When running a hiring process in sales, it is likely that the candidates you are interested in are also interviewing for other opportunities, or that they will be offered a counteroffer from their current organisation. In fact, most interview processes for sales talent have candidates who receive two or more offers from a variety of businesses.
So, how can you stand out to top talent when they are receiving multiple offers?
Hard to recruit roles in sales
As a seasoned sales organisation, or a new business operating a sales team, you will likely come across hard to recruit roles when you are recruiting to expand your sales team. One of the key roles that is difficult to recruit is:
Export sales manager
We recently worked with a client looking to appoint a French-speaking international sales manager based in the North, which is a very niche brief. The role required a headhunt search, advertising, and four months of work to secure the right candidate. By the time the decision had been made to make an offer, the selected candidate had three offers lined up all at a similar salary level.
High-calibre candidates at any level are in demand. The recruitment market is very active, and candidates move very quickly. It is difficult to hire these candidates without understating their motivators on why they are looking to leave their current business. Money is not always everything. This particular candidate ended up taking a lower offer due to the other benefits on offer; homeworking, more holidays, and family healthcare.
Five top tips: Winning over top sales talent
To help you secure the best talent, here are our top tips on winning over sales candidates in today’s market.
1. Understand their reasons for leaving
You must understand why the candidate is looking to secure a new role in the first place. There is normally more than one reason, but most commonly it is salary, flexibility, lack of progression, or their line manager. Once you fully understand why they are leaving, it is easier to overcome any objections when they have another offer. If a candidate feels they have a lack of progression and have two offers on the table, one with a clear progression structure and the other not – they will most likely take the one with clear progression, even if the salary is lower.
2. Move quickly throughout the entire process
It is crucial to move quickly throughout the whole interview process. This gives the candidate a positive outlook on the organisation and how you work as a business. If offered quickly and the opportunity is right, they will likely accept. However, if the process to offer is slow, this will leave a negative impression with the candidate, and if left too long they will no longer want to progress.
3. Sell the business during the interviews
Candidates buy into the people they meet during the interview process. The interview should be a two-way process and involve two-way questioning. Sell yourself and the business to each candidate you meet with. This makes the process easier if you do want to move to an offer as the candidate will know why you love the company, which will boost their buy-in to you and the business.
4. Highlight your benefits package
Sometimes you may not be able to offer the salary, bonus, or commission scheme that the candidate is looking for. However, a lot of clients can offer other appealing packages such as development, training, general benefits, and flexible working. These small additions will make a big difference to your offer and make the role more appealing to top talent. Be sure to highlight these throughout the interview process.
5. Add a personal touch to the process
A phone call from the line manager or the director of the team is a huge plus from a candidate perspective. If you are trying to secure a candidate against multiple offers, something as a simple 20-minute phone call will make all the difference and let the candidate know how invested you are in them.
If you are struggling to hire top talent, get in touch with one of our specialist sales recruiters to discuss your hiring needs. We have relationships with top talent across the UK who are looking for new opportunities.
Managing Consultant, Michael Page Sales