Your company is in need of a salesperson, but not just any salesperson, you need a rockstar. So how do you go about hiring a top inside salesperson?
First, determine your needs
It’s important to meet with your team to determine what to look for in a candidate. Think about your needs. You may need someone with specific sales experience in your industry/vertical, or maybe you just want someone with key affiliations or networks that your business can tap into. Opening these questions up to your team will shape the vision for your ideal candidate.
Come up with an offer
What type of competitive package can you put together to attract the right talent? Don’t just consider compensation, but also bonuses, benefits, and additional perks. It’s all about the complete package when winning over top salespeople who may be considering others from multiple companies.
• Compensation – The base salary, which does not include commission or bonuses. This can be considered a “base” for a sales person to build their annual salary off of.
• Bonuses – This can include annual bonuses, spot bonuses, or milestone bonuses. Bonuses can be used as both an incentive for performance and as an effective way to show thanks for hard working employees.
• Benefits – This can include healthcare, paid time off, retirement savings plans, and maternity/paternity leave. Often times benefits are a competitive aspect of the overall job offer.
• Setting on-track earnings expectations – This is what a salesperson can expect their final annual earnings to be, rolling together both their salary and their commission potential. This shows them what is possible if they are on track with, or exceed, expectations.
• Additional perks – Working remotely, wellness programs, training opportunities, and volunteer-time-off are all attractive perks for a potential candidate to consider. These can be viewed as “icing on the cake” to all of the above.
Start the Search
Start with your personal network. Reach out to colleagues and other business leaders in your network to let them know about your needs and see if they know anybody who would fit the role. Look through your Linkedin and Facebook contacts to refresh your memory of possible people to reach out to, and don’t forget to ask your team to keep the open position in mind while looking at their own networks.
Here is an easy action plan that utilizes your network to get things rolling:
1. Start making a list of the best salespeople you know, even if you know they aren’t available for hire. Go through your LinkedIn and Facebook connections to make sure you don’t miss anybody.
2. Reach out and schedule lunch or dinner with them to talk about the opportunity
3. Ask the question – “Would you consider joining us?
4. Follow up with the next question – “If you did join us, which salespeople would you most want to bring on board too?”
5. Ask for an introduction to the salespeople they refer.
6. Repeat steps 2 – 5 with those who were referred.
7. Repeat steps 1 – 6 until a hire is made.
Hype it up online by posting about the job on LinkedIn and any other company social media accounts with exciting verbiage about the opportunity and an eye-catching image. If possible, promote the announcement so it reaches a larger, more specific audience, and be sure to emphasize the exciting opportunities for growth and success for whoever gets the new sales role.
Post the job to a localized and specialized platform that focuses on your industry/vertical, such as BuiltIn or Rainmakers. Specialized platforms like these filter out many of the unqualified candidates that clog up traditional mass-hiring platforms. For example, Rainmakers specializes in finding jobs for established, top-tier salespeople who are looking to make their next big move. Depending on your needs, there are additional resources like Stack Overflow Jobs, the monthly Hacker News “Who is Hiring” thread, and AngelList.
- BuiltIn (NYC/SF/Chicago…) BuiltIn is an online community for startups in the tech hubs of Austin, Boston, Chicago, Colorado, Los Angeles, NYC, and Seattle.
- Rainmakers (NYC/SF…) Rainmakers specializes in connecting high-performing salespeople with companies that need people with proven sales results
- Glassdoor Glassdoor is a platform that hosts millions of jobs and includes information on salary and anonymous company reviews.
You or your internal recruiters can cold outreach by searching on LinkedIn for possible candidates and reaching out through a message on LinkedIn and through email. Remember to only contact individuals through their personal emails and not their company emails to avoid being blocked. If a recruiter is doing the outreach it’s important that they know the qualities to look for in your ideal candidate before initiating contact. While it may take longer to find a good candidate through cold outreach, it’s a good practice to keep up while your other plans are in motion.
Get local with membership groups and meetups
LinkedIn Local – LinkedIn Local is a global platform for organizing and attending networking events, roundtable discussions, and workshops in cities near you.
Modern Sales Pro – Modern Sales Pro (MSP) hosts regular in-person and online events focused around sales techniques and best practices for salespeople and businesses. This event in May of 2019 focused on growing a large sales organization while still being nimble.
SalesAssembly.com – Sales Assembly helps tech/SaaS companies sale by providing resources, tools, and a peer based community that hosts regular events and workshops In a recent event called “Amplifying the Top of the Sales Funnel,” they discussed strategies for amplifying initial interest from potential customers.
Victorylap.io – Victory Lap is a talent platform for sales professionals that links them up with the companies that need them. They also specialize in helping companies train and retain top sales talent.
Start a Meetup group and schedule a recruiting event. Meetups are easy to organize and can bring out good local talent for face-to-face introductory conversations. Search for examples of Sales Meetups on Meetup.com to get ideas on locations and event itineraries. You may also consider hosting “lunch and learn” events focused on salespeople and growing a successful career based on sales to attract candidates.
Hiring the right salesperson can be tough, but there are many useful and creative ways to find who you are looking for. Leveraging your network, using strategic digital platforms, and hosting events are all possible ways to help you spend time on the right types of candidates and lead to your new top inside salesperson coming on board!