Too many organizations continually miss the target when they hire new team members. To be an effective sales leader, you must be intentional about growing your team: fill up your pipeline with great reps just like you would with great clients. In that way, hiring is like sales.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, Matt Doyon of Rock Content reminds us we should hire a sales team the same way we generate good customers because hiring is like sales.
As the VP of content marketing company Rock Content, Matt views the world around him in the context of sales. He warned that companies that don’t emphasize talent acquisition will always operate from a place of desperation.
When your team is short a sales rep or you don’t have enough team members, you won’t have enough opportunities in your pipeline to hit your numbers as a rep.
When you’re desperate for team members and scrambling to find someone, you may inadvertently poison the sales team by hiring the wrong person. You may end up filling the seat without adding a quality team member.
Matt confronted this problem frequently in the early days of his sales career. He needed a way to combat the problem.
Fill your funnel.
Sales professionals don’t just want a lot of customers; they want a lot of good customers.
Matt discovered the need to keep his funnel rich with great talent using four main channels.
Many companies have referral programs that pay great employees for referring other great employees that can make it through the hiring process. If you aren’t actively pushing the program, it will likely just sit there.
Instead, remind your employees of your desire for other great employees. Never miss an opportunity to push the referral program.
Since Matt works at a content marketing company, he used the tools at his disposal to attract new talent. He blogged, promoted the company, celebrated accomplishments, and used Instagram to share things.
Everything led to links to apply for employment.
Matt uses Sales Navigator on LinkedIn to find team members the same way he uses it to find new customers. He looks for people who match the profiles of current successful team members.
The secret, he says, is that really successful people will have to be lured away from their current jobs because if they’re good, they’ll likely already be working.
Interns offer companies a paid trial: they are low risk and pretty hungry, and companies can gamble with them. They aren’t really working with the clients, but you have an opportunity to see how they actually work.
Skim the best.
Competitive colleges like Harvard and MIT don’t deal in student acquisition; they deal in acceptance rates.
When you build your sales team, your acceptance rate should be small: a sign that you’re only accepting the best of the candidates who apply.
Matt’s company now hires one out of every five candidates who apply. Being able to be picky elevates the level of talent you can attract.
When you make hiring mistakes, and you will because the interview process is flawed, understand that it’s probably a case of fit. Different organizations seek different things and different people. You’re seeking a good fit.
Even as a great sales leader, you can only do so much to change human behavior. You must start with great raw material.
“Hiring is Like Sales” episode resources
You can connect with Matt on LinkedIn, or on Rock Content’s website. You can also email him, though he said he’s slow to respond to email.
Check out his blog at mattsdoyon.com.
Salespeople can be leaders instead of being subservient. Our friends at Wiley have provided a free excerpt of the book Stop Selling & Start Leading which provides a blueprint to help sales professionals lead in the way that customers prefer. Read an excerpt of the book here.
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