Recruiting is the first pillar of building up a direct sales business. Your sales team is where the rubber meets the road, where the product meets the customer, and where the magic happens. And building an effective sales team is hugely dependent on finding the right people.
People who will represent your company well. Who live by your values. Who are experts in their product line and driven servants for your customer base.
That means it’s important to know what you’re looking for. And that takes an Ideal Sales Profile.
Finding Your Profile
There are a lot of people out there who want sales jobs. Not all of them, however, will be a good fit for your sales team.
Remember- you’re not just looking for anyone with a pulse! Hiring too many of the wrong people can make you lose your corporate culture, compromise your values, and set you back as an organization.
How do you avoid this? By developing your Ideal Sales Profile.
What is an Ideal Sales Profile?
The best sales reps aren’t the most experienced, by and large. They are the ones who are hungry, who exhibit the ideal personality traits and skills to be brand ambassadors and closers. These traits are part of the profile of your ideal salesperson.
This should be tailored to fit with the products that you offer, the customers you serve, and the compensation that you offer. (Some sales styles benefit from a high flexibility, high commission pay plan, others from a more stable base with smaller bonus incentives.) Put all of these traits together and use them as a template when recruiting new talent and you will build a sales team that is pulling in the same direction- toward your company’s goals.
How do you build a profile?
Look at your best reps. The ones that consistently deliver and are constantly exceeding expectations. Now, look at their characteristics, their skills, their psychology. What motivates them? Why do they do what they do?
Are they the experienced sales dog? The ones who are smart and savvy when it comes to reading the customer and knowing which opportunities to pursue?
Are they the younger, high-energy type? The high-volume door knocker, the ones who will leave no stone unturned in their search for new opportunity?
Are they someone switching their career, looking for an opportunity to advance to the next level of their personal success?
All of these can be valid profiles to build a recruiting strategy from. Keep in mind, the Ideal Sales Profile is not about finding a bunch of people who look and act exactly the same, or have the same likes and dislikes. This is about their approach to sales and whether their style can lead to success in your organization.
Where To Look
This is all well and good. But the big question you probably have is, “Where do I find this army of sales superheroes?”
Most people who are hiring sales talent head right to what seems like the most logical place: the job boards.
Indeed. LinkedIn. Monster. Careerbuilder, ZipRecruiter, even Craigslist. They throw an ad up, get as many resumes as they can, and hope to find a diamond in the rough.
Is this a valid method of recruiting?
Sure! It’s just not enough.
When you are using job boards, remember the overall recruiting principle we’re laying out in this post: casting a wide net. This means never rely on a single job board. You may have more success with one board than another, but that doesn’t mean you won’t miss opportunities if you limit yourself to it. You need to capture candidates from each.
Let’s be honest: it costs money to recruit a quality candidate. And job boards are not a place you want to cheap out. Pay the money for lucrative boards to find the right candidates. There are a lot of boards out there, and it’s important to find the most relevant ones for your marketplace to invest in.
Job boards are only about half of the equation. So where else do you look for top direct sales talent?
We’re going to go into the next portion in more detail in the next post: Personal Recruiting. You can use your personal and professional networks to find top-notch sales talent in unexpected places. Just remember not to limit yourself in where to look for talent.
Always approach your personal and professional interactions with this goal in the back of your mind. So, let’s discuss personal recruiting in greater depth to really dive into how to make the most out of those opportunities.