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How to Hire the Right Sales Talent for Growth

How to Hire the Right Sales Talent for Growth

Categories: Talent Management

In this wave of mass resignations and global hiring, reduce hiring challenges and cost by narrowing your sales manager's focus. Define what the ideal sales talent candidate looks like for your organization so you can help your managers hire the right people for growth.

The topic of sales talent has come up often on the Revenue Builders Podcast. John McMahon and John Kaplan dig deep with their guests, pulling out top-level advice you can use to make your sales talent a competitive advantage for your company. 

Hiring Elite Sales Talent Today: The Challenge for Managers

In one conversation on the podcast, Mike McSally, an accomplished talent leader shares, “In my 30 years in the business, there's never been a better time to recruit, and there’s never been a more dangerous time to recruit. The reason being, the massive influx of talent considering new opportunities."

Similarly, a Microsoft survey also stated that 52% of young people polled say they are likely to consider changing employers this year. It's clear, the market is flooded with candidates — and your sales managers have options. As you grow your sales organization, help your managers understand what to look for in a sales candidate and how to get those new hires productive, faster.

Define Success Profiles for Your Sales Organization

Not every "elite seller" will be successful in your organization. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to hiring elite talent. When it comes to sales hiring, your managers may be basing their decisions too closely on how candidates have succeeded elsewhere. Instead, focus them on identifying strong indicators of success within your company and more specifically, your sales organization.

Help your sales managers know how to hone in on the right talent for their sales teams. Focus your sales managers on treating the recruiting process, like a sales process. Front- and second-line managers should be qualifying the right candidates, as those candidates are qualifying your organization. What should they qualify for?

“If you look at any great athlete, they’re not out there doing 50 different things. They’re out there focusing on three or four things the right way. That’s the winning formula.” - John Kaplan, Force Management President, on the Revenue Builders Podcast.

Give your managers a success profile that isolates the individual competencies and behaviors of what it takes to be a top-performing seller in your organization. Revenue-driving sales teams often have a clear definition of the traits of top-performing sales talent within an organization. These traits are different from one company to the next. 

Focus on the characteristics, skill sets and knowledge of what will make sales talent successful in your company. Think about the bright spots within your organization, meaning the managers and reps that are outpacing their counterparts. Boil down those traits to create success profiles that your managers can use to hire, promote and coach against. Build a success profile for each of the specific sales roles in your organization (Account Rep, BDR/SDR, Front-Line Manager, etc.)

A great Success Profile defines the fundamental attributes of someone successful in a specific position. This profile is not a job description. It’s a combination of:

  1. The success competencies for the position; the knowledge required to effectively perform the job.
  2. The success behaviors; what those competencies look like when the job is being performed effectively.

The more detailed you are at defining your ideal employee, the easier it will be to match the right person to the job.

Success Profiles Set the Standard 

Your managers can use your success profiles to hire, coach and develop top-performing sales teams.

"Lay the right foundation upfront in terms of what's your hiring profile. What are you hiring to? When you bring somebody into the company, how are you going to get them up to speed in a way that feeds a productivity model?" - Andy Byron, President and Chief Revenue Officer at Lacework, on the Revenue Builders Podcast.

How success profiles help sales organizations drive results:

Sellers: Having defined success profiles for each sales role in your organization sets clear expectations right away for new hires, around what good looks like in their position and how they can get there.

Managers: The success profile provides the base for the rest of your managers' talent activities, helping them onboard, manage, coach and plan for promotions.

Sales Leaders: Having documented success profiles helps your team make more effective hires, but they’ll also help you hire consistently as you scale and grow your sales organization. A clear profile to measure success against also gives you and your managers leading indicators to determine coaching plans and improve seller ramp time. This measurement provides your organization with a productivity model to work against as you hire and develop your sales talent.

Your total bookings are too important to put to the chance of a bad hire. By dedicating the effort to create success profiles for each role in your sales organization, you can make your talent a differentiator instead of a loss center. 

Create a Team of Revenue Builders

It’s clear that sales leaders don’t want their organizations to fall victim to the great resignation or the costs associated with too many bad hires. The most successful sales leaders right now are finding ways to invest in, retain and support their sales talent.

Determine what else you can do to build your sales talent into tomorrow’s top-performing salespeople. This guide covers three key areas to focus on as you scale sales growth.

Become a Next-Level Revenue Builder

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