Landing top sales professionals is becoming increasingly difficult in this labor market. The sales talent pool is shrinking, and the number of open roles are increasing. The number of open sales roles has risen by 65% in the past year, with more than 700,000 open positions around the U.S. This is driving increased, and often fierce, competition for the best recruits.
Winning top sales recruits isn’t about luck. The hiring managers who are the most prepared often win the new candidate. Having a prepared checklist of the right company/position highlights could be the difference between winning or losing a new candidate.
Here are six topics you should be prepared to discuss when ‘closing’ on your next new sales hire:
Sales reps want to work for winners. Be prepared with brief career summaries and success stories from your leadership team. If you can, highlight specific instances when your leadership jumped in to assist a sales representative. Sales recruits want to know if you’re going to be in the trenches with them – or just shouting directions from afar.
In addition, the leadership team’s vision for the company can also be very helpful in winning over a top candidate. Candidates want to know: 1) that the leadership team has a clear vision; and 2) that this vision is aligned with their career goals.
2. Sales Culture:
Culture is incredibly important but often overlooked. In a Glassdoor survey, 84% of sales employees said they would consider moving to another employer whose culture and values more closely aligned with theirs. Make sure to bring your candidate’s potential direct manager into the interview early on, because direct managers do the most to drive the culture within a specific team, and they can speak to this aspect of the position.
3. The Product:
The most successful reps have a passion for or connection with the product or solutions they’re selling – and it’s something they consider before taking a new job. In fact, 78% of sales reps would accept less money to work at a company selling something compelling.
Talk to the sales recruit you are interviewing about the product. If they have a connection to the product or to a problem the product solves, that could be something you need to emphasize in order to land the new sales professional.
4. The TAM (total addressable market):
Good reps know they should understand the target market, and they’ll ask about TAM in their interview. This will give him or her an understanding of the task ahead of them. Always come to an interview knowing your company’s TAM and how much is greenfield (net new).
5. The Team:
One third of your life is spent at work – so it’s important to work with good people. Be sure to discuss the team, their personalities, the team dynamics and differences. Address how you see this new candidate fitting in with the team and how the overall group will be better with him or her as a new team member.
6. The Comp Plan:
There’s a falsehood floating around that compensation is the only thing that matters to good reps. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, and the reason this is listed last. That said, be sure to discuss the nuances of the comp plan – and highlight where reps can succeed.
There are many factors that weigh into a sales rep’s decision to join a new company. Stack the deck in your favor by selling them on the points listed above. You’ll have a much better chance of closing the next rockstar you interview.
Does your company attract top talent in the sales department? Check out 10 Ways to Attract Top Sales Talent to Your Company