Ann Grogan & Associates - Sales Recruitment

Needle In A Haystack: 5 Steps To Finding Top-Tier Sales Talent In South Florida

Hiring the wrong salesperson is one of the most expensive mistakes that an organization can make. The cost of a bad hire can drastically impact your company’s profitability and slow down revenue growth for years to come. Compensation and benefits are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to calculating the financial setback that results from hiring underperforming salespeople. You also have to consider things like hiring cost, training cost, and lost opportunities. When you add it all up, the truth is staggering. Most companies spend somewhere between $100,000 to $500,000 on a single bad sales hire when everything is said and done.

It is important to understand that hiring salespeople is distinctively different than hiring for any other department in your organization. Sales is the lifeblood of any business and your producers are the ones who ultimately control revenue growth. Even if you have a traditional in-house recruitment team, it is worth considering the option to seek help from sales recruiting experts like Ann Grogan & Associates who specialize in finding the perfect fit for any sales role.

During the hiring process, sales candidates will use their skill set to sell themselves. It’s also very likely they have participated in far more interviews than you, giving them an upper hand. You need to know what questions to ask and how to predict factors like longevity and a candidate’s ability to build relationships quickly so that you can know if a candidate will be successful before you make the decision to hire them. How do you know whether a candidate will be successful or not? You can start by using these 5 steps to finding top-tier sales talent.

1. Get specific when defining your sales role


No two sales roles are the same and using a cookie cutter formula to hire salespeople doesn’t work. You need to get granular when it comes to defining your sales role which means considering factors like price point and sales cycle length. There are plenty of good salespeople, but that doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your particular role. Do they have experience selling products at your price point? Are they comfortable discussing that amount of money? If you’re sales cycle is relatively short, can they build relationships quickly? On the other hand, if you have a longer sales cycle, do they have the drive and persistence to follow up until a sale is made? Does your role require heavy prospecting or appointment setting? You need to get a clear understanding of what you’re looking for and start asking these important questions.

2. Identify your ideal salesperson


Once you have defined your sales role, now you can start to map out which skills and weaknesses to look for in candidates. Competencies like time management and accountability are important to just about any sales role, but some require a more unique skill set. For example, if your salesperson will be cold calling, they need to be able to lead conversations. This means being able to read the prospects comfortability level and adapt when something unexpected happens. Being able to drive buying decisions is another important quality to consider when evaluating candidates. Salespeople who possess this competency are bold when the time comes to ask for a yes and willing to push back if they get a no.

It is important to note that a candidate may possess every skill you are looking for but still not be a good fit because they are limited by certain weaknesses. To be clear, everyone has weaknesses but certain weaknesses are detrimental to success in sales. You need to determine which weaknesses are acceptable, and which are not.

3. Optimize your candidate sourcing methods


There are a number of different methods for sourcing candidates and some produce higher quality results than others. You need to identify the best sources for your ideal candidates and make sure you’re visible in those spaces. Indeed, Monster, and Zip Recruiter are some of the top job boards but there are many other viable options which are less known. Some job boards specialize in particular industries, which may mean that they are not as populated but deliver more fine-tuned results. Although digital has become more prevalent in recent years, job fairs and networking events are another great outlet for sourcing candidates. Alternatively, recruiting agencies have their own candidate pools and are able to provide an abundance of high quality candidates while reducing the time and resources spent on sourcing.

Writing a polished job listing is crucial to finding quality sales talent and many companies do a poor job at this. Your listing should be written in a way that will attract high quality candidates who fit your role. Start by creating an effective title that accurately describes the position. This element is important because you want to make a good first impression and if you don’t, candidates won’t even bother to read your listing. Next, give a summary of the role and then list your desired competencies and required experience in bullet format. Keep in mind that you want to focus your post on the role and not drag on too much about how great your company is. Lastly, sell your role by highlighting the attractive benefits.

4. Screen candidates thoroughly


It is crucial to have an effective process for reviewing resumes. You need to know what you’re looking for and stick to it. In business, “time is money”, so you don’t want to waste it on candidates who aren’t a good fit. Your company should also have a thorough process for screening candidates that weeds out the undesirables. Ideally, this process will require minimal time spent so that you can focus all your energy on qualified candidates. A great way to do this is an evaluation form which asks a series of questions that will help determine if the candidate possesses the necessary skills while also assessing their weaknesses.

5. Conduct a calculated interview process


If your screening process is working the way it should, you should now be left with the most qualified candidates and be able to focus your time on selecting the best fit for your role. According to LinkedIn, 65% of sales managers agree that a lack of soft skills among candidates limit their company’s productivity. It’s no secret that evaluating these soft skills during the interview process is no easy feat. Unless you’re using a polygraph or truth serum, most won’t admit their faults and will likely exaggerate their strengths. You need to find a reliable way of assessing factors like whether your candidates are a good cultural fit, and if they have potential for growth. Another very important quality to screen for during the interview process is adaptability. In fact, 69% of hiring managers say that adaptability is the most important soft skill. To test for this competency, try asking questions like “Can you remember a time when you found yourself in an unexpected situation? How did you react?”

Ann Grogan & Associates has conducted thousands of interviews and over the years we have learned the most effective methods for assessing a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. We know what questions to ask and how to get the answers you value. Determining whether a candidate is going to succeed before you hire them is extremely challenging and absolutely critical to your company’s success. We’re so confident in our process that we put a guarantee on our results and won’t settle for anything less than absolute satisfaction.

If you’re struggling to find enough quality candidates, or you’re tired of hiring salespeople who appear qualified but can’t get the job done, let us shine a light in the darkness and show you a better way. Schedule a call with one of our recruitment experts to learn more about how we can help your business attract, select, and retain top-tier sales talent that is guaranteed to succeed.