Recruiting salespeople is a time-consuming and sometimes very difficult process. What’s more, there is no room for error! To help you in this tedious task, we offer you a complete guide to efficiently recruiting one or more sales representatives.
First, we will help you to frame your recruitment project, then to prepare and post your job offer. Then we will tell you how to process and follow up applications and, finally, how to evaluate candidates.
At the end of this guide, you will find a complete kit with various useful resources for conducting or delegating your recruitment:
- Framing the sales recruitment project
- Preparing your job offer
- Post the job offer
- Process & follow up on sales applications
- Assessing candidates
#1 – Framing the sales recruitment project
The key issues
Before writing and publishing a recruitment ad, it is imperative to ask yourself a number of questions:
- What profile are you looking for?
- What is its seniority? Junior, expert … ?
- What is its level of experience in the sector?
Definition of remuneration conditions
When setting remuneration conditions, there are several key criteria to be considered:
- Always ensure that you respect the salary balance in your company
- What is the split between fixed and variable pay?
- How is the variable calculated?
You need to establish a clear and unambiguous mechanism. Will they get commission based on turnover? Will there be bonuses based on turnover, gross margin or number of customers?
To help you in this task, here is a table of average salaries in the industry sector. As you can see, it varies depending on the position, but also on the level of seniority.
In addition to the average salaries in the industry, here is a projection of the cost of hiring sales people in a company:
Definition of the recruitment process / Division of tasks
During your recruitment process, it is important to divide the tasks to be as efficient as possible. Here are the different steps you can take:
- 1. The candidate applies via the Google Form indicated in the advertisement (don’t forget to add a redirection to the form for those who apply by email).
- 2. Jean analyses the applications received every day and selects the profiles to be interviewed
- 3. Jean conducts the first interview. At the end of the interview, he updates the candidate follow-up and notifies Nicolas.
- 4. Nicolas analyses the candidates who passed the first interview. He proposes a second interview to those he has selected.
- 5. Nicolas conducts the second interview and then updates the applicant follow-up.
- 6. Nicolas makes an offer to the successful candidate.
#2 – Preparing your job offer
Now that you’ve got your recruitment project in order, it’s time to start preparing your job offer.
Benchmark of job offers in your sector
Before you start writing your job advertisement, we strongly advise you to have a look at the different job offers from other companies for a similar position. This will help you find inspiration. To help you quickly identify relevant vacancies, we have produced a fairly comprehensive benchmark of sales jobs.
In order to identify the most relevant ads in your case, you have the possibility to filter the ads by seniority, sector, type of contract etc.
#3 – Post the job offer
Now that your job offer is ready, it is time to distribute it in the best possible way.
Choice of dissemination media
There are a number of ways to advertise your job offer:
- The best-known job portals such as LeBonCoin, Indeed, APEC, RegionsJob or Welcome to the Jungle.
- Directly on the Intranets of the best schools such as HEC, ESSEC, Science PO, Audencia etc.
- Facebook groups with thousands of members. We can mention French Startup, BONS PLANS # Jobs & Stages or Jobs in Paris.
- Finally, there are dozens of recruitment agencies that are there to make your job easier.
As you can see, the places where you can post your ad are diverse. You will find a file in which we have listed most of the websites, school intranets, Facebook groups, and recruitment agencies in the recruitment kit.
The art of delegating tasks
To delegate this tedious work, it is imperative that the process is well structured. To achieve this, here are some practical tips:
- 1. Maintain a document with a comprehensive list of job boards / business schools / Linkedin groups or other support.
- 2. Ask the junior to fill in a tab in the application tracking document with the list of sites/groups where the vacancy has been published. The date should be specified in each case, so that it is easy to identify those that need to be updated.
- 3. Use an email address such as [email protected] as a login to register on the platforms, and set up an automatic filter on emails arriving on that specific address to differentiate them from those arriving on your main email address
#4 – Process & follow up on sales applications
Now that your vacancy has been published, you will receive a large number of applications. You will need to process and follow up on them. Here’s how to do it:
1. Candidates fill in an application form
Instead of inviting candidates to send their CV and a possible cover letter to [email protected], invite them to fill in a form. There are two major advantages to this:
- All applications will be visible in a single Google Sheet / Excel table. The processing of applications is therefore much faster than by email.
- You can request specific information/ask specific questions in the form, making it a pre-qualification step.
In the complete kit available for download, we offer you an example application form in Google Form.
2. One person assesses the applications, and proposes a first interview
From the data collected in the initial application form, it is already possible to carry out a first level of sorting of the applications. One or two people in your company should be responsible for noting down the applications received every 2/3 days at most.
For all candidates deemed relevant, you can offer a first interview. Making appointments can be quite time consuming. By using tools to automate this step such as Mixmax or Calendly, you will save precious time.
The interviews can be carried out by different people, but the overall monitoring of the process should remain easy. To do this, we recommend that you use a standard interview grid for each level of interview, and invite the interviewer to copy the template into a new document where he/she will note his/her comments. The link to this document should then be put in the application tracking pile. A template for the interview grid is provided in the recruitment kit.
#5 – Assessing candidates
Distribute the objectives by interview
Depending on the position, you may consider breaking the process down into 1 to 3 interviews. Here is a fairly standard framework to inspire you:
- 1. The purpose of the first interview is to assess the general level of the candidate, and especially to exclude unsuitable profiles.
- 2. The second interview should enable you to assess the candidate’s skills on a few specific assignments. A situation or case study is a good way to get a good assessment.
- 3. The last interview will allow you to choose between 2 or 3 candidates. You will assess how they see themselves in the job, and their ability to integrate into your team & processes at this stage.
Prepare interview grids with standard questions
You are provided with an interview guide template, in which you can put pre-selected questions, or your own questions. This helps during the interview to ensure that you have covered all the competences you wish to assess.
This interview grid should help you to assess each candidate in a methodical way. Remember to put the link to the completed interview grid for each candidate in your application tracking. This will help you to remember the interviews and to judge the skills of each candidate (more) objectively.