The #1 thing on my mind as a sales leader, and still to this day, is recruiting.
In today's issue, I'm going to teach you my top 5 places to find great sales reps.
Great people can get you through just about anything. In the early days, when things are chaotic, nothing is more important than a rockstar team.
Most will post on a job board, collect the resumes, and hold countless interviews until they find the right person. This is nothing more than a numbers game and takes a ton of time.
When you recruit great sales reps, you'll get:
Here's how to do it:
Employee referrals are the gold standard. My best sales reps came from internal employee referrals.
Employees don't want to risk their reputations. When they send a referral, they have confidence in the person they are sending. They also know the company culture and the day-to-day of the job. They have a good idea if the person they refer is a culture fit and has the skill set to perform on the job.
Most companies have a referral bonus in place, and that's a great start. Always remind the team how important it is to have the best people onboard. If they want to be in leadership, starting to recruit now is a great way to get real leadership experience.
Internal events are great for many reasons. They are a lot of fun, and candidates get a feel for the culture and their potential teammates.
My favorite internal event was the open house. We took these open houses very seriously. We started recruiting people 30 days in advance and had every detail planned. Here are some questions to ask:
We ran these exactly like a sales campaign. If we could schedule the next steps there, we'd do it. If not, we had a follow-up plan that started the next day.
Most great reps won't have a personal connection to the company. LinkedIn is a great place to find these candidates.
Candidate and sales prospect outreach are no different from each other. Do your research, personalize the message, and follow through.
I send a personalized message that ends with the following: "Are there any people in your network looking for a job with a background like yours?"
I took this directly from Mark Roberge's book The Sales Acceleration Formula. It tells the person they are a perfect fit without assuming they want the job. You'll often get a response that says, "Actually, I'd be interested in learning more about the role."
Recruiting passive candidates through LinkedIn takes consistent activity. Track your cadence and conversion rates the same way you would your sales process.
External events are another excellent way to find candidates who don't know who you are. My two favorite external events are industry events and sales community events.
I have a background in insurtech. The insurance industry has a good amount of conferences to attend. In particular, the vendors always participated in the biggest conferences. These conferences were a great way to find people familiar with the industry and to see how they operate in a sales setting.
My other favorites are sales community events. Some examples are Pavilion, AA-ISP, or your local sales meetups. If reps attend these events, they are serious about growing their careers. This growth mindset is exactly what I'm looking for on my team.
Alum referrals are incredibly rewarding. Alum are telling their friends they will succeed if they go to your company. It's excellent validation that you're doing the right things.
The best thing we can do as leaders is to celebrate the people who move on from our companies. As a leader, nothing is better than watching someone reach their potential.
Sometimes, they take that next step with you; sometimes, it's with another company. Both situations should be celebrated equally.
This was both my favorite thing to see and a powerful recruiting tool.
Using these sources will build a flywheel of high-quality candidates. A-player sales reps are critical to the growth of the business. The recruiting flywheel makes everything easier.