Sales Hiring = Purple Squirrel
-by Marie Warner -
A recurrent problem many companies are experiencing is the inability to find and recruit sales, sales trainers or sales enablement professionals. Their job advertisement for these important roles appear for 5 months running – What gives?
Once we discuss this issue with some of these firms, several reasons become immediately apparent.Have these reasons also plagued your sales recruiting efforts?
For the last decade, I've been helping organizations find and train the best talent available for their sales organizations. A key to my success has been my previous experience of several decades of building and leading sales organizations -ranging from startups to large corporations - often while also carrying a sales quota both for myself and my sales team. My experience has shown that there are four main reasons why it can be challenging to attract and to hire candidates.
1. A potential Candidate is unable to create a vision of success at your company.
Poorly written job descriptions, boring and internally-focused job postings, flawed interviewing practices and no (or flawed) onboarding plans are main reasons for this failure. Simply stated, hiring companies often don't realize that they are the ones who have to do the selling - both of their position and its career potential.
2. Compensation is inadequate.
In a competitive hiring market, a company must keep current with the competitive offers that top candidates receive. With unemployment below 4% in Massachusetts, it will remain challenging for the foreseeable future.
3. You are looking for a Purple Squirrel.
Does your Candidate Profile describe a professional who simply does not exist? I often see job postings that specify only 2 to 5 years of experience - but with “must have” requirements for a deep industry background plus sales training proficiency plus the ability to engage with multiple departments plus train sales professionals of all skill levels. This is a description of a senior-level professional. In other words, the specified career tenure and the experience level don't match up.
4. You don’t have the time.
The recruiting process is extremely time-consuming. Hiring managers often have many other duties, and internal recruiting resources may not have the background to find and qualify sales and sales trainer talent. What’s more, the competitive job-scape dictates the need to be highly responsive; an offer needs to be made within two weeks (or less) of the initial interview. Successful sourcing, engaging interest, then qualifying a candidate takes time and expertise - and needs to be a primary focus. 90% of our placements come from direct outreach to targeted candidates – not job boards.
Think back to your efforts in hiring. Could several of the reasons above be contributing to your experience with a lengthy time-to-hire, less than successful hires - and more critically, delaying the training that will propel your sales team to top performance?If the reasons in this article resonate with you, I suggest a brief phone discussion that can help you outline a plan for success to meet your sales training challenges – recruitment, sales enablement, training and one-on-one and team coaching.So go write and read your goals and become one of the elite 5%. It WILL get you there faster.