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Sales Talent War: How To Compete Against Big Companies

How do you, as a smaller or mid-size company compete for sales talent? Listen to this webinar from Glassdoor and Rob Jeppsen, SVP of Sales at HireVue.

Rob Jeppsen, sales talent

Rob Jeppsen

SVP of Sales, HireVue

Glassdoor, one of the most respected authorities on talent, in collaboration with HireVue's Rob Jeppsen, discuss the sales talent wars and how to specifically compete agains bigger companies. Listen to this if:

  • You are a small or mid-sized company in search for sales talent.
  • You have sales talent, but struggle to keep them engaged.
  • How to compete for sales talent and steal them away from much bigger companies.

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Lauren: Good morning and afternoon to everyone who's joined us for today's webinar “How to Compete for Sales Talent Against Better Paying Companies”. My name is Lauren McNiff and I will be the moderator and co-presenter for today's webinar. Thank you so much for joining us.

Before we dive in to today's content, we just have a few webinar tips. You can dial in using your computer mic and speakers for hands free audio. You will be muted throughout the entire session, but we do encourage you to type in any questions you may have at any time into the questions box on the GoToWebinar console and we'll be getting to all your questions at the end of today's webinar.

As I mentioned, my name is Lauren McNiff and I'm the Senior Programs Manager at Glassdoor. I'm joined today my colleague and Employer Communications Manager Lisa Holden. For the better part of a decade, Lisa has been helping employers to develop their employer branding strategy. Thanks so much for joining us, Lisa.

Lisa: Thanks, Lauren.

Lauren: We're both pleased to introduce our special guest and other co presenter, Rob Jeppsen who's the General Manger and SVP of sales at HireVue. Rob has worked in both public and private organizations to successfully lead sales teams and the technology and financial sectors. Glad you can join us today, Rob.

Rob: Really excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Lauren: So we've got a lot of great stuff to cover during today's webinar including a quick look at the supply and demand of sales talent across the United States. We're going to cover things to consider when developing your sales recruitment plan and of course share some of our best practices and Rob's great tips for recruiting and retaining these in demand professionals. Of course we'll finish with some Q&A at the end of the webinar.

To live tweet anything from today's session, please share using the #GDChat. Now without further ado, let’s dive into today's topic of recruiting these in demand sales professionals.

Using Glassdoor jobs data, we identified that there are close to 70,000 open sales positions across the United States, making competition to attract quality hires more critical than ever. Even more difficult is making sure you get the right candidates in the door as the cost of bad hire can be a lot more than you bargained for. Rob, in your experience how detrimental is it to hire the wrong candidate?

Rob: That's a super important question. In the sales world, the kind generally accepted number is... the cost of a bad hire is equivalent to about one year's quota. A lot of times, sales leaders are going to fall into a trap of hey I have these open territories; I’ve just got to get someone there. Someone is better than no one, and the studies have shown that that's not necessarily the case and it’s a trap that's really, really easy to fall into, and that's why the topic today is so important. The stakes are really, really high. We're talking about one of the most important challenges any organization can be looking at and trying to solve.

Lauren: Great. Absolutely. What do you need to know knowing that the competition is steep and it's critical to get the right person in the door? What you need to know — you need to know what motivates these professionals to even explore other opportunities. You need to know who your competition is and where your competition is located. I'm going to toss it over to Lisa now to answer a few of these key questions.

Lisa: Thanks, Lauren. One of the things that we’re always trying to do here at Glassdoor is take advantage of all the data that we sit on. We get so much feedback from job seekers and folks visiting our site. We have about 30 million members here at Glassdoor that are all trying to research companies and make smarter decisions about where to work, and so we did an interesting thing with some of the sales professionals that are members of Glassdoor. We surveyed them to find out specifically how to recruit them. What are they interested in? What will actually cause them to leave a job, and what we need to know as recruiters to better attract this talent?

