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In this section
Ten Essential Rules for Recruiting and Managing Salespeople
Recruiting and managing salespeople is a critical part of any successful organisation. Finding the right people to join your sales team and turning them into successful sales professionals isn't easy. Recruiting and managing sales staff is fraught with pitfalls. Still, with a clear strategy, careful planning, and thoughtful execution, you can mitigate these risks. This article will discuss the essential rules for recruiting and managing salespeople and how to ensure that your sales team is successful.
Rule #1: Define Your Ideal Salesperson
The first step is to define your ideal salesperson. You may think this is obvious, but few sales managers dedicate the required time to truly think about the qualities, skills, sales style, values, and experience required. Make sure to consider both the hard and soft skills necessary for success in the role. Once you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, you can begin the process of sourcing and recruiting.
Handy Tip: Defining a Person Specification
Rule #2: Source Candidates Thoughtfully
When it comes to sourcing candidates for your sales team, it's essential to be thorough and deliberate. There are many different sourcing methods, and it's important to consider the pros and cons of each option. Job boards and social media can be cost-effective but time-consuming. Using a recruitment agency will yield results, save you time but will be more expensive than advertising yourself. Make sure to consider each option's cost, time, and effectiveness before deciding on the best method for your organisation.
Handy Tip: How to Choose a Recruitment Agency
Rule #3: Create a Comprehensive Recruiting Process
Once you've sourced potential candidates, it's time to create a comprehensive recruiting process. This process should include multiple stages, including initial screening, interviews, assessments, and background checks. The goal of the recruiting process is to identify the best candidates for the role and ensure they are a good fit for the organisation.
Handy Tip: Recruitment Process Checklist
Rule #4: Develop an Onboarding Strategy
Once you've identified the best candidate for the role, it's important to have an effective onboarding strategy in place. This strategy should include a comprehensive orientation program, training, and ongoing support. Onboarding should be thoughtfully designed to ensure that new salespeople are set up for success in their roles.
Handy Tip: Devising a Successful Onboarding Process
Rule #5: Set Clear Expectations
IMO, the essential rule for managing salespeople is to set clear expectations from the outset. So often, we hear from candidates baffled as to why they have been released from their employment as they thought they were meeting the firm's expectations. The goalposts simply weren't defined, and they were kicking the ball in a direction that differed to the expectations of their sales manager.
Setting clear expectations means that you must be very specific about what you expect from each salesperson and how they should perform. This includes setting Key Performance Indicators, Milestones and Measures for the first 30/60 and 90 days and after that.
Handy Tip: Motivating Your Sales Team
Rule #6: Hold Regular Meetings
Make sure that everyone on the team understands exactly what their role is, what their job duties are, and what their goals are. Ensure all expectations are communicated in detail, everyone is on the same page, and there is a mechanism to track and measure. With new starters have a formal review meeting at the end of each week for at last three months. Thereafter, once successful habits and patterns are in place, formal review meetings can be less frequent.
Team meetings should also be held to review progress, discuss any challenges, and motivate the team. Have an agenda for each meeting and ensure everyone is aware of it. These meetings should be held at least once a week and focus on both the progress of the team and each individual salesperson. While modern management wisdom is, quite correctly, to manage 'individuals as individuals', competition in a sales team can be a healthy and powerful force.
Handy Tip: The Importance of Key Performance Indicators
Rule #7: Actively Ask How You Can Support Your Team
Your sales team needs to know that they can count on you for support. Be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and help them solve problems. Encourage them to take the initiative to ask for specific support and perhaps make it part of the agenda for their weekly review meeting. Empower them to come up with creative solutions but be there for them and ensure they have the resources and tools they need to succeed.
Handy Tip: Managing Remote and Hybrid Sales Teams
Rule #8: Provide Continuous Training and Development
Continuous training and development is essential for any successful sales team. Invest in sales training and development programs that will help your salespeople stay up to date with the latest techniques and strategies. Provide them with learning and development opportunities so that they can grow and develop their skills. Buy them books and reward them for listening to sales audiobooks en route to visiting clients. At least once per year, appoint an external sales trainer to focus on improving a particular development area. Ensure you have a mechanism to track and measure the improvements you have made. Carefully choose a sales methodology that suits your style and slowly formally implement this into your team for the long-term. Get your sales team to sell in the same style for a consistent customer experience.
Rule #9: Recognise and Reward Performance
Recognising and rewarding sales performance will help motivate your team to do their best. Make sure that you are giving out rewards for a job well done, whether in the form of bonuses, promotions, or public recognition.
Rule #10: Monitor Performance
You need to be able to monitor the performance of your sales team in order to identify any areas that need improvement. Set up systems and processes to track individual and team performance. Use this data to identify problems and areas where additional training or support may be needed. Modern CRM systems' gamify' sales data which encourages healthy competition in your sales team and also makes it fun!
Recruiting salespeople is a critical part of any successful organisation. It requires careful planning, thoughtful sourcing, and a comprehensive recruiting process. Managing sales staff is even harder but by following the rules outlined above, you can ensure that your team is successful and motivated to do their best.
