As a sales leader, recruiting was on my mind at all times. It's the lifeblood of a scaling sales team. You never want to settle on the people you add to the team.
In today's issue, I'm going to teach you how to nurture top sales candidates.
Just like a great enterprise account brings in 1MM+ in revenue, a great sales rep will also bring in 1MM+ in revenue. To bring either on, you need dedicated effort and a plan.
Many will stop recruiting candidates when they don't join their company. If your efforts stop here, it's impossible to consistently hire A-players.
When you implement a candidate nurturing plan, you'll get:
Here's how to do it:
Events provide a fun, low-pressure way for candidates to get a feel for your culture. They attract the right candidates just as much as they repel the wrong ones. Some candidates will fit your culture perfectly, and some will hate it. Either way, it's better to know sooner than later.
For in-person, we would have a regular team happy hour on the books. When these events came up, we'd invite candidates to them. It's a more casual setting than the office, and people can talk on a personal level. Also, it doesn't have to center around drinking. Things like Top Golf and Axe Throwing work just as well.
For virtual, it's more challenging but not impossible. One of the most fun events is setting up Jackbox Games. It's about impossible to have a business conversation when playing Jackbox Games. You'll also get a good read of each other's personalities.
"Because your whole team is there, it’s a great way for passive candidates to meet your co-founders and the rest of your team without feeling like they’re being recruited." - Steve Bartel, CEO of Gem
Meeting top candidates in person will make a big difference.
If you know they are looking, you can be more direct on why you're coming out. You're there to remove any roadblocks and get them to join your organization. If they aren't looking, but they are an A-player and a great culture fit, it's still worth the effort.
When selling enterprise prospects, we've all used the saying, "I'm going to be in your area the week of October 1st for client meetings and wanted to see if you're free for a quick coffee." It works the same way when recruiting top candidates.
It's no different if they are local. Find times to grab coffee so you're always top of mind. Top salespeople are very difficult to find and worth the time it takes to bring them on.
Conferences and community events are great places to build relationships with top candidates. It's super important for sales leaders to regularly attend them for recruiting.
You'll have touchpoints throughout the year if you're on the same conference circuit. One point of note: this is not the time to hard sell. There are likely people from their company present. You don't want to put them in an uncomfortable situation.
Community events are excellent for similar reasons to industry conferences. For example, if you attend Pavilion dinners or local sales meet-ups, you have a built-in meeting cadence. It's also easy to book time before or after to talk in detail if the candidate is actively looking.
One of my biggest rules is never to stop recruiting top sales candidates. If they sign with a new company? Never stop recruiting them. If they are super happy at the new company? Never stop recruiting them. If they ask you to stop contacting them? Stop recruiting them 😅.
Trigger events happen:
When they happen, you want to be front and center as they think about their next position.
Build two outreach plans. One that is asynchronous and one that is synchronous. For both of these, the bedrock will be a bank of resources (articles, podcasts, videos, etc.) you can send.
For asynchronous, I love the process Sam McKenna created for prospect outreach. When you come across an article relevant to what you spoke about with the candidate, send it to them. Explain why you thought it was relevant to them and your opinion about the article. Most important, do not ask them for anything. Then, add the article to your resource bank.
For synchronous, create an outreach cadence that aligns with the candidate's interest level. If they have little interest, reaching out every 3 to 6 months makes the most sense. If they have a lot of interest, reaching out weekly or multiple times a week makes more sense. Lean on your resource hub to provide value.
"73% of candidates are passive job seekers." - G2
By doing these activities, you'll consistently bring on A-players. This enables you to hit high numbers with a small team and expand headcount when it's time for scale.