The first and most poignant thing we found was that 68% of sales professionals plan to look for a job in the next year. So this is a group that's constantly on the move and more importantly, constantly on the lookout for other opportunities, where can they get a better bigger deal. So turnover is inevitable, but it's important to understand why these individuals are looking to jump ship. So I have a quick poll for you. The question is what do you think the top reason is that people actually leave sales jobs? This is a real question from our poll. We asked this of a few thousand sales professionals, and the results are in front of you.

All right, it looks like we are getting a lot of dislikes for leadership and management. A lot of company culture and upward mobility seems tied. Upward mobility is going up. All right, let’s see the results. Okay, salary competition, looks like leadership management is in the lead. All right, and many of you will not be surprised. Salary and compensation actually ended up being the number one reason that people would leave a job, but I want to point out the things that follow that very closely.

So while 72% said that they would leave for salary, 65% — nearly the same amount — said career growth opportunities were almost equally important; followed by company culture, also huge for 48%; and relationship with manager and senior leadership also coming in hot. So really, what we are seeing here is that yes people will always value their salary. Money is what makes the world go round and it's essential for any professional in any job, but following that are these elements that you really can control at your own company or at least have an influence on if you cared. So how can you make career growth opportunities better at your organization? How can you influence company culture? These are questions you should be asking yourself as an organization that is committed to recruiting top sales talent and keeping them satisfied.

All right, so beyond what you can do inside your own organization, there's also this element of external factors. Who and where is your competition? Who else is offering more money, better perks, maybe better culture than you? So I want to point to a study that our Chief Economist Andrew Chamberlain recently put together that identified the highest paying cities and companies for sales professionals. So he essentially again reviewed all of the data on Glassdoor to determine where these kind of key players are operating.

In that, he found that we're recruiting a tight… the cities with the highest number of job openings are places like New York City with Chicago and Los Angeles. So these high key metro areas is no surprise; they’re churning of sales talent and hiring very quickly. So if you're recruiting in those key areas, know that you are in the top echelon for competition. We also looked at how employers should pay by city, and I think this map is really interesting. If you're not able to pay in the upper echelon, here's where you're going to have most trouble with that: places like San José, California; San Francisco, California. Again, rent is high here, people pay a lot of money for sales pros. Boston, Massachusetts is another high one.

So if you're thinking about how to allocate your resources and funds, where you put that money depending on where you are physically located will make a major difference. If you're interested in the methodology on this report, you can always visit the Glassdoor bog and search highest paying companies for sales, highest paying locations for sales. We can also send it to you following this webinar.

The other thing that our chief economist looked at is who is handing out the biggest pay check? Which companies across the board are shelling out the most cash for the highest talent they can get? The employers leading the way are SAP, CISCO and CA Technologies, and so as you're looking at this list and thinking about who you compete with for talent maybe based on location or other factors, also think about the companies that you compete with for product, or what you sell are likely going to be companies that you are competing with for sales talent. That's the experience arena that they have. Keeping this in mind these are the companies that are offering the biggest paycheck. Okay, you can't offer the biggest paycheck, what can you offer?

Lauren: Thank you, Lisa. And just a quick reminder to everyone in the audience, we will be sending soft copies of both these research reports so you'll have them in your back pocket following the webinar. So now, knowing a bit more about the competition and what motivates these sales professionals, let's shift gears and discuss some of the specific ways you can actively compete for this sales talent and build a sales organization that will keep them engaged and keep them employed. To start, we just have another audience poll.

So what do you think is the number one factor that leaves sales employees even decide to stay with an organization? What makes it sticky for them? So we'll take just a few minute here and see the responses that we are getting. Great. We're seeing a lot about define promotional path and growth opportunities, close second with content with salary and compensation they're getting, a few for enjoying the company culture. We have just one minute here. Let's see what we get. All right, let's share this. Looks like define promotional path and growth opportunities was the number one by far. Rob, how does this line up with your experience leading sales teams?

Rob: I'm not even a little bit surprised. These numbers are dead-on with all the other studies that I've participated in and read. What this means is we have a really well-rounded group, and that the people participating in this webinar are looking at real challenges rather than hypothetical challenges. A study that people on the webinar might find interesting is in a recent study, 21% of sales people said they would rather get a new boss than a raise. That they liked the company but that they just did not like who they worked for, and that's so telling. We're moving into how do we find, how do we attract, how do we retain the best sales talent because what we ultimately want to do as sales leaders is we want create the world's sales organizations.

