The start of a new year is often when companies review the resources and talent available to them. This is to make sure that everything is aligned correctly to their commercial goals and ambitions for the next twelve months and beyond. This is a particularly valuable exercise when it comes to sales teams. If your company is keen to strengthen its existing sales team – or establish one to help promote a new business, product or service – read on to find out how to hire salespeople and keep hold of some of the best sellers in the business.
Work out what you want
It’s all very well deciding that you need to “get more sales people”, but what does that mean in practice? What will they be selling, to whom and via what avenues? Do you need online sales experts or cold callers? Travelling sales reps with a flair for finding good leads? Or will your team benefit more from senior managerial staff to oversee operations and consider the wider picture? Perhaps the answer lies in recruiting more marketing or PR experts to support the overall function.
Think long-term as well – will there be room for expansion for your new people, or do you just need them for a short or medium-term sales boost? Do you have people already in your company who could be developed into effective sales managers, or do you need to recruit entirely from external sources? As technology enables more and more variety in how, where and when people work, do your new recruits need to come into the office, have their own transport for making sales visits? Can they work from home?
Knowing the answers to these types of questions at an early stage will help prospective candidates have a better idea of whether they are able to bring the right skills and attitude to your sales vacancy. Not to mention whether you are offering them what they want to get out of a new role. Which leads onto the next point…
Work out what you can offer
Sales recruitment works both ways. As much as any candidates that you invite for an interview will be trying to impress you, you need to make sure that working for your company is an attractive prospect for them. The best sales candidates could end up with multiple job offers from which to choose. Take an honest look at your company culture, staff retention rate and package of benefits and extras available to your staff.
What does your latest staff satisfaction survey say? What steps have you made to improve any perceived areas of weakness? Finally, what is the remuneration package like for your sales teams? Is their salary competitive in the market? Can they earn bonuses and extra commission on top of basic pay? What type of training and career development can they expect if they choose to work for your company?
Make a difference
More and more, people are seeking to work in roles that contribute to the greater good. Of course, salary and personal job satisfaction are important factors to consider. However, increasingly, the companies that are successful in attracting and retaining top-calibre candidates in sales and other functions are those that demonstrably work towards sustainable goals, contribute to their local communities and support their own people’s mental and physical health by offering a decent work-life balance.
After all, a happier, more fulfilled workforce tends to be one that stays in their roles longer and actively promotes positive messages and opinions about their employer. So, include brief details about any sustainable working practices, charitable initiatives and so-called ‘softer’ lifestyle benefits you can offer the new salespeople joining your team. When paired with the right salary and benefits, this can make your case as a good employer to work for far more compelling
Set clear communications and expectations
Finally, everyone works better and feels happier when they know what the goal is, how they are expected to reach it and what the parameters of success are. From the initial job advert, through to interview, job offer and onboarding process, make sure that your chosen candidates understand the role and scope of its challenges and possibilities.
Be honest about any potential difficulties the job may present – driven salespeople will not be put off. Answer questions openly and set out all agreements in writing. Once they have started working for you, set clear and realistic sales targets. Make sure they understand your expectations and can access what they need to reach their targets.
Keep communicating with your sales team and show them that you value their input. This is probably the best thing you can do to retain talented, motivated sales professionals who will work hard, both for your success and theirs.
If you need help to hire salespeople that are the best quality for your website, as well as with retaining people, then contact Sales Net and let us help you.