How to hire rockstar sales talent

As a result of the pandemic and large investment rounds in the tech sector, the gap between market demand and the shortage of qualified profiles is accentuated more than ever before. The year 2022 marks a historic milestone for hiring in the digital sector.

Talent shortages are not new, they have long been a problem for businesses that want to expand. Following the pandemic, this lack of talent has also spread to marketing and sales departments.

How can we differentiate ourselves to identify, attract and hire sales talent?

There are 3 main elements I consider necessary:

  • Recruitment Strategy
  • Clear definition of the profiles to incorporate
  • Corporate culture

The recruiting strategy

When our company is growing, one of the first decisions is how many and which profiles we need to hire and when they should be onboarded to tackle the challenges. Without the right people being onboarded on time, all sales forecasting and product development can fail.

Recruiting sales talent takes time, focus and dedication. So another decision will be to choose the partner that helps you achieve your recruitment goals.

In the past it was a junior employee, sometimes even interns or recent grads, who initiated this process. Then, the candidates that were selected after the first stage were shared with a senior HR person and the hiring manager in the relevant department. But in the current context of scarcity we need someone experienced who is:

  • Solvent and convincing.
  • Sales driven. 50% of the work will be selling the business, so we have to be able to attract, interview and excite like a salesperson and close the positions in the shortest possible time and with quality.
  • Able to speak at the same level with junior and senior profiles, resonate with them and understand what motivates them and their fit in the company.
  • Someone who knows the ins and outs of the business thoroughly and quickly understands the profiles the business needs.

All this will differentiate us and will be key to attracting that talent. The more specific the knowledge, the more effective the recruiting. For this reason, large tech companies and startups are committed to establishing medium and long-term relationships with consultants such as Outbound People, who can provide experience, advice and know-how, in our case in the sales area.

Choosing to outsource recruitment is also the best option for controlling HR costs because a company does not recruit indefinitely. Instead, there are times when we experience peak hiring times, whilst there are other times of stability in which we need new hires as replacements. 

Therefore, it does not make economic sense to hire people in this area for limited moments in time. But it does make sense to hire a Talent Manager to coordinate the different processes or an HR Business Partner who, in addition, will cover other types of strategies and not only recruitment strategies (in these cases, recruitment is also externalised).

CLEAR definition of the profiles

The clearer the definition of the role, the more effective and accurate the search will be. Processes that take the longest and often end up failing are those in which as candidates are interviewed, the requirements change – even the associated tasks too! – generating confusion in candidates (and a bad image towards them) and people involved in the recruitment process.

HR is key to ensure this specification of the job description, the coordination of recruitment and then the selection and onboarding.

This does not clash with adaptability and flexibility. Throughout the process your definition can be expanded and specified within the defined ranges.

When you make the decision to hire sales talent, the first thing to determine is what tasks they will be required to perform and what hard skills and soft skills they will need in order to do so. The next step is to test that what you are looking for actually exists in the market. Next, we’ll define the salary range that is aligned with the requirements and responsibilities (if it does not exist, we’ll need to find comparable positions).

In this sense, a consultancy with expertise in hiring sales talent becomes of extreme help when defining the profile we’re looking for due to their expertise in the field.

We are in a world of specialization and detail, deep knowledge is the key to success.

Corporate culture

It is not always defined in smaller companies, but it exists. It is key to understand our corporate culture and in order to find the most suitable people for the organization. The more defined it is, the better the recruitment will be, since you will be able to show where and how your company is going.

Corporate culture is responsible for the success of the company and the engagement of stakeholders. It evolves with the company and it’s something HR invests heavily in: Employer Branding.

If this 2022 you plan to grow and hire sales talent, the first step is to meet with recruitment and headhunting consultancies and choose the partner that can accompany you, someone who has business experience, so you are able to implement a talent recruitment strategy that’s efficient and solvent.

At Outbound People we will be delighted to listen to you and advise you on recruiting sales talent.

Are you looking to hire a Sales Manager or Sales Ops? Get in touch.

Want to read more fresh content about the role of an SDR and sales teams? Check out more articles.