There are five things that we're going to talk about throughout the rest of this. We'll take them through in a structured way. I think you are going to like this because number one all the way to number five are completely under your control. It's not going to be a matter of how much investment you have from investors, it's not how big your budget is, it's none of those things. It's how committed are you to raising your bar as a sales leader. This chart that you see here is from one of our partners that you're probably well familiar with, CEB, Corporate Executive Board. They have recently released a challenger sales and a number of studies on sales coaching. This one is really interesting because a lot of people think that we can help develop talent just through training. If you look on the side, you'll see that training alone will only get you a small lift, and what's even scarier about it is 85% of your training investment in a sales person is reported as generally being gone within 30 days. It's a real scary situation, and that's why coaching is so important.

So tip one I'd like to give you, and the way that you can remember this real easy is coaching is king. Okay. If there's one thing you take away from today: coaching is king. Your ability to drive the development of your team is going to come from not just how great they are, it's how great can you coach them and lead them. What I like about that is you're completely in charge of what your coaching culture is like in your organization. It's something that you can fix and change maybe quicker than you think it really comes down to how committed are you to it. I've learned a long time ago that when you get to a group of finalists for a sales job, you’re at the top three position, they probably are all really qualified. They all have your basics, they probably have the right degree, maybe some different varies of experience. They have different skills they bring but they all have met your minimums.

If you look at the variance in those, you feel like you're struggling sometimes picking which one, and what that means is who you hire isn't necessarily the variable and that may surprise you. The real variable is what do you do with them once you get them in your culture? Do you have a well-defined system like how you're going to help them win? The way I like to call it is do you know what awesome looks like? Can you model awesomeness? And if you can show them what awesome looks like, you have a really good opportunity to help them not just hit the ground running fast — and the stakes are high; we're going to talk about the stakes later — but ultimately what we want to do is we want to have them feel like hey I'm so much better here than I could have been anywhere else, that what I'm going to be, and where I'll be at the end of my time here, I'll be a far more successful, far more valuable sales rep because of the things I've learned. So that's actually numbers one and two.

One is your coaching cadence, can you show what awesome looks like, but the second one is do you have mentors? Now one of the things that showed up in the poll was do we have clearly defined career paths and that's not unusual. As the work force changes and people become more concerned about where they go and how fast they get there, they want to know what that looks like. That's part of what awesome looks like, and that's why creating internal mentors is such a great strategy. People like that, they want... we all know that people don't work for companies; they work for people. If we can invest in not just coaching but also the mentoring side of things… and the real question is do you have mentors that matter? Do you have mentors that are worth working with and learning from? Now that's a great question to look at and write down and say how do I create better mentors inside my organization?

You will find that what that does is it will create the situation where you can have a growth company opportunity where they’re going to get introduced to things that they might have never been introduced to for a long time, but you have this mature company feel because now I'm going get introduced to things that I would have had to go through a long time of politics and waiting my turn. When we have this great setting of people that are ambitious and aggressive, my experience is find ways to tap into that rather than tamper that. I always say tap in before you tamper.

Now look at what happens if you look at this. This is also from CEB. This is from a study that they did, “The Anatomy of a World Class Sales Organization”. My advice to you is if you haven't read this, get your hands on it. CEB is happy to share this. It's a great conversation. If you look at what happens with intent to stay with the company, that's what this chart is. For every band, from my star performers all the way down to my low performers and everything in between. Intent to stay with the company is driven primarily by how well they feel their sales coaching works.

Now this is a huge, huge deal. Building a sales coaching program is something that everybody is talking about. I speak a lot of events and the number one topic I'm asked to speak on is how do you build a sales coaching strategy? And you’ve already heard me say you’ve got to be able to show what awesome looks like. Well, if you can do it, look at what happens. Your stars that you’ve got hold . . .

