Do you feel like your sales recruiting efforts are bearing fruit? Or, does it feel more like you are outside the club where the top sales people hang out, the bouncer is not letting you in, and you are standing in the street with the job hoppers and B-player sales reps?
Perhaps the challenge is who or what you are bringing with you to the party. Many businesses rely on personal connections and job ads to attract candidates for their sales roles. Personal connections are good in that you can vouch for character, but how likely will they have the specific skills and background you need for success? Job ads, during a strong economy, are not generally effective as most of the applicants are not top performers.
So, how do you get an all-access pass to the star sales club? There are generally two ways to gain access, and both involve expense and connections!
Option 1: Pay for LinkedIn and Dedicate Resources for Outreach
Option 2: Hire a Professional With Connections
OPTION 1: PAY FOR LINKEDIN AND DEDICATE RESOURCES FOR OUTREACH
Since it’s not likely that a star sales rep is going to apply to your job directly, you will need to find out where they hang out. However, don’t just stick to generic job boards or your own network to find candidates. If you haven’t been successful in the past with these sourcing techniques, then you need to try something different.
One of the sourcing techniques for small businesses looking to hire sales reps is using a paid version of LinkedIn to find and reach out to top candidates. The advanced search features and messaging aren’t available on the free version of LinkedIn, so you will need to pay for either Recruiter Lite ($1,500) or LinkedIn Recruiter ($6,000 a seat).
In addition to the subscription cost, you will also need to dedicate a resource to search for the candidates, contact them, and get them interested in your company and your position.
Generally, you should plan to contact 100-150 new candidates (averaging 25-40 a day) and allow at least 10-15 hours to complete this task. However, this could take even more time depending on the level of experience your dedicated resource has using this tool, how many people you can devote to completing this task, and their level of expertise when interacting with potential candidates.
There are other sourcing techniques besides LinkedIn, but you will likely have to pay for a tool to help you. If you want to search the job boards, you will need an employer subscription or if you want to search industry specific databases, you will also need to pay for a subscription.
If you’re not willing to pay for any tools, then your chances of getting into the star sales rep club will decrease significantly.
OPTION 2: HIRE A PROFESSIONAL WITH CONNECTIONS
If you can’t devote enough time to search for star sales reps on LinkedIn, then your second option is to source them through a recruiter database. Of course, many hiring authorities and recruiters maintain their own recruiting database of candidates, so you would need to partner with one of these firms to have them access to the database and their resources.
This is a great option for finding star sales candidates because recruiting firms have access to thousands of qualified candidates. They’ve built relationships with these candidates over the years and would be able to quickly find someone for your open position.
If you’re worried about the cost of working with a recruiter, then take a look at the examples above. You’re always going to need to pay for access to top sales talent — subscriptions, LinkedIn Recruiter, etc — but with a recruiting firm, they will source and recruit the candidates as well. Instead of paying for multiple subscriptions to LinkedIn and other databases, you could partner with a recruiting firm and have access to their applicant tracking system, databases, and LinkedIn subscriptions.
If it seems like having only two options for finding star sales reps don’t give you a lot of alternatives to consider, then you’re absolutely right! However, the key to these options is that both are guaranteed to get you STAR sales reps. If you want to find B-players or mediocre performers, then, by all means, wait for them to apply to your position. But if you’re tired of waiting in line to join the club, then choose one of these two options today and hire the star sales rep you’ve been waiting for!
What methods have you used to try and find star sales reps? Were you successful?