Sales recruiting shouldn’t just start when you have an open job requirement. It is a business process you should always be engaging in, even when you don’t have the budget, need or desire for other sales reps.
Here are three reasons why you should never stop sales recruiting:
1. You never know when your dream team will need someone new.
The minute you think your sales team is at 100% capacity and you feel like you’ve finally built your dream team, something unforeseen will happen. A rep will be recruited away, be promoted, or in some cases, be managed out. Sales reps change jobs, on average, every 18 months – faster than most other industries. Or they might move cities or countries, change industries, or decide to pursue other careers. There’s also the issue of burnout, which is particularly common in sales. You never know what the future holds, so you have to be prepared in advance.
2. You want to reduce time to hire.
Being prepared means the time to hire is as short as it can be. When you have an open position, every minute counts, because your unrealized quota is compounding. The faster the open role is filled, the faster the business has the ability to achieve full quota productivity. According to a DePaul University study, the average turnover cost per sales rep is $97,690 when you add up recruiting costs, training costs, and lost sales. 71% of companies take 6 months or longer to onboard new sales reps; and at a third of all companies it take 9 months or more, according to ClearSlide and CSO Insights research.
3. You’re competing in a competitive talent market.
The sales talent market is incredibly tight today, more so than ever. Covid-19 has introduced many companies to the value of remote hires. That means smart sales leaders are snapping up ‘A’ talent, regardless of geography. Whereas your company might have been known as the best place to work for sales professionals in your city, you’re now competing with the best companies in cities across the country.
So how, exactly, do you continuously conduct sales recruiting?
Smart sales leaders and hiring managers know there are several key points that allow them to be successful in advance of having an open role to fill:
Build a bench:
Savvy sales leaders always have a bench of sales candidates who are at different stages of ‘in process’. These reps are warm to the idea of working for your company. Some may have expressed interest in the past, and others may have already been interviewed and just waiting for an opening. These candidates may not all be the ideal fit for the open role, but having a ‘go to’ candidate pool will significantly reduce your time to hire and your entire sales recruiting process.
Target ‘A’ players:
It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on ‘A’ players. This can include reps that have worked for you in the past (it’s not out of the question for someone who left in the past to be incentivized to return). It can also include those who work at competitive companies. Good sales leaders know rockstar reps are hard to come by. The more of them you have on your team, the more likely you are to succeed. If you only do your sales recruiting when you desperately need them, expect to be turned down.
Compensate referrals from your existing team:
A warm lead from one of your own reps goes a long way. 45% of employees sourced from employee referrals stay for longer than 4 years, and only 25% of employees sourced through job boards stay for over 2 years. Referrals are also the leading source of superior candidates for 88% of employers. Referred candidates are a better culture fit than those hired through other sources, and they generate the best return on investment.
Because referrals are such a great way to build a bench of interested candidates, referrals should be encouraged and – importantly – compensated. Make sure you have a 90 or 180 day ‘success clause’ to make sure your generosity is not being taken advantage of.
Right now, you may be working with your strongest team of rockstar reps ever. They may be killing it in deals. But never get complacent. If you never stop sales recruiting, you could keep your spot at the top of the game.