The role of a recruiter is so crucial that they have the power to potentially change a candidate’s life forever. In addition, recruiters also play a part in determining the success of the company he/she is representing. This is especially true for sales recruiters because it is the sales team that gets the product out to the market and brings in profits. In recruitment agencies, the responsibility of rating a sales recruiter’s performance would typically fall to the recruiting manager. Even for recruiters who work independently, growth depends on your ability to make an accurate assessment of your effectiveness.
Key Indicators in the Performance of Sales Recruiters
When considering the new hires that a sales recruiter has brought in, you need to consider a number of factors. These are:
The number of referrals that a sales recruiter gets is a good indicator that their clients are satisfied and would like to use their recruitment services again. This is true both for individual sales candidates and corporate clients. As such, it is important for the recruitment manager to develop a system that accurately tracks the percentage of referrals and repeat business that come into the company as a result of working with each individual sales recruiter. This helps to rate client satisfaction.
In sales recruitment, time is money. Whenever a sales company does not have an effective sales team, they are losing money. As such, it is important for the sales recruiter to undertake the process efficiently. Some ways through which to do this include:
When developing a strategy for rating sales recruiters, ensure that the assessment is multi-dimensional in order to take into account all the different factors that determine a recruiter’s success. Besides this, you also need to determine the frequency of the evaluation. The key is to ensure that it is performed frequently enough to be effective but not too frequently that it becomes irritating and is dreaded. Conducting it on an annual basis is often effective.
Compensation refers to the money that is paid to salespeople as reparation for their services. In the sales industry, this is not limited to basic salary. It usually incorporates additional elements such as commission, benefits and bonuses.
As part of the recruitment process, sales recruiters often ask the candidate what their current compensation plan is and what their expectations are at any new sales position. To sales candidates, this often feels like a trick question that may cause them to unwittingly negotiate against themselves. This is why it is important to work with a sales recruiter who you can trust to represent your best interests no matter the circumstances. Here are some helpful guidelines for sales candidates:
Recruitment, and particularly salary negotiations, need not be approached with the same caution and intensity that it takes to negotiate a minefield. For this process to be as painless as possible, it is important for both parties to be straightforward with one another. This is beneficial because:
There are times when the compensation figure presented by either party does not fall within the ballpark of the other. In such instances, both the recruiter and sales candidate can walk away from the recruitment table early in the process, without losing any more time discussing that particular sales position.
Having a direct and candid discussion about compensation enables both parties to know what to expect. If the matter is not discussed, it remains unclear what the sales candidate is hoping to get. This in turn leaves the recruiter ill-equipped to recognize the sales positions that are best suited for the candidate, which ones can be presented for negotiation, and which ones are a definite no.
Ideally, the relationship between a top-notch sales recruiter and a candidate is one that is based on trust. This requires the candidate to expose certain vulnerabilities to the recruiting professional. As a sales candidate, your bottom-line is defined as the least amount of compensation you would take from a professional position. Sales professionals usually arrive at this figure by considering factors such as:
Due to the sensitive nature of salary discussions, the sales recruiter is responsible for building a rapport with the candidate before broaching the subject; making it more likely to get honest and straight-forward responses. The recruiter should create an atmosphere in which the candidate feels comfortable divulging this information. In addition, a recruiter who is representing the candidate’s best interests would be able and willing to provide insight into whether the candidate is over-reaching by being unrealistic in their expectations, or under-reaching by under- valuing their skills and abilities.
The purpose of a sales recruitment agency is essentially to act as a middleman between companies that are looking for salespeople, and candidates seeking sales positions. Their roles include seeking out prospective candidates and taking them through a series of interviews. The agency does this until they are satisfied that the candidate left standing is ideal for the company seeking to employ.
Top companies, especially those involved in sales, often seek out the services of recruitment agencies. In addition to saving time, money and manpower, hiring these professional services enables the employer to get sales professionals a lot easier. Here are the qualities that attract these sales companies to effective sales recruitment agencies.
Networking plays a crucial role in the recruitment of salespeople. Traditionally, companies would advertise for sales positions by circulating advertisements in print media, banners, and audio-visual media. The goal was to get the right people to see the advertisement. This goal has not changed. Thus, sales companies seek a recruitment agency that has a stable network in the sales industry. Building such a network is often a result of recognition; with corporate clients and sales candidates all wanting to be associated with the agency.
Many top companies are therefore more likely to go for sales recruitment agencies that have been established over a considerable period of time, and one whose name and brand they recognize. Generally, the more a recruitment agency is recognized, the easier it would be for them to find prospective salespeople on behalf of employers. Recognition determines the quality of candidates that the recruitment agency attracts.
