This also means that you're probably pretty damn busy and don't have an intention to learn a new profession of a recruiter at the moment.
So `how do you hire the right sales reps then?`, - you might ask.
The idea of `hire fast, fire slow` doesn't really work at an early stage when your company is growing fast. Instead, it makes sense to make decisions quickly. And if the salespeople you've hired are not putting enough effort - fire them. Let the business decide who stays.
In this post, we'll bring you some fundamental ways to source, screen, and finally interview the right salespeople without making it a 300 pages long study.
1) Sourcing stage
- Know Who You Need
Before getting all gung-ho about hiring IT sales People, know what the requirements really are. The more accurately you see the process, the better filters you can set. A defined set of skills helps to start looking in the right places and save time interviewing the wrong candidates.
- Know Where To Look
Once the need has been defined, gathered inputs from all stakeholders (if there are any except you) on candidate specification, the next step will be to set your search strategy.
Sourcing refers to proactively identifying people who will (aka headhunting):
Promote your company brand (it's not that hard locally)
Gather metrics to fine-tune hiring strategy
Meetups and Developer Events: Make connections and build mutually beneficial relationships with them. Build rapport and become their friend.
2) Screening Stage
- Move On Screening The Candidates
Applicant tracking systems and other recruiting tools have made recruiters' lives much easier by cutting down on the cost, time, and effort they invest in attracting, managing, and retaining salespeople.
In traditional tech hiring processes, you invite applicants, screen manually, interview shortlisted candidates, and finally hire. But this way is not cost-effective, scalable, or very accurate. Some companies offer talent assessment tools for screening applicants effortlessly. Detailed reports give you a near-perfect picture people can really do. So you save a lot of time again. And you won't be accused of any bias either. Sometimes, researching their presence on social media gives you a snapshot of hires' personal and sales potential.
3) Interview Stage
- It's a two-way street. Both the candidate and you are going to be making some decisions here.
Once you have "ideal candidates" in your clutches, lead your conversation so you can decide if they:
- Are passionate about what they are doing or excited about what hope;
- Can communicate clearly, and maintain reasonable control of the conversation with you;
- Have a good grasp of their area of expertise and can provide examples of successful cases;
- Would be someone your team is going to enjoy working with;
- Can adapt their previous sales experience to your plans and funnels (because selling anything to anyone is
bullshit not working these days);
Hire for their knowledge of technology, work ethic, and flexibility in communication rather than experience.
Don't ask for a candidate with no IT experience. Instead, of putting a `shopping list` of all competencies you know about sales, find ways to explore the area of candidates' expertise and online presence.
Ask them general questions, give cases, and ask them to critique a platform or system.
Engage in dialogue with them, and that can tell you a much more about their mental agility and problem-solving ability.
Like auditioning for a role in a play or a movie, you can make a potential hire work with your team on a live project. Nothing reveals people's real characteristics until you go to war with them. And don't forget, every day at an early stage, a startup is going to be very war-like.
Make sure you're faster than most of your competitors are.
Conventional ways of reaching out to salespeople for IT startups looking for jobs and convincing them to join your startup aren't going to work. You need to get the salespeople excited to work on your product.