Tuesday, 10 April 2001

Hiring Sales Professionals - Three Key Ingredients Needed to Hire Top Sales Talent

If you are looking to grow your sales force, it's no secret that finding the right people can be challenging, time consuming and sometimes even frustrating. A few key ingredients come to mind when looking for ways to attract the best talent your company can hire.

The first key is Compensation. Compensation is at the "heart" of most sales professionals, it is the romance language of all great sales-talent. Most people join the rank and files of sales not because they enjoy taking massive amounts of rejection, but because they are willing to rise to the challenge under the right set of conditions.

Give a sales professional a befitting product or service, effective leadership and a winning compensation plan and you have the basic recipe for success. Believe it or not, in some companies the number one sales person is paid more than the CEO. These savvy CEOs understand what motivates sales professionals and are happy to pay top commissions as they watch their companies achieve accelerated growth rates.

The second key is Leadership Support. Today, more than ever, outstanding sales people need strong leadership. Sales management is valued for their ability to provide direction, clarification, thought leadership and client acquisition strategy. Great leadership can attract over achieving sales professionals, improve performance, accelerate client acquisition, and reduce unwanted turnover.

When accomplished sales professionals consider changing companies, they look for managers who are knowledgeable, perceptive, cogent, confident, involved, trustworthy and approachable. They look for managers who have open door policies; the political prowess needed to acquire additional resources; the bravado to push though aggressive compensation plans and the influence needed to increase marketing support.

Top sales talent looks for leaders with integrity and a vested interest in serving both the client and the sales team. In the long run, your ability to attract top revenue generators will be a reflection of the organization and the sales leader, so make sure you have the right managers in place.

The third key ingredient needed to hire top sales talent is a comprehensive Recruiting Game Plan. It will be difficult to land top producers without a strong recruiting strategy. Finding top sales talent is a job that never ends, and if done haphazardly, can leave you vulnerable to hiring mediocre performers.

Remember that all top producing sales hires are highly profitable, so it makes sense to invest the time and energy needed to build a strong recruiting game plan. With a little planning and a strong commitment to investing in the best sales people, your organization will reap the rewards of building a fierce sales force that dominates the market, wins profitable business and captures more than its fair share of clients.

Sonja Hastings has more than 10 years of experience recruiting sales professionals in the software and services industries. With a passion for identifying and recruiting high-achieving talent, she has recruited more than 250 sales professionals across the country. Sonja has worked with Chief Revenue Officers, CFOs, CEOs and Vice Presidents to identify, attract and hire high-level talent. 

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