By following these essential rules for recruiting and managing salespeople, you can ensure that you find the best people for your team and set them up for success.
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by Sam Childerley
About the author
Sam Childerley is a Business & Marketing professional who started his recruitment career in 2021. He is a specialist recruitment consultant, who operates across in the UK and is based out of our Milton Keynes Office. Sam is dedicated to helping job seekers and employers find the right fit for each other and believes that the best decisions within recruitment are made when both sides are happy. He is passionate about developing the best possible recruitment experience for everyone involved and is committed to providing the best advice and support to employers and job seekers alike.
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Our employers say...
I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
HR Business Partner, Greene King
Really good service. Just the right amount of contact and easy to deal with.
HR Manager, Zircon Software Ltd
Generally good standard of candidates. Especially liked the personality profile. Overall good value for money and will certainly use you again.
Managing Director, Medicash
Rob’s knowledge of the recruitment industry and his thoughts and how to make it better for his clients have always been eye opening. I would recommend Rob to anybody who is looking for a professional, knowledgeable and flexible recruitment specialist.
CEO, Friday Ad Online Services
As always we were extremely impressed with Rob's understanding of the role and our specific needs.
Managing Director, Speck & Burke
Very professional service and will certainly be in contact for future recruitment.
Director, Blakedown Sport & Play Ltd
Understood the type of person we were looking for and good follow ups - not too frequent.
Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
I can't fault Sam or AW! Sam was a pleasure to work with and provided great support from the start. Sam always provided me with timely updates when required and provided outstanding candidates!
Director, Waste Managed Ltd
I just wanted to thank you for your help with our recruitment process which went very smoothly and has – we hope – found us just the person for the job!
Managing Director, Citrefine International Ltd
I really liked the YouTube presentations which made the service seem both simple and accessible. The company came to see me, and my management team, at short notice to present their service and I liked the support and advice that I received about maximising the results from the applicant.
Managing Director, Leisuresec plc
Aaron Wallis has continuously provided us with suitable candidates that have been proactively sourced. Having used countless recruitment companies, Aaron Wallis are the only company that I can count on to deliver.
Managing Director, JARK Healthcare Recruitment
George is a joy to work with, and I'd recommend him to anyone seeking that unicorn hire - he found me mine, and I'm delighted!
Director, Education Support
Since joining DSGi, Rob has been a supplier of permanent staff and has performed to an extremely high standard, successfully filling 98% of roles he has worked on. If anyone is looking for a good sales and marketing based consultancy with an informal yet professional approach, I would recommend Rob.
Senior Recruitment Consultant, DSG International
In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
I could not suggest anything I would like you to do better. The service you provided materially exceeded my expectations. I would especially like to commend Simon Bonner; he is easily the best recruitment consultant I have ever dealt with. I particularly valued his advice and guidance throughout the recruitment process.
UK Sales Manager, BTS Holdings Limited
We appointed Aaron Wallis in February and the successful candidate, out of the six which Aaron Wallis introduced, was able to join Alphametrics before the end of April. The whole process took less than three months. I would recommend Aaron Wallis' services to others without hesitation.
Chief Financial Officer, Alphametrics
Thank you for your dedicated help during the recruitment process - we came to you after unsuccessfully searching elsewhere, and hired, not one, but two! Quick response times, and a really personal approach, without being pushy.
Managing Director, Accora Ltd
I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
HR Assistant, Fischer Connectors Ltd
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
UK Sales Manager, Nexcom
I have always found Rob to be very knowledgeable about our industry sector, and it is refreshing to see after all of these years that Rob continues to quickly and accurately understand my requirements.
HR and General Manager, THK
George came recommended by a colleague and has been a pleasure to work with. He was great at updating us on his progress and ensured a great experience for both client and candidate.
HR Manager, Annapurna Recruitment Ltd
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
Sales Director, Inside Business
Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
Marketing Director, City of London Police
Sophie did a great job at understanding our business and our needs, she is extremely professional and we hugely benefitted from her experience and expertise.
HR Manager, The Data Privacy Group Ltd
George is a rare find in the world of recruitment - communicative without being pushy or over-bearing. He listens and understands what the customer needs as gets to know the business to ensure he provides fully competent candidates who fit.
HR Manager, Big Dug
We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
Commercial Director, Incentive Facilities Management
Our candidates say...
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
Excellent service, very professional and friendly, would and have, recommended Aaron Wallis.
E. Heley, Candidate
Very polite and friendly and was very helpful finding me my next new role.
K. Craggs, Candidate
When talking with Simon you felt relaxed cared to help you find a position that suited your needs
D. Pinder, Candidate
I would highly recommend thank you to Darren for helping me secure my new job role! Excellent service all round!
G. Thompson, Candidate
Managed to get me placed within a week! Really friendly and easy to deal with. Always available for a call and my biggest challenge was I was in work at the time I was looking for my next opportunity (which is stressful) but Sam made that easy.
P. Fitzsimons, Candidate
I had a great experience. Helped me every step of the way to get my new job. Sophie was very polite, kind and helpful!
