Although revenue generation is a tough place to be at the moment, I have spoken to a number of sales leaders who are planning to invest in "superstar sales professionals" (at all levels below leadership level) to reap the rewards of the forecasted economic bounce back. Many are "top grading" and replacing average sales professionals for those at the top of their game.
My words of warning to all sales leaders who are only planning this and aren't already actively attracting these candidates is that they will soon be in huge demand and will be very difficult to convince to move employers.
I know you may assume that there have been lots of sales professionals made redundant in the last few months and others whose employers are struggling and at risk of closure. This may be true to some extent but the vast majority of top performing sales professionals are being looked after very well by their employers. They will also have been nurturing their opportunity pipelines for some time, will have bonuses expected on the back of these and are very unlikely to jump ship for another similar job or challenge. These candidates are very much passive ones at the moment and will require a well thought out attraction strategy to entice them even to have an initial conversation with you. They certainly aren't responding to job adverts or registering themselves on the databases of contingency recruitment agencies.
We have been delivering a significant size of project for a technology client to recruit high performing solutions sales professionals across 8 European countries during the last couple of months and have had to develop a very strong story to engage candidates in a conversation. It is a great time to speak to them as most are working at home but why would they move for a similar role in a similar industry?
The other consideration about the upcoming demand is the impact it will have on salaries. High performers are already costly and are demanding more to move.
The key to our success has been a consultative style of engagement and not a sales led one. You need to be ethical, authentic and bring the purpose of your business to life and show candidates how amazing it will be to work for you. You need to show clear career journeys and give them access to similar individuals who have joined and thrived in your organisation.
If you want these high performers to join your business then you need to start your courting process ASAP, otherwise, your competitors will be employing them instead! What a nightmare that would be.
A thriving business is made up of thriving staff. This is especially true in sales, where dynamism and passion are vital. A team of hardworking, motivated experts will see a business go from strength to strength. But if recruitment isn’t stellar? You could end up with a candidate who just isn’t right for the job, taking up the spot of someone who would be out there winning sales. Painful — but true. Recruitment often centres around applications and interviews, but there’s a lot to consider before you even get candidates through the door. If you’re planning your next Saas or digital sales hire, use these tips to plan ahead and make your recruitment processes impressive and effective. Putting in some additional planning before the recruitment stage could make the whole process a lot easier in the long run.