Often seen as the “behind the scenes” gurus of any business, HR experts have a truly enormous responsibility when it comes to discovering, recognizing, and hiring the right candidates for any given organization. In the world where both employers and employees are raising their expectations every day, the hiring experts are always on the lookout for new ways to refine the entire hiring process, form their scouting strategies, onboarding methods, all the way to employee training.
This process gets all the more complex for each specific department in your organization, and the sales team is no different. Typically classified as competitive, confident, highly communicative, and quick to negotiate, sales people can make or break an entire brand. That is why every HR needs to have a specific approach crafted for a winning sales team so that your entire business can stand a chance in this competitive world of ours.
1. Make a competitive offer
Have we mentioned that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there? Strong sales representatives are not easy to come by, and as such, they represent an asset you need to attract, not just get in touch with. More than anyone else, sales candidates know the value of a powerful sales pitch, and they will expect one from you. In fact, the ones you wish to land the most will also expect a salary to match your brand image and the complexity of their position – so make sure that it truly does.
The vast majority of sales reps thrive on the competitive aspect of their jobs, which means that incentives in the form of commission for every new deal they close for your business should be as attractive as the salary that comes with the job. In essence, the market is a fierce one for seeking out devoted and loyal sales people, and you need to make it worth their while to stay by your side.
2. Hire strategic positions
Sometimes, managers of an organization give a very vague directive in the form of “hire only the best b2b sales reps.” Any HR manager will roll their eyes at this statement, simply because it is entirely useless when it comes to determining what kind of sales profiles you should be looking at, their experience levels, and the role diversity for your future sales team. Let’s face it, what is an account executive without the content writer and the QA guru to make sure you have all of your bases covered?
So, while you’re on the prowl, hire a b2b sales team that will cover all the key roles your business needs. A sales team that is too homogeneous might end up having one or two strong points with too many weak links or missing ones, while ensuring a structure based on your core strategy will deliver a sales team with just the right people to represent your brand.
3. Focus on values
Every HR expert knows just how much a job description can either help or hinder your entire hiring process. For the most part, a job description, whether sent via email or found in an ad will contain roughly the same information every other job ad out there. These roles are predefined, and the more experienced people who are applying know what to expect – so you can’t expect the description to be a hook on its own.
What does make a difference is giving your brand an opportunity to stand out through that description. By using examples of clients you work with, how your teams operate, what kind of “human” perks the job entails, you can add a higher level of personalization to your ad, and give them a chance to see if your company values coincide with theirs. After all, you know that sales people who truly believe in your business will be your finest ambassadors.
4. Refine your elimination process
After a while, HR managers tend to develop what you’d typically call a gut feeling when it comes to recognizing that perfect match for your business. That, however, is not something you can measure, let alone present to your corporate team, no matter how much trust they have in your ability to choose the right talent for the business. Enter: psychometric testing!
Not a new concept, and yet not too many businesses rely on it to further support their hiring decisions. By evaluating specific behavioral traits, reactions, and qualities of your candidates, you can get a glimpse into their mindset and character. You may discover some of them handle rejection better, while others have stronger verbal skills. These are not finite or absolute, but you can use them to make sure that your business has several points of view to consider when hiring your sales team.
Finding and winning over those perfect sales candidates will always pose a challenge, no matter how experienced or skilled you may be. Make sure to utilize these strategies as the basis of your hiring methods, and you’ll always give your business a fair chance to build a stellar sales team.
Author: Keith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a degree in Media Management.