Look to Hire Top Salespeople When the Market is Slow to Win Market Share
Many companies make the mistake of waiting for a down market to rebound before they seek out top salespeople. If you wait for the right moment, you may be too late. Here are five reasons you should recruit and hire top-performing salespeople in a down market.
1. During a Crisis, Firms Survive Best When They Focus on Growth
You can increase your firm’s profits during a crisis or recession if you concentrate on growth strategies. A study by the Boston Consulting Group shows 14% of companies accelerated growth and increased profitability during the past four recessions.
Now is not the time to pull back on sales initiatives. It’s the best time to recruit top-performing salespeople.
2. Now is a Great Market to Hire Top Salespeople
Consider evaluating your current sales team to determine if you want to keep everyone or make room for better performers. You can more easily recruit “A” players now while there are plenty actively seeking jobs.
Review your current sales team carefully. Do you have salespeople who consistently underperformed, even when the market was better? You may want to move those weaker salespeople to other positions.
A president of a local financial institution told us that he is “amazed by the quality of talent on the market.” You will not find a better time to upgrade your sales team. If you wait until the market rebounds, you will have fewer quota-busting salespeople available to you.
3. You’ll Pay Less for Top Talent Now
Before the pandemic, companies faced a candidate-driven market. Then many industries were at historically low unemployment rates. Recruiting top talent was hard and expensive. Companies had to propose competitive packages to get any sales talent and present very lucrative offers to land the top talent.
COVID-19 has changed all of that. With many top performers actively seeking employment, companies can now hire great talent at market rates.
The pandemic has also changed what people value in a job. Many employees have fully embraced the work-from-home lifestyle. They’ve discovered the life-balance this provides, and they relish it. If you can offer more remote work, your offer will be more appealing to many without breaking the bank.
4. New Salespeople Take Time to Onboard and Get Up to Speed
Hire now to have time to get recruits up-to-speed before the market rebounds. Economists predict that the market will be more robust when the pandemic eases. In all likelihood, the national vaccination program will enable businesses to open up during Q2 in 2021.
It can take as much as up to 90-days to properly onboard a new salesperson (see our Onboarding Guide for more info). If you start your recruiting process now, you can hire and successfully onboard new salespeople before the market turns-up.
If you will hire salespeople to work remotely, make sure you update your onboarding. Remote salespeople need a different onboarding approach to remain engaged and to feel part of the team. We cover this topic in our Onboarding Guide.
When the market does pick up again, companies with the best sales pipeline will win the day. As any sales manager knows, new salespeople need time to build a pipeline. Many complex B2B sales have a sales cycle that stretches over several months.
5. Top-performing Salespeople Pay for Themselves
If you hire a top-performing salesperson and onboard them correctly, you will see an immediate return. The best salespeople generate returns in multiples of their cost.
The key is hiring right. We recommend a multi-measurement, pre-hire assessment as the first step. You can eliminate 96% of the mistakes in hiring if you pre-assess all sales candidates. To get more information on this process, download a free copy of our Summary Report on the Best Sales Assessments.
Hiring in a Crisis Looks Different
You want to use the right process to hire salespeople in a soft market. When you post an open position, you may get an overwhelming response. Use the most effective hiring process to sort through a large volume of applicants.
We have an infographic on how to hire the best salespeople in a slow market.
Every Crisis Presents Opportunities
This difficult time has presented many challenges to sales teams. The strongest sales leaders recognize that every crisis provides opportunities. If you are strategic during the waning days of this pandemic, your sales team will be much stronger when it ends, as it will.