Lauren: I love this . . .

Rob: I'm sorry.

Lisa: I love this chart that you’re showing right now because so many people think that the idea of coaching or the idea of culture is maybe fluffy or tied to what an ideal company should be like, but this chart is literally showing the impact this has on your bottom line. Like these are people who are exceeding your expectations and these are the people who are dropping below that and making you money or not making you money based on how coached they feel and how embraced they are by the company. So the is a really powerful image. I'm glad you're sharing it.

Rob: Thank you for the comment because the thing that I hope everybody on this webinar takes away right now is your coaching is 100% up to you. You don't need big budgets to become world class coaches. Here's what I’ve found: world class coaches develop world class teams. They don't hire world class teams; they develop world class teams. So that should be one of the things that we're in search of. We talked about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In business I say the pursuit of awesomeness. So let's be in the pursuit of awesomeness and coaching, and what you'll find is you will benefit from this. So I'm passionate about this. I'm going to throw it back to you on this, but these are some of those key things that we’ve really got to drive because you can do this quicker than you think. It's not as hard to do as you think.

This is another one. These are three of my tips. When you get sales people in and you have coached them and gotten mentoring together, now what you want to do is make a growth story. One of the things I have learned is you want to hire people that are growth minded. Now, think about that. That means that you change how you interview a little bit because you want to find people that are looking to grow and develop. Yeah, we want to make sure that they can contribute, but I also want to find someone that’s growth minded because if you can do that, three of the things that you can lump into this strategy is okay, well, I want to create growth for you. In upside on what you can gain long term not just necessarily your paycheck is, but if you're willing to contribute, look at what the growth opportunity is for you financially long term.

The next thing I like to really focus on is what kind of experiences do you want to be able to have? And then as a leader and as a coach, I can match them to those but I'll tell you what. If you can have a growth company experience that you match with a mature company feel, you can have really good success retaining people. And I have a good example of that. I had a friend that took the corporate job to start and I wanted to go the growth company way and it's true. I got introduced... I had to learn to negotiate with large organizations quicker. There are all kinds of experience that looks at that. If I'm talking about baseball, I'd go from seeing a 50-mile-an-hour fast ball and never seen a curve ball to seeing a 90-mile-an-hour fast ball, and nasty curve balls fast, and I have to learn how to deal with that. It’s what drove my career and I love finding people that are wanting to have their experience be fast tracked.

And then the last thing that we can help them understand is, "We’re going really introduce you if you have this experience the people that will be powerful for you to have in your network." Now I'm not talking about just networking events; I'm talking about the people you do business with. My definition of networking is real simple. It’s am I creating relationships I can count on before I need them? If you just reach out to someone when you need them, it's hard to have them be someone that you can count on. You want to have people realize I'm going to give you the opportunity to be introduced to relationships that are important to have, and you're going to develop a relationship with them before you need them, and you'll see all of these things show up. What that’s going to do, it’s going to go right back to the beginning. It’s going to allow me to coach you on different things. It's going to give you different sources of mentoring. Your confidence jumps really fast, which is maybe one of the most important things for a sales person to feel like when they work with you, is if you can kind of get a flavor of what their confidence looks like. Those are the people that don't want leave and you can see the rest.

It becomes this really interesting cycle that really the driver of it goes back to number one. If you are coaching and you're tapped in to where they want to go and you help them get there, you're that person that they want work for, which is probably more important than the organization they want to work for and it always brings it back to say look in the mirror, which person are you? Become that person and you will find your ability to attract and retain changes quickly.

Lisa: And just to add to that point, Rob, when you think about... Okay, this all sounds really ideal. It sounds like a great workplace. If I had the [inaudible 00:21:40] and the bandwidth to coach all of my people and get them in front of the right people to network with and all that, that will be really great in an idealistic sense. But when you actually look at the data of the sales professionals that we survey, they are craving this. They want that support from a company so much, and a company that can truly appreciate the value of this and offer these sales professionals this kind of environment is the company that's going to hang on to these talented professionals and not be losing a year worth of quota by hiring people that leave after six months.

