Recruit Like You Sell

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Recruit Like You Sell

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If we aren’t responsible for hiring salespeople today, we will be one day.

And then a whole New World of challenges will open to us. Finding, and retaining great sales reps is one of the top challenges in any sales team.

But it doesn’t have to be.

It turns out that the same process we use to identify, communicate with, and convert prospects into customers can also be used to find and hire great salespeople.

To learn how, we sat down with Dan Fantasia, president of Treeline Inc. As the leader in a sales recruitment firm, Dan understands better than most of the challenges of finding and identifying top sales talent. He shared the system that he and his team use to identify, communicate with, and educate sales reps for his clients’ teams.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: Dan said that if we wait until we have a need on the team to begin our sales recruiting process, it’s too late. The best leaders place recruiting new team members as one of their top priorities. This means that the trigger for hiring great salespeople is ongoing; don’t wait until you have a salesperson leave or are expanding into a new territory and need to staff up quickly.

R – Repeatable: to make the system repeatable, Dan says to first ensure that you have the resources to recruit top sales professionals. This goes beyond just a great compensation plan, it also involves the same things you would use to ensure a great sales process. Think: scripts, preplanned questions, conversation objectives, and even objection turnarounds.

Second, map out how you recruit. Just as you would map out your sales cycle before filling it with prospects, you will want to identify the staff who will be held accountable for results and map out the processes everyone will be using to identify, drive conversations with, and convert top sales talent onto your team. Dan says to treat recruiting the same way you would any outbound sales approach: leading indicators of activity will make a massive difference in finding great people.

Third, know that posting a job isn’t enough. You will need to conduct outreach as the best salespeople are already employed in great companies. For you to convince them to move to your team, you will want to identify the common indicators of a successful salesperson in your company culture. That will help you identify those who fit the profile so that you can begin creating an outbound approach on them.

Fourth, ensure that you map out your top salesperson profile just like you would your ideal customer profile. Where do these people live, work, and play? What values do they have? What are they willing to never compromise, even if it costs revenue? And where do they excel? Knowing the answers to those questions will help you better target the top talent that you are looking for.

Fifth, ensure that you have a way to track your outreach, accountability, number of interviews, meetings, and overall engagement. All the things that you would normally track in a prospects journey through your pipeline you will want to ensure you also capture in a recruitment pipeline.

Sixth, understand that education will be one of the primary drivers of velocity in your recruitment pipeline. Dan says this starts on day one of the conversation and continues all the way through the job offer. You will need to ensure you map out and understand the concerns and challenges of your ideal salesperson, and ensure that you have resources ready to address their needs and wants. As you educate and set expectations, when you send the offer, it won’t be a surprise to you or the salesperson.

Seventh, ensure you educate your ideal candidate on how to handle their current company’s reaction to their resignation. If you don’t have a plan mapped out with your ideal salesperson, the chances of their existing companies keeping them increases dramatically.

I – Improvable: to improve the system, Daniel recommends getting different perspectives on the hiring process. Sit down with your team and pure group and look at what’s happening across your industry so that you aren’t making decisions in a vacuum. As compensation models change, the industry expands and contracts, and as the supply a great salespeople increases and decreases, you will want to make sure that you account for these within your recruitment process.

M – Measurable: to measure the results of the system, Dan recommends measuring the same things that you would measure in any salesperson’s pipeline. You will want to look at the amount of candidates that you locate, measure the speed of time between first contact and conversation, and the time between first conversation and when an offer is sent. You can also measure how much you are adhering to your defined interviewing process. If you’re not aligning with your process and getting substandard results, it’s an invitation to get back in alignment. If you are consistently skipping certain parts but still getting results, consider whether those parts need to remain in the process.

As salespeople, we understand a lot about educating and providing value to prospects. We can take those same skills and redirect them to ensure we are always recruiting top sales talent as well!

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