Building a High Velocity Inside Sales Team: Recruiting, Hiring and Managing (Part 2)
[This article is part of a multi-blog series on how to build a high velocity sales team. View Part 1 here. To the view the original 5-part webinar training series on how to build a high velocity sales team, conducted by Ken Krogue, click here.]
According to research conducted by InfoUSA in May 2009, inside sales is growing at a rate of 7.5 percent per year. In contrast, outside sales is almost stagnant with .5 percent annual growth. There is no shortage of job openings. In fact, the three most common questions our clients ask Ken Krogue, President of XANT, are: “How do I get more leads?” “How do I hire great people?” and “Will you hire them for me?”
While InsidesSales.com doesn’t do the work of hiring new sales employees for clients – we are a software development company that provides some process consulting — we do provide best practice guidelines that can be used when hiring inside sales reps. The trick is to work smarter, not harder in your job prospect search.
In Ken’s webinar (see webinar video below), he relates the process of finding quality employees to what he knows best — sales! Take a look at how to apply Ken’s CLOSER model to job seekers.
To begin the process of selecting, use a pre-screening questionnaire and survey to narrow down the number of applicants. For example, at XANT we use Persogenics, a personality survey company, to determine if applicants are a fit for the position. Before you waste both parties’ time, know which applicants are most likely to succeed in the position you are filling.
Use external sites like Monster, Career Builder, local newspapers and headhunters to develop your list of qualified applicants. You can expand your pool of potential candidates by listing your open positions on your corporate website and by seeking internal referrals.
At XANT, we hold a “Pizza Party Overview” session for all pre-screened applicants. This overview consists of 30+ applicants in a meet-and-greet environment, with executives and prospective office peers. The applicants gain an indepth look into the available jobs, compensation, benefit packages, company culture and company vision. If the position and the candidate are a fit after the overview, then we go to the next step: scheduling interviews.
Skill is all about what you say and how you say it. Put thought into how you prepare your initial invites to candidates seeking a job interview. Again, give them an overview of the job description, the products you sell, etc. In many ways, you are selling the position to them.
This step is about eliminating unnecessary effort. While we start with about 50 resumes for each job we hire, only 30 applicants pass the pre-screen. Of those 30, 20 applicants will attend the overview and we will hire two or three from that pool. Develop processes at your company that will reduce the amount of time spent in finding and interviewing candidates.
This is the point where you look back and see how you did. What was your ratio between the number of people who passed the pre-screen and the number of interviews conducted? It is helpful to look at your dispositions and review offered positions and why some candidates didn’t accept?
For a more in-depth discussion of how to hire quality people, take a look at Ken’s complete webinar on the subject: Building a High Velocity Inside Sales Team: Recruiting, Hiring and Managing. Be sure to also check out this previous article in the “Building a High Velocity Inside Sales Team” series highlighting the importance of strategic positioning.
What processes do you have in place to help you hire the best for your sales team?
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- Xant Team