So when we look at the data, 68% are more likely to apply to a company that a friend recommended that they get that kind of sign off from someone that they know. Forty-five percent hear about opportunities from coworkers; this is a group of people that like to talk. They like to make relationships that's valuable to them in their professional life and naturally come to them in their personal life. So these are people who are getting feedback from others before they make a decision. Thirty-five percent — it’s no surprise here — hear about opportunities on social media, and another 22% go to networking events. Sales professionals are talkers and they're communicators and they always have one ear to the ground listening for what the next available opportunity is, which leads us to an important tip.

Something I want to emphasize here in this webinar is the importance of transparency. So when you're recruiting a sales professional, we found that 76% of them highly value when a recruiter is transparent about both the pros and the cons of an organization. Don't insult a sales professional’s intelligence. These are communicators who know how to search for a company online. They are living in a highly digital world. If you tell them that everything is rainbows and unicorns at your organization, that simply sounds fake to these people. They want to be in the know and be prepared and have their expectations managed along the way. So don't be afraid of telling a sales professional, “Listen. We don't pay as much as SAP or another company on that list. But what you will get from this organization is the opportunity for growth quickly and effectively and a really rich culture that emphasizes your growth and supports you along the way.”

So coming to a conversation when you are recruiting a sales professional with that element of transparency is really going to set you apart from an organization that says, “Here's the big paycheck we are offering, case closed. Take it or leave it.”

The other thing I want to emphasize too is salary is always going to be important. Pay fairly but focus on the benefit. So when we surveyed sales professionals, they're always going to say money is important, but we really found that money can be beat. Money is not the only thing. What sales professionals are selling and where they’re selling it matters a lot. We found that 78% would accept less money to work at a company selling something compelling. So think about that for a minute. Seventy-eight percent of people want to believe in the product that they're selling. They want to feel excited about coming to work every day, and that just reemphasizes the importance of culture, the importance of setting a mission that all of your employees can get behind. When you focus on the product, focus on what you are selling and why, you create this environment where people feel excited to come to work every day, and genuinely want to sell this product because they believe it helps people in some way.

Rob: I can't echo that enough. I just can't endorse that study enough. That's why I said one of my tips of growth and where you’re helping drive things, the best sales people want to help... they want to contribute to getting some place. They don't want to just do what they’re told, tap in, don't tamper that assertiveness. I'm sorry I just love this chart. I can't endorse that enough.

Lisa: Well, it's funny that you say that too because when were actually in the development phase for this survey, we were like, “Okay, what can we ask to get beyond the paycheck?” What will people actually accept less money for? And we were like do people care what they're selling and we kind of talked about it as a group of PR professionals and we were like of course they do. When I’m coming to work every day as a PR person, I'm really excited about the story I'm telling and I'm selling it in that way. For us, it was just such a no-brainer to include because everyone is working towards something and you might as well find out if people care about they're working towards. And it turns out that just like in PR, sales professionals really care about that.

The other factor that rated almost as highly at 71% was great culture. We put great culture in there on purpose; that's intentional. We know people care about culture, but if you can identify a company that truly has a great culture that really stands above the rest like will you take less money for that, 71% of people will actually take a reduced pay cut to work at a company that makes them feel happy when they walk in the door, to work with people that they like, to have a culture that embraces them and helps them succeed. So if you can't offer a paycheck in the upper echelon, but you can offer a great product that people can stand behind and a culture that supports people and standing behind it, you can get ahead of some of these companies paying the most.

Rob: In fact I want to echo one thing. You can sometimes find those people that pay the most. I found that sometimes people feel like they've sold out, and they’re like, “What have I done? The paycheck is good but I can't stand...” Those are great conversations to have early in the recruiting process. I agree dead-on.

