Need to Find Good Salespeople: be real about your sales job.
First: Get real about your job, but maybe not as much as Bob!
Here’s the headline of ad we saw a few years back:
Make more money than you ever dreamed of working for a jerk.
The ad explained that sales hires would work hard for a very demanding boss and make a ton of money. It closed with a phone number for a guy named Bob.
Applicants knew right away, what they were in for by working for Bob. They could see the upside and the downside. The ad was authentic. The weak clearly knew not to apply.
While your ad won’t be this extreme, do let sales candidates know the real nature of your company.
For examples of a good sales job post, request a copy of our Guide for Hiring the Best Salespeople for Your Company
What is your company’s sales culture?
Don’t try to copy other companies. Be true to your own culture. Your culture could be one or a combination of the following.
Companies where the company’s heartbeat is a personal achievement
These companies (think Microsoft or Oracle) celebrate folks with a “killer instinct.”
Companies where the firm focuses a lot on alignment around goals and objectives
These companies (think AT&T or IBM) will emphasize a scripted process.
Companies where the organization reveres self-expression
These companies like to “think outside the box,” and encourage and reward problem-solving skills. Visionaries often lead these types of cultures (think Apple or Google).
Companies where the corporate culture values teamwork
These companies have a close-knit ecosystem of employees, customers, and partners (think Quicken Loans or Salesforce.com).
Note: You can read more about corporate culture at this link.
Be Real About Your Company’s Market Position
Don’t say your organization is a market-leader if it is not. If you’re a scrappy start-up, say that. If you’re strong in a market niche, mention that.
What type of salesperson do you really need?
Think about the specific job and about your company’s unique culture. For the job, which of the following do you need?
• A hunter to blaze trails into new territory or to introduce a new product
• A nurturer to take solid in-bound leads and guide them to the close, or
• A farmer to maintain and to grow relationships with existing customers
What makes your company distinctive? How do you reward success?
Once you clearly define the salesperson you need and understand your sales culture, you’re on the path to building a winning sales team. Reference your sales culture in your posts for sales job openings.
Avoid these common mistakes in writing your job posts for sales staff
In your sales job posts, steer clear of the following:
Mistake #1: Spouting vague clichés about the job
What company doesn’t want a salesperson with strong communications skills who can “think outside the box”?
If your sales job description uses the same vague phrases as everyone else, you sound, well, like everyone else.
Make your job description real.
Mistake #2: Using an unconventional job title
Some businesses consider it trendy to give salespeople an edgy job title such as “chief growth hacker.” Don’t’ do this. Job seekers search for jobs using standard job titles.
Also, think about how customers would respond to strange job titles. Does the VP of IT want to talk to a “growth hacker?”
Mistake #3: Trying to appeal to everyone
Don’t try to appeal to everyone in your ad. Speak only candidates with the “right stuff” for your team. Your new sales hires must mesh with your company’s DNA and sales culture.
Mistake #4: Writing a job description that’s too long or too short
Your sales job postings should explain the true nature of your job. Don’t list your company’s standard corporate job description.
Just list the top 5-6 key responsibilities that cover 80% of the job. Avoid a laundry list of requirements because it waters down the key responsibilities. And, it’s boring.
Mistake #5: Avoiding any mention of compensation and benefits
Many managers omit compensation in job posts. They think not listing compensation makes salary negotiation easier. Others don’t want their staff to know how much they pay salespeople.
Top job seekers will skip job posts lacking any salary description. They don’t want to waste time on a potentially low-paying job. You lose many candidates when you don’t post any salary info.
Get more in our Guide for Hiring the Best Salespeople for Your Company
In our guide, we list additional mistakes companies make in job postings. The guide also provides remedies for these mistakes and advice on writing a winning ad.