I thought I’d take the opportunity in the first blog post of our new format newsletter to introduce you to my forthcoming book “The non-stop recruiter – how to hire the best tech sales talent in any market and any company”. It should be out just after Easter.
As I approach my 20th year in the game, it has never ceased to amaze me how little resource and effort is made in refining recruitment processes and techniques in sales environments within the technology industry. We live in a world where we all play for enormous stakes on a day to day basis, and the way in which we manage the key determinants of our success is so seldom an area of formal study or thought. I could go to any business school in the world and learn about marketing and porters five forces, but heaven forbid I should ask for an academic course in sales or sales management with perhaps a module on successful hiring.
I’d like to share two anecdotes with you. The first is a conversation I had a while ago with a client of mine who had tremendous experience as a Sales Manager and Director and had hired countless salespeople in his career. Having known each other a while since the early days of my own career, he confided his nervousness of the sales recruitment campaign ahead. “If I get this one wrong Jonathan, I’m the idiot who hired the idiot, and if I get it right it’s the difference between a holiday in Benidorm and a holiday Barbados”.
An old mentor of mine once said that a good salesman only really needs to make 5 big sales in his career. They are the sales he makes when selling his own services to the right companies that offer him a winning environment – all the other deals are just the stuff he does on a day to day basis. I’d like to extend that point by saying that a good Sales Manager or Director probably only needs to make 25-50 key hiring decisions during his sales management career and they are the people that he brings in who will make him appear a success.
We make a handful of decisions and carry out a small number of recruitment campaigns that mark the difference between a good and a bad career in management yet there is so little immediately usable science behind the successful enablement of such mission-critical activities.
As we sit here in February 2016, the market for sales talent in the industry has become brutally competitive and candidate driven. There is a war out there. Just because as a prospective client you receive 2 to 3 calls from recruitment consultancies per day you should not assume that the candidates that you are trying to attract for your company aren’t receiving 7 to 8 calls per day from different recruitment consultancies.
We are now officially in a vicious talent war, and the battle for 2016 sales figures will be fought in the interview rooms of the recruitment consultancies that you elect to deal with, not the meeting rooms of your customers. You are fighting your competitors for the best salespeople in your sector, and the fight is way beyond price driven.
In the months to come, I’ll let you in on the insider tips and tricks that differentiate a company to a prospective sales or pre-sales professional. I hope you keep reading and watching the video blog.
See you next month.