Sales Hiring Approach: 10 Things to Consider
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Hiring salespeople for commission-based or for commission-only sales opportunities can often be tough. However, a strong sales hiring approach will make a sales job appealing to candidates.
Remember that there is no perfect sales hiring process. Each sales recruitment is unique and potential candidates will be motivated by different things.
However, you can find your next prospective hire when you write a job description intelligently and conduct an in-person interview with a little forethought.
If you have a commission-only or commission-based opportunity to offer, here are some points that you should consider, making your sales job more appealing to candidates.
1) Make sure you can provide an annual earnings figure for both an average, or typical, rep and a motivated rep. Commission salespeople are generally money oriented, and it is important to let them know their potential earnings right off the bat.
Perfect sales hiring by not shying away from talking about money. You can expect to see increased interest when you are not evasive about the payment potential in the interview process.
2) Are commissions uncapped? Or is there an unlimited earning potential? When you hire top salespeople on commission, they’ll want to know that their hard work will be rewarded.
The best salespeople may be more inclined to accept the position if they can earn six figures. And they will work even harder at reaching a sales quota and sharpening their sales skills if job descriptions clearly define this benefit.
3) Will there be opportunities for advancement, and if so, are these salaried roles? Knowing that a commission-only or commission-based structure is just a starting point could encourage a potential sales employee to seriously consider the role.
In the interviewing process, you can inspire sales candidates by discussing what your company is looking for in a future sales manager. A good sales recruitment strategy is to view every applicant through the lens of being future sales leaders.
4) Do you offer a bonus or incentive structure? Again, sales reps want to know that their hard work will be rewarded, so performance-based bonuses and/or signing bonuses, and incentives such as cash, gift cards, prizes or trips are just some suggestions to get people interested in the opportunity.
Promote employee referrals while you are at it! A referral bonus for everyone in the business – not just the sales teams – can lead to sales being a whole company practice. Changing your company culture in this way puts the focus on selling for everyone.
Encourage the use of LinkedIn messaging, social media accounts, and other channels to reach new clients as methods for reaching sales targets. Inviting potential hires to put forth extra effort will motivate the right salesperson and scare away unqualified candidates.
5) Will the sales hire receive reimbursements or an allowance for car or cell phone expenses? When candidates must pay work related expenses out of pocket, providing them with an allowance or reimbursement always helps.
Or you might consider providing them with the use of a company cell phone or vehicle. You might also want to consider this for laptops if one is required for the role.
Don’t forget important details during the sales recruitment process. While reaching sales targets is fulfilling, a sales representative may be motivated by simple extras that sweeten a sales position.
6) Is there a paid training program, or a guarantee that qualified candidates will earn while getting started? After hiring a sales candidate, it could take a bit of time for a rep to build their client base.
So, offering paid training or an initial guarantee can ease them into a commission-based or commission-only position.
This can be particularly effective when posting on niche job boards where there may be concerns about not being able to make a sale right away.
7) Do you offer a draw against commission? People have bills to pay, so knowing that they will be receiving a regularly scheduled draw against commissions will help ease their reservations about commission only/commission-based roles.
Make sure to spell these details out in a formal offer letter. New salespeople can begin their career with a better sense of expectations and opportunities ahead of them.
8) Will sales hires be provided with leads, or will they be cold calling potential clients? Candidates are more inclined to consider a role if they are supplied with leads. This also works well for entry level type sales roles.
Having a good CRM (customer relationship management) system will go a long way toward having these warm leads available when hiring sales reps.
9) Can the sales rep work flexible hours? Candidates often investigate these positions further because they are offered the chance to create their own schedule and make it as flexible as needed.
Using this incentive in the interviewing process will net you better sales hires. They can work around picking up kids from school, little league games, or in some cases, their college studies.
It also improves your company image when more sales reps speak highly of the company culture that you promote.
10) Is telecommuting an option? Candidates are attracted by the prospect of working from the comfort of their home office.
If this is possible in the position you are offering, make that clear from the outset, and detail if there are any restrictions on telecommuting.
For example, 2 days a week they must be in the office for meetings but can work from home the rest of the week.
Of course, this practice requires aligning calendars within a team. But for many sales professionals it makes sense. It can even lower some costs for the company itself.
While we fully understand that in many situations, none of these suggestions may make sense for you, please consider making the candidates fully aware of all benefits (tangible or intangible) that your opportunity has to offer them.
Hire salespeople with the mindset of making the position appealing to them. The interview is a sales pitch, and you can reach more candidates and reduce turnover through a few simple steps.
Next time you are looking to hire a commission-based sales team, be sure to consult these suggestions, and make your opportunity shine among the rest!