Learn how to identify and attract top sales talent in this growing remote environment. Use our recruiting tips to find the very best!
November 28, 2022
As sales representatives are valuable members of any business — driving more revenue growth than any other employees — recruiting for sales reps is just as important. Yet, as the working world has shifted to be more remote than ever in recent years, successfully recruiting and hiring sales reps looks different. The sales process now leans virtual, and recruiters are scrambling to figure out what the right salespeople for the digital age look like, where to find them, and how to hire them.
This guide will cover how remote work has changed the sales world, the sales recruitment process in the digital age, common recruitment mistakes, assessing remote sales skills, and more. This way, sales recruiters can successfully discover and attract top talent with relevant skills for the evolving sales world.
Recruiting for sales reps was already a challenging process. As salespeople are vital employees to organizations who directly impact financial gains or losses, recruiters must be extra diligent in finding and selecting the right candidates. Hiring unfit employees can lead to six-figure losses for companies, including the cost of employee turnover. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work world is more remote than ever, and it appears remote work is here to stay.
So, what exactly does this mean for sales rep recruiters? First off, the sales world looks different, with virtual-first sales now presiding over in-person sales. This is a significant change for experienced sales reps who have spent their careers selling in person. Finding sales representatives who can excel in remote work environments and become sales leaders is more crucial than ever for recruiters. Employers must also provide more technical training to new sales team employees, so candidates with previous remote experience are much more valuable.
Another major change in sales recruiting is the broadened hiring pool. With remote work, employers can hire sales reps from separate cities, states, or even countries. Now, recruiters have access to top sales talent from around the world. This brings advantages like reduced employment costs, more talented candidates, and fewer hiring barriers.
However, the remote hiring process also brings difficulties like the oversaturation of candidates, new legal hurdles, and new requirements for remote employees. The possibility of hiring remotely also makes it easier for companies to hire freelance sales representatives, which can be affordable, and valuable assets to sales teams.
It’s clear the remote sales world looks different, but sales recruiters can use these changes to their advantage. Let’s go over the best practices for recruiting talented salespeople in the growing remote environment.
To recruit top salespeople in the remote world, recruiters should follow industry best practices. Some strategies to remain competitive while recruiting these workers include:
While it may seem obvious, one of the first steps in following best sales recruiting practices is knowing what you need in a role. Before bringing new candidates into the picture, companies must develop clear goals, expectations, and duties for the new position. With the perimeters of the role established, recruiters have a clearer understanding of what qualities and skills are needed, making for a much more organized recruitment process for all parties involved.
Sales recruiting is competitive, and recruiters must ensure their job listings stand out. By following the previous step, recruiters now know what they’re looking for in a candidate. Thus, when crafting a job description, they can write it as if they are speaking to that perfect candidate.
The job listing should include a clear description of the role, an intriguing company description, and enticing job perks and benefits. Another best practice for job listings is to search-engine-optimize them by including relevant keywords like ‘B2B’ and ‘work from home.’
To succeed as a sales recruiter in the remote world, using the right digital recruiting tools is essential. This includes posting on popular job boards like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor to reach candidates. Additionally, using a digital sales recruiting agency is a common practice for efficiently recruiting talented sales representatives. Both of these sourcing methods are great for connecting with freelance sales representatives, which is an excellent option for businesses that want to reduce employment costs.
Just as your remote candidates must demonstrate excellent remote communication skills, recruiters must do the same. Job seekers are looking for employers with clear communication to avoid joining disorganized teams. By maintaining organized calls, quick responses, and consistent follow-ups, businesses are more likely to attract top talent.
As so much has changed for sales recruiters in recent years, it's easy to make mistakes during the recruiting process. However, knowing the common mistakes in remote sales rep recruiting can help you avoid them. Some of these typical mistakes include:
A mistake many sales manager or recruiter makes is focusing on recruiting for individual roles. Instead, recruiters must recruit with an entire team's success in mind. While a potential candidate might have all the qualifications for the individual role, they may not be compatible with other team members. Thus, ensuring the individual meshes with the company culture is essential. Recruiters should also remember that remote compatibility looks different than in-person compatibility, with certain communication skills being much more critical.
Sales recruiters often make the mistake of not putting effort into their job listings, simply copying and pasting sections from previous listings or the company's website. Having a weak job listing leads to less interest and attracts weaker candidates. Additionally, a job listing may be weakened by not including helpful information like job duties, requirements, and compensation ranges. When listing compensation, transparency can go a long way, saving both recruiters and job seekers time and resources.
