When it comes to building an effective team, taking the time to develop a sales hiring plan can seem counterproductive. Yet, the rewards are far greater than quickly bringing aboard someone who “appears” to be a good fit.
With thoughtful and strategic planning, you can reduce costs associated with recruitment, onboarding, and training while avoiding costly turnover due to poor hires.
As a business owner or top executive, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking a quick hire will be the fastest path to meeting revenue goals or making up for lost time.
But rushing through the development of an effective hiring strategy can lead to a devastating impact on your bottom line.
This is especially true when it comes to sales hiring given a seller’s interface with your customers and the image they project to the marketplace.
The goal of this article is to help you reduce risk by describing what’s involved in investing critical thought and the right resources to develop an intentional hiring plan.
I’d be happy to help you understand how I work with clients to help guide sales and sales leadership hiring processes.
My Fractional VP Sales expertise helps ensure you are correctly positioning new candidates in your sales organization and selecting those that align with your long-term goals.
And just because you decide to invest yourself in developing a solid hiring plan doesn’t mean you need to wait to hit your revenue goals.
I have established vetted sources that can serve as stopgap SDRs and BDRs (sales and business development representatives) for cases when a client cannot delay increasing sales pipeline activity. This enables them to focus their attention on the long game… getting sales hires done right, while meeting short-term goals.
Develop a Thoughtful and Effective Hiring Plan
When entering the development phase of your hiring plan, start with understanding your needs as an organization. To drive strategic growth, your sales team structure and talent needs to be aligned with your sales strategy.
Before adding additional hires, invest time in a sales function mapping exercise to determine if your current sales and support roles are designed in the right way to support scaling growth.
This is just one aspect of developing an intentional hiring plan.
Done right, your plan is designed to get the right people in the right seats and keep them there.
I guide my clients through the following steps to achieve this:
- Revisit Sales Team Structure
- Create a detailed Position Description
- Define the Ideal Candidate Profile
- Verify Sales Compensation alignment with market conditions
- Develop a Talent Acquisition Plan
- Assign the right resources to the Talent Acquisition Plan
In addition, it is important to have a robust onboarding process in place to ensure that every new hire gets off to a great start. Check out a prior article I wrote that includes helpful guidance called, “The Keys to Successful Sales Onboarding”.
Adapt to Major Job Market Shifts
The job market has changed drastically since the onset of the pandemic. Many organizations have seen a decrease in available sales talent and are having trouble recruiting new hires due to more competition among employers.
This has changed how companies need to attract candidates into their interview process.
It is no longer enough to post ads and anticipate an influx of qualified candidate resumes.
Businesses need to attract working and winning candidates into their interview process with effective outreach strategies and use of video interviewing.
This also creates an opportunity to screen sales candidates on how they present themselves through virtual communication methods. As cited by rigorous studies from Select Software Reviews:
- 57% of candidates prefer video interviewing
- 98% interviewed via video tend to perceive the employer as innovative
Additionally, employers need to become skilled at screening and engaging candidates through virtual platforms. To support my clients who are working on adapting to this market shift, I partnered with an expert to create a Video Interview Playbook.
This tool, amongst others in my arsenal, enables clients to successfully execute in our new sales recruiting landscape.
Improve Your Digital Presence – candidates are screening you!
Potential employees research the people they are considering working with the same way you do. Sales candidates are especially savvy in this way.
High performers go online and search for as much information as they can before deciding if they want to enter your interview process.
It is incredibly important that your company is well-represented in the digital world to support your recruiting initiatives.
If this is something you haven’t placed much focus on yet, here are a few areas to get you started…
Website & Careers Page – Have a careers page that sells the benefits of being part of your company, not just a listing of position openings. Capture employee testimonials (ideally in video format) that helps a candidate get a sense for your company culture and values, and why long-time employees have invested their careers with you.
LinkedIn Company Page – Sales candidates will find you on LinkedIn and form an opinion about your company based on how you position yourself. They’ll review the quantity and tenure of employees, how well the leadership team is represented, level and quality of your social post history, etc.
Google My Business – Google reviews are influential in people’s decision process, and they will likely read yours before applying. You also might have noticed that Google itself is listing job openings. Make sure you are well represented and encourage customers to rate you.
Strategic hiring decisions have always made a big impact on a business. The difference now is that it is likely you need to shift your hiring methodology to capture the attention of high-quality candidates.
- Get the right people in the right seats and keep them there by executing on an intentional sales hiring plan.
- Slowing down to define, attract and secure the right sales hire(s) will improve your bottom line.
- Build sales pipeline momentum by utilizing my vetted SDR/BDR resources as a stopgap or long-term solution.
- Attract qualified sales talent by using updated recruiting methods that are proven to work in the post-pandemic employment market.
- Improve your digital presence to attract high performing sales candidates into your recruiting process.
As a Fractional VP Sales, I understand how important it is to make sure your sales teams have the right balance of staffing, support, and resources. I have extensive experience helping companies navigate their way through the challenges associated with recruiting and managing successful sales teams while still hitting revenue targets.
If you’d like to discuss ways you could improve your sales hiring plan, contact me at: (773) 203-7086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take my Sales Agility Assessment to determine if your sales department is ready to support new sales hires to achieve success.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.