You might tell yourself that there’s no one on the market, that it’s not a good time to be hiring or that you just need to be patient, but the reality is that even the most loyal sales people can be tempted to other opportunities if the offer is right. So what’s the real reason your sales recruitment strategy isn’t attracting the right candidates?
When you’re hiring, every month that rolls by where there’s not someone on patch will ultimately make it harder to hit 2018 targets. Uncovered territory means you could be losing both existing and potential customers, ultimately costing your business money and increasing the pressure to hit sales targets for the rest of the year. However, the cost of hiring the wrong sales person can also be highly detrimental to your business, which means it’s important not just to fill vacancies quickly, but with the right people. Here are a few mistakes you could be making – and how to avoid them.
Your internal teams aren’t joined up
While no teams should work in silos, it can be easy for sales people to become absorbed in their own accounts and neglect to involve other teams and departments. We’ve spoken before about the importance of sales and marketing alignment, and the need for teams to work together to nurture prospects as well as sharing customer and product information gleaned at different touchpoints. Closer working arrangements between these two functions of the business can result in better qualified leads, up to 208% higher revenue and 35% more closed deals.
Alignment within your sales teams is especially important when identifying the right talent to source for your business. Your Sales Manager, Regional Sales Manager and other stakeholders must be clear on what the role is and the key skills and experience required to be successful. HR must also be considered throughout the recruitment process – if you’re not all clear what the role is, and what skills and experience everyone wants to add to the business, you’ll likely give candidates mixed messages and struggle to agree on the final hire.
Your benefits package isn’t competitive enough
A poor compensation package may well be the reason why you have sales vacancies in the first place, as sales people tend to be intrinsically money-driven. In fact, studies show that not only do bonuses increase sales productivity, but quarterly bonuses are more effective at boosting sales force productivity than annual bonuses. If the ability of your sales people to earn and achieve bonus is less than that of your competitors and the general market, you will likely turn away candidates who are looking for appropriate financial reward for their efforts. Do your research to establish what the market rate is for sales people in your industry and ensure your salary and bonus scheme is aligned.
In addition to cash, sales candidates can also be attracted to the company benefits you offer. A company car scheme can be very appealing for sales people who spend many of their days on the road, and it has a direct impact on their tax. If you have a pension scheme, medical care and non-cash incentives such as holidays, team events and flexible work conditions, promote these at recruitment stage to better position yourself as an employer of choice.
Your employer brand isn’t up to scratch
Your employee benefits should be promoted early as part of your targeted employer brand strategy. If you aren’t focusing on your employer brand – that is, the message you put to the market about working for your organisation – you risk losing star salespeople to competitors with a more appealing reputation.
As three-quarters of job seekers will consider an employer’s brand before applying for a job, and candidates turn to the internet to research your company before applying, it’s vital that you put your best foot forward through your company website and social media profiles. With 69% of active jobseekers more likely to apply to a job from an employer that actively managers its employer brand, it’s vital that you portray your work culture accurately and positively. Use your social media profiles to share photos and stories from team days, social events and positive company news, and have a section of your website dedicated to showcasing what it’s like to work with you.
Don’t forget to focus on your Glassdoor profiles and reviews. More than 60% of Glassdoor users consult company reviews and ratings before deciding whether to apply for a job, so ensure your profile on the site is regularly maintained and you are responding to all feedback.
You’re not selling the opportunity enough
Never underestimate the importance of selling your role to candidates through the recruitment process. The majority of sales people will have gone on up to five interviews within a month of searching for a new position, according to our BMS Index, and good candidates will likely juggle multiple opportunities and offers. While some employers believe recruitment and interviewing can be a one-way process, those are the companies that typically lose out on the sales stars who will bring the most value to your team. Never forget to sell not only the role, but the wider sales team company culture and benefits gained from signing up.
Help yourself secure the best talent
The above tips should help you to recruit and retain great sales people to your business. For industry insight and recruitment tips that could make all the difference when it comes to securing your next sales person, contact the team at BMS here.
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