From the food and beverage industry to the industrial supply sector, sales reps are integral to the success of any business that relies on field sales. Yet, while the right team members are essential to closing profitable sales, finding the right sales reps to join your team can be a challenge in itself. If you’re currently recruiting new sales reps, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether your current team is undersized and struggling to meet current demand or lacks the necessary sales skills to get the job done, recruiting new sales reps can help boost the success of your business. Take a look at the top four strategies for recruiting new sales reps to build a productive team and learn how portatour® can streamline new recruit onboarding processes.
Current challenges for recruiting sales reps
If you’re looking to increase sales productivity, you may need to hire new team members. However, hiring managers and HR professionals can face various challenges when recruiting sales reps that not only impact the hiring process but also the subsequent onboarding process. A primary challenge is nailing down a qualified employee that matches all necessary criteria for the position, from skill set to past experience.
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Another challenge when recruiting sales reps is finding a candidate who matches the long-term goals of a company. Even with the right skill set and experience, managers may find that new recruits do not blend with the overall company culture or lack the right personality, drive, and customer communication style. Despite technical skills, a lack of personal skills can ultimately impact sales success and derail the onboarding process.
4 strategies for recruiting sales reps
Though hiring managers may face challenges when recruiting sales reps, it doesn’t mean that finding the right talent is an impossible task. With the right strategies in place, recruiting sales reps can be streamlined to reduce time consumption and improve long-term success. Here are the top four solutions to recruit the right talent for your team.
1. Define the job role
Accurately defining the job role of a potential sales representative is the first thing a hiring manager must do to locate quality talent. Sales processes can significantly differ from company to company, and will require specific talent to fill the role. Clear and concise job definitions help better target desired talent and reduce the time and money wasted in the pursuit of unqualified applicants.
For instance, if your sales reps must conduct sales route planning in the field, it’s essential your job role includes your transportation and navigation requirements. Of course, be sure to also include the necessary skills and previous experience required for the position. To simplify the process, create a general “candidate profile” to use internally that includes desired candidate traits like selling behaviors and general personality characteristics, such as competitiveness and drive.
2. Develop a strong interview process
Identifying talent is just one step for recruiting sales reps — the next step is interviewing each candidate. Implementing certain strategies during this stage helps cut back on timely back-and-forth communication and favors quicker onboarding later on. For example, deciding to conduct interviews via video call allows you to plan bulk and encourage quicker hiring.
Many recruiters find that conducting multiple interviews in one day allows for more targeted and faster hiring decisions. The ability to review and compare applicants all in a single day reduces the chance of overlooking or becoming forgetful of quality applicants, and allows for easy comparison of applicant personalities and skill sets.
It’s important to also be strategic when conducting the actual interviews. Always establish a few focal points you will compromise when it comes to the selection process, like software capabilities or previous experience. This helps eliminate applicants who are not fit for the position and highlights those who can merge with company culture for a seamless onboarding process.
3. Test candidates
In addition to defining job roles and deciding on a strong interviewing process, implementing some sort of candidate testing is another strategy for effectively recruiting sales reps. Rather than interviews, which can gauge the potential culture fit, testing can evaluate each candidate’s skill set. This is especially important for field sales reps, who must be ready to communicate a product or service in a moment’s notice.
To test such skills, create a hypothetical product or sales scenario that’s likely to happen within your company and ask applicants to deliver a pitch. With a general understanding of the hypothetical product/service and target customers, applicants should be able to demonstrate communication skills and sales knowledge as if they were dealing with a potential customer in the field. Repeat this test with each interview candidate to identify strong sales reps prior to onboarding.
4. Showcase your company as a top pick
While recruiting sales reps — or any new team member for that matter — a company should put in just as much effort to make themselves look like a great employer as an applicant does to make themselves look like a great employee. Top-performing salespeople know the value of their skills and can afford to be picky when selecting an employer, so it’s important to showcase your company as a top pick for potential new hires.
Your company’s online presence speaks a thousand words to applicants in terms of the quality of your sales business. Ensure website content is up-to-date and offers an in-depth look at the products and services you’ll expect reps to sell. Be sure to emphasize any industry awards or high-profile clients where appropriate. And of course, be upfront with all company-provided perks, from insurance benefits to commission.
Streamline new recruitment onboarding processes with portatour®
Now that you’re geared with top tips for recruiting sales reps, you might be wondering about how to successfully (and productively) onboard your new talent. Fortunately, portatour® can help streamline onboarding processes to allow new hires to successfully land sales just days into the job. With the portatour® sales route planner, new sales reps can efficiently plan their initial sales route to visit potential customers at the right frequency and at the right time.
portatour® also makes it simple for new hires to remain consistent with company sales strategies and goals by abiding by a well-evaluated sales route. For the hiring company, portatour® also provides an in-depth oversight on new hires and their sales performance. By providing sales managers with employee performance details, such as the number of successful sales, companies have better opportunities to provide guidance to new hires as they navigate the ropes.
When recruiting sales reps, it’s important to follow hiring strategies that boost the chance of discovering quality talent that will breeze through onboarding. Once your new hires are set to hit the road, the portatour® sales route planner is here to help. Start a free 30-day trial today to experience how route planning optimization can improve new hire sales productivity.