Optimising your B2B sales recruitment process

Are you searching for B2B sales candidates to help you forge those strong business connections? If yes, you’ll need to optimise your B2B sales recruitment process, but how exactly do you go about this? Here are our top tips:

1. Establishing your hiring needs

The first thing you must consider are your hiring needs. What exactly are you hiring for? What skills, qualifications and experience does the position require? According to Talent’s Sales and Business Development Recruitment Specialist, Thomas Mackenzie, “If you’re hiring B2B sales managers, you’ll be looking for someone charismatic with excellent communication skills. Prior experience managing and leading sales teams to achieve successful outcomes may also be important.” Whatever your requirements are, a skilled sales recruiter can help bring these to life.

At Talent, we have 25 years’ experience in digital, tech and sales recruitment. We can help you place the best sales candidates for your needs.

2. Sales training

Prior to starting the hiring process for any sales position, Sales and Business Development Recruitment Specialist, Jenna Daly, recommends having a suitable sales training plan or program in place which ideally should be a mixture of internal and external training, “many of our clients will have sales managers or top performing existing sales professionals, who will go out in the field on face-to-face customer visits with new hires to coach on the correct sales approach, methodology and closing techniques”. 

In terms of external training, Daly explains that there are many different types of sales trainers in the market you can engage for your specific needs, “They will all have different sales methodologies, so it is important you select an external trainer that is right for business needs”.

3. Building your EVP

If you want to attract the best of the best in sales candidates, you need to make sure your employer brand is solid. As top talent are rarely looking to move jobs actively, you will need a clearly defined EVP which you can develop by building a culture that draws in the cream of the talent crop. If you are true to your vision and values, and lead with a people-first approach, you’ll be sure to bring the best into your team.

4. Sourcing candidates

Sourcing candidates can be a tricky task. From writing up job ads to engaging in a search of the market, there’s a lot to consider. To optimise your B2B sales recruitment process, you should employ the services of a specialised sales recruiter. With access to talent-rich pools, they can locate the best salespeople for your needs. They know what qualities to seek out in candidates and possess a selection of pre-screened and pre-referenced candidates to draw upon who perfectly fit the brief. A great sales recruitment agency will also reach out to passive candidates on top of interacting with those actively searching for work. According to Mackenzie, “The best sales recruitment agencies are headhunting passive candidates every day, establishing what it would take to leave their current roles and keeping an eye on who is at the top of the leader boards.” They are in the market everyday so you don’t need to be.

5. Screening resumes

Once you’ve passed the sourcing stage, it’s time to start screening resumes. That means looking through hundreds of applications to pick out the best candidates. This can be a time-consuming activity - time that you may not have. That’s where a sales recruiter comes in. They can take care of all the time-consuming recruitment activities and help you get back to your most pressing tasks in no time.

6. Interviewing

The next stage is interviews. It’s here that you really want to figure out if these candidates have what it takes to be great B2B sales experts. You should be asking relevant scenario-based questions to determine how they will fare in high pressure sales situations and assess how well they come across. Mackenzie explains that “You’ll also want to vet candidates regarding prior achievements, their sales process, how they handle tricky customer scenarios, and establish whether or not they are a cultural fit”. According to Mackenzie, it’s also important to uncover whether or not the individual knows why they have been successful, “Self-awareness of what makes them successful is crucial for them to replicate this success again in a new environment”.

7. Reference checking

After conducting your interviews, you will need to run your reference checks to see if these candidates stack up. A sales recruiter will have a standardised list of proven questions they ask during the reference check process, so it’s a great idea to employ their services. Work with your recruiter to ensure the questions asked in this stage will give your hiring managers an opportunity to understand and manage your candidate best when they begin. A recruitment agency that handles this for you can be a great way to optimise the recruitment process and save time in hiring.

8. Making an offer

Once you’ve found that star candidate, it’s time to make an offer. According to Mackenzie, “This is one of the final hurdles in the process and one where many things can go wrong. From navigating counter offers to last minute negotiations, it’s a critical stage you want to ensure you nail.” It’s also the stage in which you need to communicate with all your unsuccessful candidates. This is time-consuming in and of itself, so you may want to consider using a specialised sales recruitment agency. They can handle this process for you, meaning you can get started on preparing for your new-starter’s arrival ASAP. While most people think that this is where the process ends, the next stages are just as crucial. You can’t forget about…

9. Preboarding and onboarding

Once you’ve secured your top sales candidates, the next step is to make them feel valued and part of the team. This starts at the preboarding stage which covers all the little things that make your new recruits feel welcome before they even take their first step in the office. This can involve everything from an informal “meet the team” lunch invite to a welcome pack of goodies sent to their home. It’s all part of creating a positive candidate experience. Onboarding is equally as important and is your chance to make a positive impression on your new hire. Studies have revealed that companies with a strong onboarding process can improve employee retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%, so it’s important to get it right.

10. Assigning a mentor

Once your new hire has started, it’s a great idea to assign a mentor within the business who can assist them on their journey and offer valuable advice based on previous successes. According to Daly, “you could align your new sales hire with an existing top performing senior sales representative. This will ensure your new hire is off to a great start and is surrounded by top performers”.

At Talent, we’re experts in tech and sales recruitment. We can help you place the best B2B sales people to help you take your company forward. Get in touch to see how we can help you today.