One of the things that we hear from owners of direct sales or door to door sales companies is that recruiting is tough right now. Truth is, recruiting is tough all over. Just ask any business owner trying to find good people willing to work when the unemployment rate is less than 4% and jobs appear plentiful.
That said, there are still sales teams that do a great job recruiting new talent, even in 2019. Here are the 4 traits that we see from companies that are consistently growing:
Great Sales Companies are Always Recruiting ~ ALWAYS
Without a doubt, the sales companies that are consistently hitting their numbers and growing are always looking for new sales talent. They know that they have to. It’s embedded in their DNA. If they want to hit big growth targets (or just grow, period), they know they always have to keep their line in the water for new sales reps.
So what do they do? Frankly, it’s not any one thing. They have a strategy that encompasses putting out weekly job posts, doing weekly interviews (not letting those candidates wait weeks and potentially take on other offers), and encourage personal recruiting.
Posting weekly on job boards is critical if a sales company is serious about finding and recruiting the best sales talent out there. Their recruiter or sales manager knows that the longer their ad is posted, the less daily resume submissions they’ll get. If they want to continue staying at the top of the job boards, whether it’s Monster, Indeed, or Craigslist, they have to post weekly.
To maximize the value of those candidates, you also have to be contacting them quickly to schedule interviews, especially if they’re prime candidates. It’s no secret that the candidate you’re really excited about probably submitted his or her resume to 10 other companies similar to yours. If you want to talk to them, bring them in quickly (ideally within the same week). Make sure that you or your recruiter tracks the contacts and scheduling of your candidates. It pays to use a Candidate Tracking System (link to DShero/recruiting/) so you can maximize each resume coming through your inbox.
Lastly, personal recruiting for sales positions is massive for the growth of a high-impact sales company. If you have an incentive program and culture that encourages personal recruiting, make sure that you keep it front and center in your staff’s mind. You never know, the little brother or next-door neighbor of your latest recruit could end up being your team’s superstar for the next 5 years.
Great Sales Companies Clearly spell out the growth opportunity for candidates
It doesn’t matter if you’re interviewing the next Babe Ruth or his minor league counterpart, if you’re interviewing for a door to door sales position, you better be ready to clearly spell out the opportunity for growth in your organization.
Why is the opportunity in sales so important?
The reason is that direct or door to door sales only stays interesting for most sales representatives for so long. If their opportunity is limited by their sales compensation plan, once they max that out, what do they have to work for then?
So what does Growth Opportunity mean in a sales organization?
What we’ve seen out of the best sales companies over the years is an opportunity for the sales reps revenue to grow as they help grow their company. Whether that’s a residual commission, profit-sharing, or the opportunity to run their own office or ICL, we’ve seen it all. Each company that does well with one of those models knows why they do it, and how the growth model helps them extract the most long-term performance and growth out of their sales staff.
The caveat here is that some sales representatives are completely happy just maxing out their compensation plan month after month. The trouble is, those kinds of reps end up being the exception more than the rule. Also, those reps tend to get offered top dollar by the most aggressive firms. If you don’t want to compete simply on your compensation plan alone, then you want to be certain to have a plan for your reps to grow.
have a simple, but compelling compensation plan
You’re probably thinking, wait a second, didn’t he just say that Opportunity > Compensation? In my experience, I would say the two are equally important. Organizations that focus solely on the big picture opportunity but don’t make sure their entry-level reps get paid enough to cover their bills ultimately won’t retain any sales reps long enough for them to see the big picture. Conversely, organizations that are all about maximizing short term pay will never grow sales leaders. The sweet spot is in the middle.
So how do you find this compensation sweet spot for door to door reps? It can take some trial and error to really get the formula right, but there are key tips that work:
- Make sure your average rep is making a sustainable paycheck to cover their bills. If the average cost of living per person in your metro area is $2500/month, then make sure that your average rep can hit that.
- Create a system of bonuses or incentives for sales reps that go above and beyond. Monthly or weekly bonuses for hitting targets are critical for driving your Type A sales reps. Set the goals 25%, 50%, and 100% over your standard plan and see who rises to the occasion.
- Have a ramp up compensation plan for the rookie door to door reps. A model that works well is to take your average sales reps production number as the final goal after 4-6 weeks of training, and then break down how many sales a new rep should get week by week to ramp up to that final number. Incentivize them weekly to hit that number so they see the benefits of performing early on.
If you have a compensation program that hits the above criteria, you’ll be well on your way to attracting both sales superstars and sales leaders alike in your interviews.
Explain your Training and Support Model Thoroughly
Lastly, you need to have a good training program and be able to explain it in your interview process. Why is this so important? Let’s be real here. Door to Door or Direct Sales is scary for someone who hasn’t done it before. They might be excited about the opportunity, but the #1 factor we’ve seen hold new reps back, is the fear they won’t be able to be successful.
If you want to alleviate this fear, you need to explain how your training system is going to help your potential sales rep hit their goals. The good news is, your explanation doesn’t have to be overly complex or complicated. If you can show your potential candidate in 2-3 minutes that your sales training is going to get them where they need to be, then you’ll have a good chance of bringing them on.
Some key phrases that work for this are: “our average rep will do 6 sales per week in 4 weeks following our training system”, “our 5 step sales process will help you hit your goals within 6 weeks”, “you’ll be assigned a one-on-one trainer that is going to make sure you know how to do the job well no matter how long it takes.”
Those words are reassuring, right? Even better, provide examples of sales reps that have done well quickly and even make it a part of your process to introduce your candidates to those successful sales reps. If a new candidate can see a real new rep that has gone through your sales training and done well, that will build their confidence quickly.
Ultimately, if you’re not happy with your current recruiting process, you owe it to yourself to apply these tips. We’ve worked with many sales companies and when they’ve focused on applying these strategies to their sales recruiting process, their recruiting production has gone up dramatically. It might be tough out there, but the teams that keep on getting better week by week are the ones that grow big, successful teams.
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