Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hiring Top Sales Talent

Hiring Top Sales Talent

If you’re hoping to hire the top sales talent on the market then you are looking for people who are working for someone else. The top sales talent is not the candidate that is walking through your front door, replying to your ads or placing their resume online. Finding the best possible sales talent who can fit within your culture and contribute within your organization is a real challenge and requires a lot more time and effort to find than you might think. The following are some specific actions you might want to consider to recruit the top sales talent you need to grow your business.

Here are ten tips for better recruiting of top sales talent.

1. Invest time developing relationships with recruiters and executive search firms. Recruiters and search firms have the ability to contact competitors and companies in similar industries and can open doors that you cannot.

2. You should participate in industry tradeshows and conferences where top sales talent is likely to attend. When top sales talent looks for a new career often they will attend trade shows and mingle with other sales executives during the show trying to learn more about particular companies and their sales organizations.

3. Join networking and leads groups. This is where most successful sales talent spends their time looking for new leads.

4. Use industry association websites and magazines to advertise for sales professionals.

5. Don’t forget to look at in-house candidates. There may be an individual that is ready to move up to the next level of sales. From training prospective, it is cheaper and easier to promote someone from within.

6. Get your existing sales team involved in the talent hunt. Most top sales talent know their competition and can tell you who they most fear going up against. Figure out how to approach those individuals. With the help of your existing sales team, reach out to these individuals by using multiple touches from different individuals from within your firm.

7. Don’t be afraid to hire a top sales talent away from another industry. When considering sales talent it is much harder to find someone with solid sales techniques than it is to teach them product knowledge. A solid sales performer will be successful regardless of the product they sell.

8. Forget about the thoughts of finding someone with a ready-made “Book of Business”. Top sales talent rarely comes with a substantial book of business. Most top sales professionals have signed a non-compete and will not be able to immediately call on their existing clients. However, most non-compete agreements do not prohibit former clients from calling on top sales talent. So hire the best and promote where they are to the best of your ability.

9. Make sure that you have a Sales Plan and Compensation Package that promote both the company’s goals and the candidates’. Sales people are different from everyone else in the company. They are driven by only one thing and that is making money. Anything you do that gets in the way of this objective will hamper the relationship.

10. Make sure that you have given some thought as to how you will “bridge the compensation gap” between your base salary offer and what the candidate is currently making. Accurately knowing when the candidate will begin earning commissions based on your average sales cycle is critical in the hiring process. Top sales talent will not be willing to take a step backward in their monthly earning potential while they are ramping up new sales in your organization.

If you would like more information on hiring top sales talent contact us today at

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top 10 Things to Consider When Submitting Your Resume To A Recruiter

Each year 83% of the candidates that get a new job find that job in one of the following three ways; networking, using a recruiter or contacting the company directly. Given this fact it is critical that you properly format your resume to make it easy for both recruiters and hiring managers to get your information into their Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

Today all major recruiters and corporations are using ATS to evaluate and track candidates. These tracking systems automatically parse (enter the data) directly into their system removing the need for human data input or typing. While it reduces the number of input errors it only works well when your resume is formatted properly to take advantage of this new process.

The following tips will help to make sure that your resume ends up in an ATS and that it will be readable when it gets there.

1. Make sure the file format you use is Word. No rtf’s, no pdf’s, no wps’s no txt. Word is the primary file format that is most easily read by ATS parsing systems.
2. Your resume filename convention should be “firstnameLastnameResume.docx”. Not “bestversion.docx” or “final.docx” or “latestestupdate.docx”.
3. When emailing your resume, make sure your attachments are in the following order; resume first, cover letter second, and references third. Make sure your references are in a separate document and not in your resume.
4. Make sure that your use of bullets is kept to a minimum. Bullets and dashes do not translate well when converted from software to online job boards to ATS parsing systems. The use of the asterisk (*) translates much better than a bullet.
5. Make sure that your email address is clearly placed in your resume and that you do not have any characters other than a space in front of or behind the your email address.
6. Start your resume with your name, address, phone and email information at the top of the page. DO NOT include your vital information in a header or text box.
7. Do not use color or lines in your resume. No blue text, no red text. No dotted lines. No lines to divide sections. They all get converted poorly.
8. Avoid using text boxes and tables in general. Make your resume as easy to read as possible. Remember it is just the key that unlocks the door for the interview not the whole story.
9. Place a “key word” section at the end of your resume that includes all of the words that describe your background and experience. This is also a great place to put all of the companies your have done business with over the years in addition to those where you have worked.
10. Pictures do not import when embedded inside a resume. It is a good idea to include a professional photo with your resume, but add it as a separate file in your email.

If you have additional questions about finding a job in the Web 2.0 world, visit our website at