Ever since the pandemic, we’ve seen increases in prices when it comes to the food and housing market. Combine that with the highest ever rate of resignations and career switching ever in the history of US (In November 2021, 4,510,000 people quit compared to 3,084,200 in November 2019) and you get a huge surge in salary increases and the hottest job market in decades. Great situation for employees, since everyone will get a raise by switching jobs, and horrible for companies, especially startups.
I’ve written a series of blog posts to help you attract, screen, interview, and hire the best sales rep you can find on the market. I’m going to share successful strategies I’ve learned, developed, and implemented, in several companies over the past 20 years. Hiring the wrong sales representative is costly. I want to help ensure that you have the tools needed to make sure you’re placing the right bet on the right rep.
4 million workers quit their jobs in April, according to the Labor Department, and only 740,000 of them worked in the leisure and hospitality industry. The Great Resignation is real, and startups should be jumping for joy!
The Pandemic has changed the way employees think about how, when, and where they want to work; along with what type of company they want to work for. Pre-Pandemic, they never questioned the 50–60-hour work week with an additional 45-minute commute one-way each day. Now, they understand there is a different way to live and that might also mean a different job and company to work for.
There are few things as frustrating to me then when I discover a new client, who’s hired me to come in figure out why they are missing their revenue targets, has mis-hired. This is because most of my clients are small privately-owned startups that have either taken VC money or are bootstrapping, and regardless of how they are financing their startup, they can’t afford to waste the limited financial resources they have.
Hiring the wrong sales rep is frustrating, expensive, and could lead to you missing your revenue target as the sales leader. Repeatedly mis-hiring can literally make or break a business in its few couple of years, so as the founder, owner, or sales leader you need to make sure that you’re getting what you want and are expecting out of a “sales rep.” Most of my clients are looking for hunters and not gatherers, so let break down the differences and how you can spot a gatherer posing as a hunter!
Read more: Sales Reps are professional interviewees – Don’t be fooled.
2 to 3 times a month someone I know will come to me and say, "Hey, I've got a friend looking to find a new sale job, would you mind talking to her to see if you can help."
To which I always answer, "Sure, I've got 30 minutes for everyone, what kind of sales job is she looking for?"
The confused look on their face tells me all I need to know. My friend thinks a sales job is a sales job. So, the education begins. Inside or outside, hunting for net new business or taking on a book of business and growing and retaining it, and finally do they want to keep what they catch or give the fish over to someone else to clean and fry?
I laugh as their eyes get big and they respond with, "Uh, I have no idea. Can you just give them a call?"
"I'd be happy to," I say.
You were happy with your sales team. Most of your reps were hitting at least 62% of quota. They loved working for you and the company. Who wouldn’t? Free lunch on Fridays, beer in the fridge, and you weren’t really holding them accountable to performance metrics. Life and the economy were good; until they weren’t.
As you are finding out, what worked then, won’t work now and this might include your sales reps. You need experienced hunters, with a track record of success, to help you sell your way out of this economic challenge. I know you’re not sure now is the time to bring on a new employee, but a sales rep that can bring in net new revenue during this time is an investment in your company’s future.
Read more: You Need a Rock Star to Help You "Sell Your Way Out"
You’ve spent the last couple of weeks narrowing the field from 100+ resumes to one final candidate. Now, it’s time to close the deal. You’ve come this far so we don’t want you fumbling the ball on the 2-yard line. Here are the steps I take to ensure I seal the deal.
After doing the Behavioral-based interview, you should have a good idea what makes your candidate tick. Now is when I like to run them through some sort of assessment to see if they have the same competencies as other successful sales reps. who are doing the job today.
The candidate has made it through the resume review and the phone screen, now it's time to meet them in person or virtually and learn more.
In Part 1 I reviewed how I attract and select candidates to move onto the next step, the phone screen.
Now it’s time to meet the candidate.
The first step, when I go in search of a sales candidate for a client, is to help my client put together a hiring profile of the ideal candidate.