The recruitment process amounts to nothing if it does not bear results. In the case of sales recruitment agencies, their success rate is measured in terms of the number of sales candidates they have placed successfully. Successful placement incorporates a number of elements that include:
Positive and consistent results are a good demonstration that the sales recruitment agency is thorough in their work, and that they go above and beyond what is required of them. This includes performing thorough background checks on any candidates who are under serious consideration for the sales position.
Ideally, the relationship between the company and the sales recruitment agency is a long-term one. For this reason, companies often gravitate towards agencies that complement their own. Complementarity is important in a number of areas; ranging from core values, objectives and culture, to the manner in which the agency treats their employees.
The goal is not solely to look for a sales recruitment agency that has values that are identical to yours. In as much as they may be different, it is important for them to be complementary and not in opposition with one another. For instance, many companies value professionalism and integrity very highly. If such a company were to hire recruitment services from a company that is unethical and prone to cutting corners, they would be at logger-heads right from the beginning. Finding a complementary match therefore enables the agency and the client-company to mutually benefit from one another.
The sales potential of a candidate is defined as the capacity that the individual has, to develop his/her sales skills and be productive to the company. Thus, the professional’s sales potential is defined as the aggregate sales that the individual can realize within a specific and pre-determined period. For sales professionals, productivity is measured in terms of:
These two areas are inter-related.
Potential is often very subtle because it means that the sales recruiter will look past documentation and into the candidate’s personality, value system, skills and qualification. While the candidate’s past accomplishments and experience are important, effective sales recruiters also recognize that these often do not portray an accurate picture of what the candidate can do.
In the professional’s past, their performance may have been adversely affected by a number of factors. These include:
As such, here are the qualities that recruiters and Houston headhunters consider while assessing the sales potential of any candidate:
An assertive candidate stands out to sales recruiters. This is because these sales professionals are able to communicate clearly and with confidence. Additionally, they are firm when the situation calls for it. For instance, a potential client may be negotiating a deal that would not be in the best interest of the company. An assertive salesperson is able to firmly stand his/her ground without antagonizing or alienating the client. In sales as in other areas of business and life, people pay attention when an individual speaks with confidence and assertiveness.
Companies usually look for salespeople who can take calculated risks for the benefit of the company. This is why recruiters and Houston headhunters seek out sales candidates who can look at a problem and come up with multiple ways in which to tackle it. Even in most companies where the sales department has been running successfully for decades; fresh input, ideas and approaches are encouraged and sought after. The very nature of sales requires professionals to go out and get things done, as opposed to sitting and waiting for things to happen to and for them.
It is important for the candidate to be able to clearly articulate the following:
Sales recruiters and Houston headhunters understand that it is only when an individual is able to demonstrate comprehensive self-awareness that they are able to work independently. The sales industry is one that requires professionals to read people and situations, and then develop a way to close the deal. It requires every salesperson to come up with a structure and approach that works for them. This is impossible for candidates who are not self-aware because they are not able to use their strengths to their benefit or leverage their limitations successfully. These salespeople often end up delivering robotic pitches and sabotaging their own success.
In any company that deals in sales, the sales manager is responsible for ensuring that the team’s sales techniques are effectively translated from theory into practice. As such, it is important for him/her to ensure that every strategy that the sales team comes up with is practical and applicable in real-world situations. It is also the role of the sales manager to manage the company’s sales operations. These are the essential procedures that are designed to enable the business to run with effectiveness and efficiency, while simultaneously supporting the business objectives and processes.
It is with this understanding that sales recruiters are often on the lookout for the following 3 key qualities when looking to place sales managers.
It is important for every effective sales manager to be versatile. This is because they are responsible for a wide range of tasks. Thus, one of the qualities that sales recruiters look for in a sales manager is the ability to multi-task and change their game instantly. From day to day, the manager may need to perform a wide range of tasks that include developing new sales strategies, coming up with objectives and so on. As such, recruiters look for individuals who can effectively accomplish a number of tasks at the same time.
In as much as the sales manager may not be directly involved in day-to-day sales, they need to possess excellent selling skills. This is because one of their responsibilities is the recruitment of sales staff. They may not be the ones directly going out and looking for sales professionals, but they liaise closely with sales recruiters to confirm any hires. They are also responsible for providing the recruiters with clear and accurate descriptions of what the company needs.
Additionally, in some companies the sales manager is also responsible for the generation of new leads. With the sales team reporting to and being managed by him/her, it is essential for this manager to know how sales work, what drives them, as well as how to manage and motivate sales professionals.
