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How to Hire Your Next Sales Team Member

Hiring someone for sales is difficult. Hiring a top sales performer? That can seem nearly impossible. Salespeople acquire and hone a unique skill set, and it’s one not everyone is interested in or cut out for. Turnover for these positions are high with the average annual attrition rate is 34% with more than 1 in 10 companies experiencing turnover in excess of 55% each year. These numbers aren’t hard to believe, so top quality salespeople know their skills are a commodity. If you want to attract, retain and hire sales professionals who excel, you need to have the right approach to hiring.

Tap into Referrals

Hires that are referred by current employees generally have a higher retention rate, faster time-to-proficiency and are more fit to the company culture. Face it, employees see the organization on a different level than leadership. Referrals are workers who have gathered the most honest intel on your company and the job from a most trusted resource (friend/family) and have decided to pursue a position.

Are you creating an environment that your current sales team wants to brag about? Does your company or its processes attract sales people? If your employees are spreading positivity about your organization and its practices, chances are you will begin gaining a reputation as THE employer to work for among their network.

How to: Ask your employees to put hard to fill positions in their signature or share them on their social networks. Work with the hiring manager and team to have a “sourcing party”, where you all scour your professional networks at the same time.

Give Your Job Description & Ad the Right Attention

The job description is your introduction to the position. It appears on the job advertisement and just about every place you post your position. If it’s not approached the right way, you will either attract the wrong attention or garner no attention at all.

How do you write a sales job description?

When writing a job description for a sales position, it’s important to remember a few things:

  1. Don’t Sugarcoat: Sales professionals know what to look for and they can smell if something is off. Instead, be direct and explain how the position works. Remember, top performing salespeople are usually up for a challenge, but they aren’t interested in employment games.
  2. Check the Tone: Not every salesperson is the same, but generally speaking, they are go-getters and self-starters. That means your description should be upbeat, exciting and enthusiastic in tone. If you can’t be positive about your opening, how can they be excited about filling it?
  3. Include Company Culture and Values: No matter what field, today’s employees are interested in meshing with their organization’s personality. That doesn’t look the same to every person or business, so remain honest about who you are as a company and you will attract the right workers in return.
  4. Flaunt Benefits: Does your organization cater weekly lunches? Do you have a clearly developed career growth strategy for employees? Whatever your company has done to help employees enjoy you as an employer is a selling point, so flaunt it! Especially in the job ad.
  5. Compensation matters to sales people, especially the best ones. A truly great sales person can cost anywhere from $70,000- $200,000, depending on location and experience level (and type of sale). Whether you list the salary outright, a ballpark or try to hide pay in terms like “competitive compensation”, can make the difference between a superstar candidate and a dud.

These are only a fraction of the things you need to consider when creating a job description for a sales position. If this seems like an arduous process, you aren’t wrong. A job description or ad isn’t an easy or quick process. It takes a sincere understanding of the organization and position. Remember, it is the first impression for most candidates.

Advertise in Niche Places

Niche job boards and networks are a great place to find specific talent and skills because they speak to highly-focused areas. The candidates who are a part of the network or frequent the board are either interested in the job position or have unique knowledge and passions they would like to be compensated for. If you have never considered working in a niche job board or network, there are two ways to approach.

Where should I advertise my sales job on a niche job board?

  1. Focus on the Profession: In this case, it would be sales. However, there are numerous niche job boards or networks that focus on everything from graphic design, technical skills, etc.
  2. Focus on the Industry: If you have a specialized product suite that serves a specific market or community, working with a niche job board or network geared to that industry or market will help you find experts on the trends and challenges being faced by those working within it. A salesperson who understands those two things are more equipped to close deals.
  3. Focus on Diversity. There are job boards that focus on female candidates, underrepresented groups in certain fields and former military members.

The downside to going niche is the same as the upside. If you are only placing your open positions into these areas, you might be limiting your opportunity to connect with amazing talent who don’t frequent those sites. It is crucial you are always assessing the return on your recruitment strategies, including the places where you post jobs. No applications after weeks of a posting means something isn’t working and needs to be reevaluated.

Be Honest in Your Approach

As was stated earlier, sales professionals understand the market they serve and they know when a company isn’t being completely honest. The sales industry is known for swindling, and we don’t mean from the salespeople. If a highly-qualified salesperson is searching for new employment, they will have their guard up, looking for any clue that the position isn’t what it appears to be. Don’t be caught in a shady place. Instead, be upfront and honest about the job in the description and ad. Then support those claims with your recruitment communication and interview process.

For the most transparent recruitment communication and sales interview explain:

  • KPIs: They will find out about them anyway, so don’t their new job off with surprises. Be upfront about their deliverables and expectations before they are hired.
  • Compensation: Whether they’re hourly, salaried, commission-based or a combination should be present in the job description or within the first communication. While it might deter some, your pay structure will attract others who are more suited for the job anyway.
  • Scheduling & Logistics: Will the position require nights and weekends? Will they be able to work outside of an office or within their own home? If you worry that these details are going to affect your chance at hiring, you might want to reevaluate your employment structure. Also, remember that some highly-qualified talent love working strange hours or prefer to be in a cubicle.

Hiring sales professionals is challenging, but not impossible. With the right approach to your recruitment strategy, you can attract highly-qualified salespeople to your sales team. Think this all sounds a little overwhelming? Don’t go it alone. AptoZen will help you write the job description, source talent and provide vetted, “hire-ready” candidates specifically matched to your company in a matter of a few weeks. Need a team of sales pros? AptoZen can do that, too. Want to hire guaranteed top talent? Schedule an AptoZen demo now!