Although unemployment has stabilised in the UK within 2015, it has become tougher than ever before to hire the right IT sales staff for technology companies. I believe that there has never been a better time to be hiring additional sales heads and I think companies should be actively investing in people with passion and drive to grow your business. The majority of the businesses I have recruited for over the last 18 years of my career have operated in the IT sector. When you are offering a product or service to clients, the most important asset is always going to be the people who work for you. Therefore to distinguish yourself from rival firms you have to ensure that your sales staff are the best in the marketplace, no matter the size of the business.
1) Right Messaging
The first step before you meet any candidate is to get the right message out into the market. Do you have a detailed job description? Does it provide enough of a compelling success story that candidates want to be a part of?
Unfortunately for the majority of companies that aren’t Google or Facebook, candidates will not be beating down their door to join them!
Being an employer of choice is challenging and difficult to maintain. Your brand and message to the market is key to attracting the right candidates. If you do use recruitment consultancies, test them on their message of your company in the market. Are they representing your company in the way you want them too? If not, educate them or get ones that can!
All companies need to have a concise and thought out recruitment process in place, which is aimed at finding and hiring the top people in your chosen sector. A random approach to recruitment will have a direct correlation to the quality of the people you take on. Needless to say your job advert has to be well thought out and include all the necessary detail, but also ensure the salary level is competitive compared with the rest of the marketplace. Make it stand out from the competition, emphasising how great the business and the role is.
3) Cultural Fit
To ensure you attract and retain the best candidates youhave to identify if they are the right fit for your business. You need to understand key things such as: how will they operate in the business? What motivates them to come to work every day? Do they understand the role? How will they add value? Does their personality fit the culture of the business? In my opinion one wrong hire can really affect a culture or a team, so this really needs to be taken seriously when adding sales heads.
4) Right Leadership in Place
What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws employees into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety Ó especially in an uneven economy and it means taking on big responsibility. I’m a huge fan of Simon’s work and his book Leaders Eat Last So many companies feel they do the candidate a favour by offering them a job when in reality it’s the other way around. If you can create a leadership model whereby people feel part of something, they will grow the business for you. Good candidates want to work for good leaders!!
5) Senior Hires ( Sales Mangers / Sales Directors )
When it comes to hiring Sales Managers or Sales Directors, a different strategy should take place. When somebody is an expert in their field, and they have been working in the industry for many years, changing roles is much more of risk for their careers. The successful ones will be very well looked after, some locked in with EMI schemes, stock and Golden handcuffs to ensure they stay. With this is mind, you need to show them how they can benefit professionally and personally from the move. This courtship could take months, so be prepared to be patient and plan well ahead for the move.
Hiring the right sales people can transform your business but getting the right process in place is just as important. It will save you a lot of time!. If you have people who are passionate about the business working for you, it sends out a great message out to the marketplace, which in turn will attract the bigger players for your senior team.