Lisa: Totally, and as an employer don't be afraid to ask those questions. When someone is leaving, it might feel awkward to say like, "Okay. Well, what didn't you like about it?" In some of those exit interview questions you sort of breeze by as quickly as you can to just get them out of your office so you can go find a replacement, but getting to the nitty-gritty and hearing someone actually say, “This culture is hard for me,” that's such tangible data. You can actually do something with that. If you get a couple of people saying that, that's something you can bring to your higher up and go, “We have a problem here and everyone is citing communication among leadership. How can we fix this? How can we address this?” So don't be afraid of asking the question “Are we doing okay?” in this area and even asking it before people leave. Having a feedback rich environment can keep you from getting into a lot of these problems in the first place.

Rob: I think you are right. Too often we only find things in the exit interview and then it's too late.

Lisa: Way too late.

Lauren: Great. Moving on to our fourth tip in this series, one thing we wanted to bring to our attention, we did some other research recently and learned that close to 3 million graduates have already graduated or will throughout the 2015 school year. When you just think about that on the scale, that is so many great candidates that are highly engaged that are educated that are eager to join the workforce and contribute and grow their careers. And what about diving into this great candidate pool for your first sales hire? We go back to some of the points Rob made earlier about coaching and training and mentoring, it's really building and fostering that talent seem like a really great place to start.

Another thing to think about with these graduates is yes they might not have all the experience of a veteran sales rep who has been doing this for 20 years and can talk the talk and walk the talk, but they have qualities that might be great for your sales organization. They might be easier to train, more adaptable to change, more willing to get their feet wet and their hands dirty and truly learn and build their network.

Rob: I want to comment on that. I think you're exactly right. The number one skill that has been associated with success for sales people is their adaptability. The only thing you’ve got to worry about when you hire someone with a lot of experience, there's truth to the problem in teaching an old dog a new trick. I am that old dog now, I think, after 20 years of doing this, and I’m super sensitive that I'd better be learning new tricks. I don't think all of them think that way. When you hire a rookie, I don't think you want to have a team of rookies necessarily, but you don't mind having some because they will value the growth and the experience, and the mentoring and the coaching maybe more than anybody else. And they don't know what they can’t do. So maybe they can show you things you've never thought of. I think it's a good move.

Lisa: Absolutely. I completely agree, and I think that going back to your point of being constantly in the pursuit of awesome, when you're hiring a rookie, this is someone who doesn't have a lot of experience elsewhere. They’re very curious about a work environment in general and very adaptable to your idea of awesome. So these are people that you can bring in, train for yourself, really take advantage of that element of coaching that sets someone else up for success and really teach them what your company’s version of awesome is, which integrates them fully into the culture and gets them on board with your mission which we know is so important for success, especially among sales professionals. And which leads me to our last slide which is the importance of advertising your jobs online.

While this might seem like a no-brainer, if you're trying to hire rookies or people in the millennial generation, if you’re trying to hire people in other locations, if you do not have your job opportunities advertised on online sites, you will not be successful. I can say that matter-of-factly at this point. People look for jobs online, and if you don't have a strategy in place not only to advertise your jobs but include social elements, make sure that you're showcasing your jobs not only on your first site, but other sites and you're linking intelligently to those advertisements, you're going to have a rough road ahead.

Lauren: Great. At this point, we've concluded all the great content we wanted to share with you today. So we want to open it up to our audience. What questions do you have? What other tips do you want us to go over, any comments? What we're going to do here is give everyone a few moments to enter their questions, and I want turn it back over to Lisa and Rob. Any last minute thoughts to share with the audience, anything that we didn't cover that you think would be useful for our audience to consider when they go out and actively try to recruit and retain these individuals?

Lisa: Sure. I'll go first. I think that the biggest thing that we're trying to get at here is that not everyone can offer the biggest paycheck, but what are all the other things that you can offer. So we went over things like the importance of culture and the importance of coaching, the importance of putting someone in the position of being able to grow their career quickly and effectively, and all of this goes back to effort. So whether you're the employer in the position of actually recruiting the candidate or the employer in the position of training, leading, managing that first thing once they start their career, it all goes back to how much effort you're willing to invest in the individual and the group that you manage as a whole. If you come into that environment thinking they're getting paid, they'll do their job, you're really missing out on an opportunity to get the most out of these people and support them and make them feel satisfied in their jobs, which directly affects your bottom line and how much you can actually get out of these folks from a sales perspective.

