There are millions of great sellers out there in the marketplace. And yet sales VPs and business owners are always complaining to me their searches for strong candidates are coming up short. Why is this?
Simple! Lack of creativity in the recruiting of candidates. Those that are complaining are stuck in old routines – using the same resources and recruiters. This, in turn, has them looking at small batches of resumes and hiring the best of the worst. It instead takes a much larger pool of candidates to find the right people.
One of my past articles described the concept of ubiquitous selling and lead generation (Sales 3.0: Be Ubiquitous – Invest in Print Marketing). This means in order to attract the best prospects you have to be everywhere – in print, online and in person.
Being ubiquitous also applies to recruiting a fantastic sales team. You have to cast a wide net, through the use of multiple resources, to find the best sellers. Some might already be employed at other companies, and some might be actively looking for work. The more ubiquitous an approach you take, the higher the odds of locating and attracting candidates.
Here are five techniques that will help you find and land the best sellers for a winning sales team:
Use local resources
If you’re hiring within the area, then advertise in local trade journals, newspapers and online classifieds such as Indeed, Kijiji and Craigslist. You might be thinking, “No way. Those resources will only give me the low-end sellers.” But remember, you want to avoid the trap of having too few resumes. Ubiquitous recruiting is about increasing the number of candidates to choose from. And some of the people you find through local resources could actually be great hires.
Also consider mentioning your search in conversation at area Chamber of Commerce and association meetings. Your peers might know of sellers who’d be a good fit for your company.
LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites are great for spreading the word you’re hiring, especially if your business has an online environment. You might require your sellers use these tools as part of the job, so the candidates who respond through these sites are already proving they’re comfortable ‒ or at least familiar ̶ with them. So in other words you’re attracting candidates with the social media you need them to use to be successful – increasing the likelihood of success.
Look to your own team
We all know the value of word of mouth. Companies often forget, however, that some of the best referrals come from their own employees. For example, one of your sellers has worked at several different companies with a dynamo who’s always top-of-the-list in sales. And this individual is looking for a new opportunity. If you’ve created a system that encourages your employees to refer sales reps ̶ and offers rewards for doing so ‒ then you’re more likely to find potential hires to add to the candidate pool.
Ask customers and suppliers
Those you do business with are a great recruiting resource. Of course, you never want to poach from customers or suppliers, but it’s OK to ask your buyers who they buy from and if they would be a good fit for you! For example, ask your customers, “Are there any sellers who call on you from other companies who’d be a good fit for us?” If there are, asking for the customer’s recommendation could lead to a stronger business relationship.
And what about the sellers who call on your suppliers? Are there any who stand out as possible leads? Your suppliers know you well and they might have access to networks and people you don’t.
Look outside the box
Lastly, pay attention to the sellers in your local environment. For example, an Engage client was recently searching for a junior inside sales rep. The company had gone through the usual recruiting routine for nearly six months without success. All that changed, however, when my client visited Best Buy to purchase a stereo.
One of the young sellers demonstrated such impressive sales acumen they were invited for an interview. That candidate ended up being hired and trained and is now one of the top inside sales reps for the company!
It just goes to show you never know where good talent will come from. Don’t be afraid to talk to retail sellers who appear energetic and enthusiastic. Or even to your personal service providers if they’re in a sales role.
So the next time you’re looking for great sellers, remember to be ubiquitous. Use as many recruiting resources as you can to receive the largest number of resumes to choose from. Within that pool of candidates you’re sure to find sellers who’ll ramp up the success rate of your company.