Inconsistent communication is another mistake recruiters make when hiring salespeople remotely. While recruiters may view in-person and remote recruiting as the same, the truth is that less in-person interaction requires more effort to build connections with candidates. Thus, it can be extra harmful when recruiters prolong the interview process or wait too long to follow up.
When it comes to the actual interview, recruiters may also make the mistake of treating remote interviews as in-person ones. In reality, remote interviews require particular questions, different approaches to body language and tone, and even clearer communication.
Another tip for sales hiring in the growing remote world is to utilize referrals. Asking current employees for referrals for potential candidates grants recruiters instant access to new recruits. Current employees also have a better understanding of what is needed to succeed at the company and what qualities fit with the company culture.
As a result, employee referrals improve candidates' quality, reduce hiring time and resources, and even increase employee retention. Companies may implement organized referral programs with rewards for those who refer successful candidates to encourage referrals from current employees.
Additionally, recruiters can reach out to their professional networks to find potential hires. For example, recruiters may post on LinkedIn about exciting job opportunities. Digital tools like this allow recruiters to reach more people than ever before. In the sea of candidates available for remote work from anywhere, honing in on a referral program can narrow one’s pool down to the best matches.
One of the most significant shifts in recruiting sales reps in the remote world is new ways of assessing candidates. While in-person salespeople require qualities like charisma, self-motivation, and problem-solving, remote sales reps must also be able to translate these qualities through digital tools. Thus, some qualities to look for as a recruiter include the following:
Additionally, recruiters want to look for any specific experience that proves a candidate’s ability to thrive in a remote or hybrid environment, such as:
While assessing these skills and experiences, it's also crucial for recruiters to remember what skills can be learned if a candidate shows enough drive. For example, while a candidate might not have experience working remotely — they might be a natural salesperson who can quickly learn new digital tools, thus having the potential to grow into an excellent asset.
As mentioned earlier, interviewing your sales candidates remotely should be treated differently than in-person interviews. Interviewing sales candidates differs from other job interviews, namely from the interviewee’s need to truly sell themself! A strong remote salesperson should also be able to discuss CRM software, their ability to drive remote sales, their sales record, and ethical sales practices.
A recruiter must ask the right questions to have the most productive remote interview, whether via phone or video call. Questions that all sales recruiters should ask during a remote interview are:
The right fit for the role should sell you with their responses to these questions. Additionally, great candidates should ask thoughtful questions to demonstrate their interest and motivation. They must also demonstrate knowledge of and ask questions about your business's remote tools, which can be more difficult for some otherwise qualified candidates.
With a remote sales interview, recruiters must take steps to make the hiring process efficient. Sales recruiters need to:
Sales recruiters need to tailor their interviewing strategies to remote communication and assessing remote sales skills. By following these guidelines, recruiting independent sales reps who will drive sales and revenue is made easier.
Let’s go over some commonly asked questions for sales recruiters and those looking to join the industry:
Sales recruiters are recruiting professionals who help businesses with sales hire. They complete the critical tasks involved in managing remote sales reps recruitment, like creating job descriptions, sourcing candidates, screening qualified individuals, scheduling interviews, and performing interviews.
To make the career shift from sales to recruiting, you can apply for entry-level recruiting positions that you have some qualifications for. Luckily, as an experienced sales professional, you will know what it takes to be successful in sales, which will be a valuable asset to your resume. A great way to grow into a recruiting role is to apply within your own company, as hiring managers are more likely to know your recruiting potential.
Recruiting and sales are two separate roles with equally challenging aspects. Both involve selling something, a sales representative sells products/services, and recruiters must sell the job opportunity to potential candidates. Both sales and sales recruiting require the qualities of excellent communication, charisma, organization, and confidence.
Recruiters recruit potential employees by creating and sharing job descriptions, reaching out to professionals online or in person, meeting with potential candidates online or in person, and other tasks involved with sourcing and hiring for open roles.
The growing remote world has also changed the sales world, which means recruiters must adjust to new methods of attracting and retaining top sales talent. The Sales Connection is a simplified solution to sourcing and hiring top remote sales talent. We connect you with one of your thousands of qualified individuals in record time, so you can forget the hours of job posting and recruit. Schedule a sales recruitment strategy session today to learn more about driving your revenue with top sales professionals.
Kayvon has over two decades of experience working with high-level closers and perfecting his sales methodologies. He has earned the title of Canada’s #1 pharmaceutical sales representative and continues to share his expertise as a keynote speaker and through his multi-million-dollar coaching program.
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