Earlier this week I started reading The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge. There are a handful of great sales books out there and this ranks right up there as one of the best (and most modern). One of my favorite parts was the section on finding and recruiting talent.
Here are four tips for recruiting great sales reps from the book:
- Target Sales Reps that Used to Work at Friends’ Companies – Make a list of friends’ companies that have similar values and sales tactics and then find sales reps that used to work for those companies on LinkedIn. After making a list, reach out to your friends and get input as to what people should, and should not, be pursued.
- Find Passive Candidates and Start by Asking for a Referral – Use LinkedIn to find sales people that match desired attributes (target market, schooling, years of experience, etc.) and email/InMail them explaining you’re looking for people like them due to similar, successful reps already on the team and how you wanted to see if they could refer anyone that might be a good fit. Of course, you want the person to raise their hand and express interest and this passive approach is a great non-committal way to do so.
- Figure Out Successful Traits of Existing Reps – Analyze the existing team and determine what traits result in success so that future hires can be screened against them. Examples of important traits include coachability, curiosity, prior success, intelligence, and work ethic.
- Role Playing During the Interview Process – Have the sales rep come prepared with basic product knowledge and have them role play an example sales process. Use the role playing to assess how well the candidate matches the traits of successful reps.
Two of the hardest positions to fill in the startup world are great sales people and great programmers. Use some of these tips to find and recruit great sales people. Also, if you haven’t read The Sales Acceleration Formula, check it out.
What else? What are some more tips for recruiting great sales people?