J. Parnham, Candidate
Sam was by far the most professional and helpful of any individual I've ever dealt with through a recruitment agency. He was supportive and thorough throughout the process. He definitely goes the extra mile for you. A pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend him. An asset to Aaron Wallis
M. Wyer, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
M. White, Candidate
I had a very good experience with Aaron Wallis. The company itself is offering great content for all things related to the hiring process. I definitely recommend.
J. Ostermeier, Candidate
Rob was really helpful when I was putting together a presentation for the second stage interview. Overall their communication was great and kept me updated of any progress
J. McGrattan, Candidate
Perfect from start to finish. Simon deserves a shout out. Best recruiter there is. If you need a job, this guy will get you one. He's like the super man of recruiters. Top man, can't recommend him enough.
M. Crisp, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
I have to say using Aaron Wallis Recruitment has been nothing but an absolute pleasure. I've used many agencies over the years as the client and the candidate and its not always been a pleasurable experience!
L. Knowles, Candidate
Sophie contacted me about a role explained the details clearly and made sure I was ready for the interview. She kept in touch every step of the way till I started the job. Thank you Sophie for a great experience.
S. Powell, Candidate
Darren at Aaron Wallis was really encouraging and helpful. He was very responsive and regularly made phone calls to explain the job opportunities available, and guided me through the application process.
A. Brown, Candidate
Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
K. Everitt, Candidate
The staff at Aaron Wallis were fantastic. Throughout the process, they maintained excellent communication and I always knew where I stood.
M. Owusu, Candidate
The detail put into the preparation for interviews and the detail of the job description was first class. Rob and Simon in particular are amongst the best I've ever dealt with.
K. Peacock, Candidate
The Recruitment agent I used, Simon, was extremely helpful and really went the extra mile to ensure all of my questions were answered, and that I felt as comfortable and prepared as possible. Very professional company and would definitely recommend to others. Thank you Aaron Wallis!
A. Callaby, Candidate
Sophie helped me secure a new role I have been searching for. She took her time to explain clear and concisely all I needed to succeed at the interview stage. Thanks again Sophie!
O. Oladejo, Candidate
Friendly, proactive, communicative. Overall a really positive experience.
R. Houston, Candidate
George is a fantastic recruitment agent and provides a great service. It was a pleasure I thoroughly recommend George to anyone.
C. Beaugie, Candidate
George Humphries was a complete professional at every point, from our first phone conversation to his “good luck tomorrow” text on Sunday before I started in my new role.
E. Fry, Candidate
Wanted to say a huge thank you to Simon Bonner who has just helped me secure my new role. He was one of the most professional recruiters I have ever worked with he was supportive really quick at replying and really put me at ease.
J. Marcinkiewicz, Candidate
Simon was knowledgeable on his clients history, background and what their requirements were and he worked around time zones, holidays and a pandemic to get the right result.
J. Tooze, Candidate
I had the absolute pleasure of working with George Humphries on finding a placement best suitable for me.
A. Van Der Mescht, Candidate
Fantastic service, helped me find my ideal job quickly and smoothly. Would highly recommend them.
C. Caine, Candidate
Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
R. Buckley, Candidate
Less than two weeks after joining Aaron Wallis I was offered my new job. I got a £10,000 rise in my basic salary, car allowance, a laptop and many other perks, which will help to further my career. I definitely would not have found my dream job without the help of Aaron Wallis.
C. Hoy, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
D. Burgess, Candidate
The most professional recruitment agency I've ever worked with. Robert Scott was extremely proactive and send me a detailed briefing before each interview, ensuring I was well prepared.
D. Bermant, Candidate
For anyone looking for work, I can't recommend Aaron Wallis highly enough.
C. Rockliffe, Candidate
Sophie has been fantastic and always so attentive, highly recommend.
T. Ashbourne, Candidate
Good swift process with Aaron Wallis, informative regarding the role and the process was moved at a good pace with healthy interaction. Would recommend them to anyone pursuing a change.
S. Bartlett, Candidate
Excellent experience. Knowledgeable staff and really went the extra mile. Found my ideal position and I couldn't be happier. Special shout out to Sam and George: who made the process smooth and easy for me. Highly recommend.
K. Pearce, Candidate
Very good advice and support was given during the course of the interviewing process. Potential job seekers would be well advised to use this company whilst looking for their new career.
R. Speakman, Candidate
The service provided by Aaron Wallis has been just great. I was constantly informed about what was going on with the process interview and the agent has always been supportive and kind to me.
L. Colagrossi, Candidate
Professional and responsive from start to finish. I would highly recommend. Special thanks to Sophie J for her help and support throughout.
N. Leney, Candidate
I can honestly say that the time and expertise you gave me was way beyond any other recruitment consultant I dealt with. You are a rarity in your industry.
S. Akers, Candidate
I would highly recommend Aaron Wallis Recruitment, Darren was extremely helpful and provided me with plenty of advice and support throughout the whole process.
D. Bretherton, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
George above and beyond to make sure I had everything I need to secure my new role. Outstanding Professional.
A. Kirkland, Candidate