The sales department is the core of your business. It gets cash flow into your business, adds loyal clients to your customer base, and is often the first impression of your brand that potential clients get. As your business grows, you’ll need to scale your sales team, most likely creating an inside sales team including the following roles: SDR or BDR, Account Executives, Account Managers, Pre-Sales Engineers, Customer Success, and some leadership to help manage them.
When the time comes to hire new sales reps for your brand, do you know how to plan, execute, and optimize your recruitment to ensure that your new employees start making an impact as soon as possible?
In this blog, we’ll give you our best practices for hiring and training your salespeople for maximum results! But before we get into what you should do, we need to mention the most detrimental sales recruiting mistake that kills your chances of having a productive and profitable year.
The Biggest Sales Recruiting Mistake
The worst recruiting error that sales leaders commit is starting their hiring process too late. If you’re hiring for 2022, you cannot wait until then to get started. This is a faulty and inefficient approach.
When you hire a new sales rep, they don’t immediately start closing sales. They have to go through onboarding and then often a ramp compensation plan. Which can include everything from administrative, to product training, sales training, and systems training, ramping compensation plan, sales coaching and more. What does this mean for your recruiting? There will always be a significant delay between when you initiate your recruiting and when new sales reps can start driving revenue. It requires an investment, and yeah it’s expensive.
Everyone wants to do better, faster, and cheaper, yet most organizations can only do 2 of the 3 at one time. People start practicing idolatry believing that faster and cheaper is better. Let me set the record straight, it’s not.
If you wait till January to authorize your hiring process (like many sales leaders do), you won’t have the right people when you need them. It takes several interviewing cycles to find and recruit the right salespeople. Then, it takes several more to onboard and train your new employees. By the time your newly-recruited sales reps are active, you’re already in Q2 – you missed an entire quarter because you didn’t start recruiting soon enough! And now you’re behind the 8-ball for the entire year.
What’s the solution to this problem, you ask? Firstly, as you might have guessed, the best way to get sales reps sooner is to begin recruiting sooner. Figure out how long an average recruiting and onboarding process for your company takes, and subtract that time from your ideal sales rep activation date (the day you need your new sales reps to be selling). For example, if hiring takes two months and you need new salespeople activated by the new year, initiate your recruiting in November! The second step to overcoming the recruiting hurdle is recruiting enthusiastic sales reps and training them in the most efficient way possible.
Finding and Activating Your Ideal Sales Reps
When it comes to finding the right people to join your team, it’s all about recruiting self-actualized sales reps. These are people who fit their sales role so well that they want to do more. Hiring and activating self-actualized sales reps has two main steps. First, you must identify which candidates are self-actualized during the hiring process. Then, you must put these people in the ideal positions to help them succeed and perform.
Finding Self-Actualized Sales Reps
When you’re digging through candidate applications and performing interviews, it can be challenging to find the real, high-performing salespeople your business needs to grow. After all, all of your candidates will put their best foot forward during recruiting, so even ineffective sales reps can start looking self-actualized.
The best way to discern which sales reps are genuinely self-actualized isn’t by looking at their resume, experience, or what they say in an interview. While these are all vital factors to consider when hiring, the best thing to look at is how they conduct the sales hiring process.
The best sign that you have found a self-actualized salesperson is that they treat their recruiting like a sale. In their mind, you’re not a recruiter – you’re a potential client! They are following up, trying to set meetings, and keeping in touch to ensure they’re doing everything they can to get hired. When you find a person like this, it’s a sign to bring them on board!
Activating Your Salespeople
Once you’ve identified and hired your self-actualized sales reps, you must put them in positions where they can thrive. Doing this all comes down to identifying your new sales rep’s talents and assigning tasks accordingly.
Not every salesperson is the same. Some reps are social sellers and excellent communicators – they love meeting clients, having conversations, and using their charisma to close sales. Other sales reps might be the total opposite – they enjoy looking at statistics and taking a mathematical approach to finding and closing their ideal clients. There are many more sales rep archetypes, and they can all be effective and self-actualized if you put them in the ideal positions to perform.
For example, imagine you’ve just hired a salesperson who’s not a great speaker but an excellent writer and digital communicator. If you want to get the most out of this person’s performance while maximizing their job satisfaction, you shouldn’t put them in outbound phone sales where they have dozens of phone conversations every day. Instead, they’ll be much more effective in performing tasks like email follow-ups and social media outreach! Accurate and informed talent management can make the difference between an average quarter and a record-breaking one.
4 Ways to Invest in Your Salespeople
Invest in your people, and they’ll invest back into you. The idea of investing to improve your business isn’t a proprietary one, but many sales decision-makers still struggle to identify their investment opportunities. When it comes to improving your company’s sales performance, there are four main ways you can invest your resources and take your sales department to the next level:
Invest in Great Salespeople
Your people are at the core of everything your sales department does. If you don’t have individuals with the right soft skills, mindset, and motivation to succeed, no amount of sales tech or training will help your bottom line. Investing in great salespeople is the best way to grow your sales performance.
Invest in Excellent Sales Tech
The 21st century is the age of automation and technology. In the past two decades, computer programming and the development of software have made significant bounds. Tech has taken over the world – and the sales industry is no different. Investing in great sales tech helps your salespeople become more efficient and lets them focus on important tasks while automating repetitive duties.
Invest in Training Your Reps to Use the Tech
Once you’ve invested in some sales tech, you need to invest in teaching your salespeople to use it. The more efficient and experienced your team is with applying your sales tech stack, the higher their sales performance will be, and the greater ROI you’ll get on the sales tech you bought.
Invest in Training Your Reps to Sell
The final way you can invest in your salespeople is to train them in the art of selling. From understanding how to contact clients to knowing the best practices behind negotiating and closing deals, new sales reps must learn how your company approaches sales. Check out these 7 ways sales training can help you and your sales team.
Training your people is all about identifying the key skills and strategies it takes to find clients, overcome objections, and close sales. That’s why we created the 5 Week N.E.A.T. Selling™ Training & Reinforcement Program. Check it out or find a time to chat with us here.