an all-inclusive list to find a Sales Pro. Other important factors that need to be analyzed include the interview (both phone and in-person), past results, company vision and the opinion of the current team. If at any time you said to yourself "That's a good idea" while reading this article, then we should talk. There are several other strategies that you can implement to build a foundation for a top-tier sales team.
Tamahn Jamison is the President of opportUNITY Development LLC and has 20 years of experience attracting, hiring, training and developing Sales Pros. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.