Innovation is described as the ability to come up with new solutions to existing problems. The sales team encounters numerous challenges on a daily basis. It is therefore important for sales managers to possess finely-tuned problem solving skills. That way, they are able to provide guidance to the sales team on new approaches to tackle the challenges that they face. In addition, the sales manager should be self-driven. Since they are mostly responsible for their own tasks without being supervised on a minute-to-minute basis, sales recruiters look for professionals who are self-motivated.
A professional society is an organization that is made up of like-minded experts and authorities in a specific field or industry. Thus, in the same way that there are societies for recruiters, there are also professional societies for salespeople. Even though they are referred to as professional societies and clubs, their activities and events comprise of both social and professional aspects.
Professional associations give members access to a large network of business contacts. This is because these organizations often hold events during which members mingle and network. In addition, the groups are established with one of their primary objectives being to provide professional support to one another.
Professional organizations also enable members to keep in touch with current trends, research and technology within the sales industry. Members are therefore easily able to stay current and updated. This is particularly useful in the sales industry where the salesperson is often a brand all by him/herself. Even in cases where their place of employment provides information, workshops and other tools aimed at optimizing the salesperson’s skills, professional clubs provide another effective avenue through which to stay on top of their game.
Professional associations are also very essential for sales professionals who have previously been laid off. During the processes of recruitment and headhunting, sales recruiters are very keen to find out what the candidate has been doing since getting laid off. The mere fact that the individual got laid off may not necessarily be a deal-breaker in determining whether or not they are going to get the sales position. However, the lack of skills and expertise usually is. It therefore helps if the candidate can demonstrate to the sales recruiter that he/she has remained updated on skills, trends and revolutionary practices within the sales industry.
Many sales recruiters and headhunters are finding that recruiting through professional associations is a highly viable option. By recruiting through these clubs and associations, professionals are able to channel their resources more efficiently. These include time, money and energy. Usually, the first step for a sales recruiter is to narrow down the long list of professional clubs to a select few. They do this by looking through aspects such as the club’s objectives, what drives them, as well as any publications they may have made. By considering such factors, recruiters are better able to determine what professional organizations would be most likely to have the candidates that they are looking for.
Working with a good sales recruiter is every salesperson’s dream. It eliminates anxiety and the candidate is able to rest easy, knowing that the sales recruiter has their best interests at heart. While this recruiter-candidate relationship is highly beneficial, it is the process leading up to the formation of the relationship that is often tricky. This is where both the recruiter and sales candidate are sizing each other up in order to determine whether or not they are a good fit for each other. During the formative stage of this relationship, the most important component is information. Here are the top three pieces of information that recruiters are looking to find about the candidate:
It is essential for sales recruiters to determine what the candidate’s brand is. This encompasses certain aspects of the candidate including:
In order to provide the recruiter with a comprehensive view of one’s brand, one of the most important things that the candidate needs to do is update and revise their profiles across all social media platforms. The goal of this is to ensure that all the information accessible online about the candidate provides an accurate depiction of their brand.
Even though the candidate’s skills and qualifications are important when sales recruiters are looking to place them with a company, they are not the only considerations. Another major question that the recruiter has to consider is:
- Is this sales candidate a good fit for this particular company?
This is because every company has its own culture and there are cases in which a highly qualified candidate is not able to fit in and excel at certain companies. In determining whether a candidate is going to fit into the company’s culture, here are the main points that the recruiter considers:
Motivation in a sales environment describes the conditions in which the candidate excels the most. Some candidates are better motivated by deadlines, numerical values and competition, while others are motivated more by the company’s values, team spirit and team activities.
Another important piece of information during the sales recruitment process is the candidate’s commitment to serve at that particular company in the long term. Candidates who seem to hop from one company to another are considered to be flaky and viewed as not having a good idea of what they want. The recruiter therefore needs to know that the candidate can be of benefit to the company over the long term.
Among sales recruiters, the most popular means through which to acquire information on candidates is by asking open-ended questions. This enables them to get a better read of the candidate. An important tip for candidates therefore, is to be truthful in all things; because even in cases where questions are answered with half-truths and out-right lies, the recruiter still finds out the truth as they go about their research and this does not reflect well on the candidate.
During the process of sales recruitment, one of the questions that candidates battle with is the decision of whether or not to tell the recruiter that he/she was laid off from a previous position. On one hand, most candidates feel as though this information would immediately blacklist them from the recruiter’s choice of viable salespeople for the position. For this reason, candidates are likely to tell a lie in order to cover up the apparent gap in their employment history.
While it is true that sales recruiters and Atlanta headhunters are likely to give more scrutiny to candidates who have previously been laid off from sales positions, this factor is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Professionals in the recruitment industry understand that there are many reasons for which a salesperson may be laid off; and that being let go is not necessarily a reflection of the individual’s skills, expertise or values.
