Imagine a highly-talented salesperson. Month after month they hit their goals, exceed expectations and do it all with a smile on their face. Their clients love them and somehow they know how to placate even the most agitated customer. They are self-motivated and can even lead others, mentoring newer sales talent or uplifting coworkers in bad times. Competition to attract sales professionals like this is tight because whether they are job searching or not, recruiters are always pursuing their skills.
Hiring and retaining top salespeople can be a challenge. Sales and business development is a tough skillset to master and those who own it, know their worth to an employer. Luckily, with the right strategy, your company can become a magnet for sales superstars.
Connect Your Mission to a Meaningful Purpose
Let’s be honest, your goal for the sales department is to successfully sell your products and/or services. Unfortunately, even the greatest, most self-motivated salesperson cannot perform their best without a clear connection to the meaning behind what the company does. Obviously not every product is exciting nor will every service save lives, but there is a reason you do what you do.
For example, Post-it Notes by 3M might be a mundane office supply, but the company’s marketing is anything but boring. They connect their product to the bigger picture by using inspirational and creative marketing. It’s that understanding of their brand’s mission that sales teams can use to bolster their approach to selling.
A superstar salesperson doesn’t care to have an easy sell, they want the right sell. It’s exponentially more enjoyable to sell a product or service that has a meaningful connection to the buyer or client. Drawing this meaningful connection can be challenging for some companies, but it isn’t impossible.
If possible, invite your employees to use your products and services, even if only on a trial basis. Feature images of your team or customers benefiting from your offerings on social media and your website. It’s a great practice for your brand, but will also show potential top sales talent why they should want to sell for your company. If you can, be transparent about compensation. It should go without saying that great salespeople are motivated by goals and future earnings.
- Provide free trials to your product so sales team knows what it’s selling
- Post imagery of your product or service in use so potential sales candidates see it in action
- Build use cases or case studies and share them so sales candidates understand the value
- Advertise your company culture on social media by featuring employees and office happenings
Establish Value-based Rewards
Even the most driven salesperson needs something to spur their motivation. Obviously, the most obvious reward program is financial. This is a job, and top sales talent want to see the potential for money. In fact, top salespeople often pursue commission-based positions because they are confident their abilities and skills will gain high dollar reward. Compensation helps push that interest in seeing top sales numbers, especially as 95% of employees report compensation/pay to be important to their job satisfaction. Do understand that 94% of sales professionals still see the base salary as the most important element of their compensation plan though. If you have an attractive bonus structure, make sure it is fair, but not equal. Nothing demotivates a sales superstar faster than knowing her check will be the same as Brad’s no matter how much more she sells. Another compensation no-no? Using lottery style compensation that relies on luck or a drawing whether you’ve made one sale or 20.
While monetary reward is crucial, salary and bonuses aren’t the only things that attract and retain top sales talent. The organization’s values can be monumental to a sales superstar. If they align with your goals and overarching principles, they will grow a connection to the company itself instead of just the paycheck. How your company establishes a values-based culture and rewards is something that will require internal awareness and strategic planning. Asking your current workforce what motivates them in their role and what about the company excites them can help identify what might interest a successful sales candidate.
Related: Building a Great Team from Scratch
You could allow a top performer to work from home one day per week or set a schedule around when they are most productive. Great salespeople can sometimes balk under a micromanager, so ensure their environment is one that is conducive to making the sale.
- Establish a bonus structure that rewards those who pursue excellence (and clearly explain it)
- Create goals that relate to your organization’s unique values
- Support employee autonomy by providing learning/mentorship opportunities
- Train leadership encourage teamwork and instill confidence
Make Your Hiring Process Attractive
The right internal company processes and employer brand will attract top salespeople. However, in order for them to fall for your company culture and compensation, top sales talent must first love your hiring process. The recruiting and hiring stage isn’t just about your team assessing their fit, candidates are deciding whether they want to be a part of your company, too. If the application is too lengthy or communication is too strained, superstar salespeople will move on to another company. Remember, talented sales professionals have options and they know it.
Make your hiring process candidate-centered, prioritizing their needs and show genuine interest in their abilities. Being open to informational interviews that focus more on selling the position to the candidate than assessing the candidate for the role can leave the potential hire feeling special and will build rapport.
- Be transparent about the job’s challenges as well as perks in the job description, ad, and interview
- Outline a career track or skill development program that explains internal growth opportunities to applicants
- Introduce sales candidates to their team and department prior to extending an offer
- Emphasize and share with candidates parts of your job that remind you why you enjoy working for the company
Does attracting top sales talent seem like too big an undertaking for your company? Don’t worry, AptoZen’s recruiting services and technology takes the time to understand your company culture, delve into the open role and use our 4-level predictive fit technology to find talent that will be successful as your employee. Then we translate our findings in an easy-to-digest report that surpasses the resume, so you’re sure to make the right hire to crush your sales goals.