In recent years, the primary cause for salespeople getting laid off has been because of the difficult economic times. Some companies have had to cut back on costs and this has resulted in having to let some of their employees go. In many cases it is not about the individual but merely about numbers. While the actual fact that the candidate was laid off is not in itself a deal-breaker, the manner in which he/she explains the reason for it, may be. Atlanta headhunters and recruiters want the sales candidate to be honest and straightforward. Usually, the challenge for the candidate is to be completely straightforward on one hand, while still portraying themselves in the best possible light on the other.
As a general guideline to sales candidates in this position, it is important to simply give the facts and leave it at that. For instance, an entire division may have been eliminated from the company; the company may have a policy where the people who were hired last get fired first and so on. Whatever the reason for being laid off, state it clearly; neither making excuses nor portraying yourself as the victim.
When considering laid-off candidates for placement in sales, recruiters also pay close attention to what the individual has been doing since they were laid off. This is not aimed at finding out whether the candidate has been proactive in seeking a new position. On the contrary, Atlanta headhunters and recruiters are keen to find out whether and how the candidate has been keeping their skills sharp and current.
The sales industry is one that is constantly evolving. For this reason, if a sales professional stays out of practice for too long, their skills are likely to become somewhat obsolete as they are no longer in demand. It is therefore important for salespeople who have been laid off to keep in touch with emerging trends, strategies, technology and software that are being used in the sales industry. Some effective ways to keep up include: joining professional groups and organizations that are relevant in the sales industry, attending workshops and so on.
Personal branding is one of the most important tools in a salesperson’s arsenal. It describes the process by which the sales professional creates and develops an identity around their name and professional reputation. For salespeople therefore, developing one’s brand is a highly effective means of communicating their qualifications, skills, expertise and values. With personal branding, the main goal is for the sales candidate to grow their reputation; which consequently enables them to grow their network more efficiently. Besides this, the manner in which the salesperson develops their personal brand is what determines how effectively they capture the interest of sales recruiters and headhunters.
One of the key elements while growing one’s personal brand is to know who you are as a salesperson, in addition to being clear on what you bring to the table. Another benefit of personal branding in sales is that it a good personal brand builds the employer’s brand as well. Here are some of the aspects you need to understand when building your brand.
Consumers, both individual and corporate, buy off of people as opposed to buying a product or service. For example, a salesperson may be selling the best product of its kind in the market but if the prospective client does not like you, they are unlikely to buy. By contrast, a consumer is likely to buy an inferior product or service because they like the salesperson or because they recognize the brand.
Personal branding for salespeople is therefore a means of getting ahead of the curve by getting your name out there and being recognized even before people meet you. It is highly beneficial in that even as you meet recruiters and headhunters, they already know who you are and what you have to offer.
The emotional connection is one of the most important elements when making a sale, yet many salespeople do not know how to leverage it for their success. This is true both when reaching out to prospective clients, as well as when looking to get recruited by a new firm. The way the emotional connection works is that as the salesperson, you want the prospective client or sales recruiter to almost instantly identify with who you are and say to themselves, “I want some of that.” Once you have connected with the sales recruiter, it now comes down to demonstrating to them that you are not all fizzle and no substance.
Other benefits of a well-developed personal band include:
These strategies help to not only get your name out there in the right circles and networks but also, to establish you as an industry specialist, a thought leader and an established professional in sales.
CRM is a tool that is used by many businesses to keep track of their sales and opportunity pipelines. When used by businesses, it stands for Customer Relationship Management. However, with its increased popularity among recruiters, it is also referred to as Candidate Relationship Management. During sales recruitment, CRM enables the recruiter to have an all-round, 360 degree view of every aspect of the process. This quality makes the CRM tool uniquely suited to track clients from both sides i.e. both the candidate and the company that is seeking personnel.
In addition to facilitating effective tracking during recruitment, CRM also provides support for both long and short term recruitment strategies on a single platform. Other benefits of CRM include:
One of the ways to get great results from CRM as a recruiter is to utilize it for consistent communication with sales candidates, both active and passive. This is beneficial in that it enables the recruiter to send targeted messages to selected people. Besides this, it helps to keep the sales recruiter in the candidate’s radar and vice versa.
The recruiter may also use CRM to integrate each candidate’s social media profile with other information collected; such as their resume and contact information. With the steady rise of social recruiting, integrating social media into CRM enables recruiters to contact candidates through their social profiles, which keeps them more relevant and visible to the candidate.
Choosing an ideal CRM depends entirely on what one’s needs are. There is no one-size-fits-all provider as what is ideal for one sales recruiter may not be a very good fit for another.