Rob: I think what I’m about to say is going to be… I agree to what you just said. You said it really articulate. I think it was dead-on. Here's what I think, how I would summarize it. As sales leaders and leaders in our organization, we need to have a pre well thought out strategy, how we build and coach the world's greatest teams, okay? And I think that that starts with you saying, “I want build the world’s greatest team, not just hire the world's greatest team.” So just like a sales person… any decent sales person has probably been taught, it’s not… I need to be able to... when I talk to a customer I need to know my points of difference are. I need to know how I'm different in the market place, what makes our organization solution unique. I think that as you hire teammates, you need to be able to be articulate what makes your organization unique.

So what you said — how we are going to help you grow and develop? My question to you as you’re having these meetings and as you're building your company up, do you know your points of difference? Do you know how to find out? There are only two ways to be valuable. You can solve a problem someone cares about or you can achieve a result that someone cares about. The most important thing is that you know what they care about. Then you can start matching these and some other tips to not just how you build, but how do you coach on an ongoing basis? When you hire them, if you know what awesome looks like in six months, in a year, in six years, you can help them get there. And if they have a well thought out and discussed plan that you didn't just talk about when you recruited them, but from day one when they sat in your office, they're talking with you about how are you going to help them grow and develop and get somewhere that they couldn't have got? Your job is to get them some place faster than they could have gotten on their own.

And if you're having that conversation, then they have that clarity. I left on the poll, clear progression of where I go is important. Well, make that part of what you talk about in your one-on-ones that you have with them. If you're not having one-on-ones, you need to. At the end of the day, what I would finish with is what you invest and what you do with the team is the catalyst. I believe that the list of finalist are so close they are just splitting hairs. The real catalyst would be his coaching team, and are you all in on creating the world's greatest team instead of just hoping that you get it? Because last I checked, hope is not a strategy.

Lauren: Thank you so much, and thank you to everyone who's been submitting some really awesome questions. To start, we've seen a few come in about copies of the webinar and the materials that we’ve shared. Just a reminder: we will be sending recording along with the reports of the companies and studies for highest team sales. So we will be sending those. A couple of questions we want to address, which social media sites do you find to be the most effective for finding sales candidates or for including in your sales recruitment strategy? Lisa, you want to take this one?

Lisa: Well, I would say Glassdoor, of course. No, but in all seriousness, it depends on the age range, the level that you’re trying to recruit for. I can speak well about Glassdoor and say that something that a lot of people don't know is that we actually have two types of job postings products, and one is a single job posting product. And with that, any type of organization can test out how you can go about recruiting sales professionals simply by posting one job as a paper play opportunity. You pay to post the one job and you see who comes back and what I have prophesized, you'll see, is people who are actively researching companies already.

The folks who maybe have heard of you or maybe heard of one of your competitors and are clicking around on Glassdoor to look for things like culture fit, or personality fit, at an organization are the kind who will click on this job posting that you have. Because these people are so interested in all these other elements of a company culture, you may get someone who's not solely got eyes for a paycheck, but are interested in all these other elements. So that's something I would definitely recommend.

But of course I'm not in a position to say this is a one stop shop. I think you need to take an active role in your recruiting and that involves several social channels like Twitter, like Facebook. By that, I simply don't mean simple post your job. I mean post information about your company, share links to reviews that other people have shared about your organization. Make sure that you're making an active role to speak about your brand and show who you are, and that will set you up for success in the social recruiting realm.

Lauren: Great. I love this next question about how do you emphasize the importance of actively recruiting candidates if your manager is on the road most of the time? As we can imagine, many sales reps are out there. They’re selling there on the road, so how can you get them involved?

Lisa: Well, Rob, I'm going to kick this one over to you after I say one thing which is if your managers are on the road all the time, that's a great opportunity to recruit candidates. We defined here the highly competitive bay area that when we source candidates from other locations and are able to move them over to us, we actually have a lot of great success. So if your managers are in other cities, give them an extra day in that city, give them the opportunity to meet with candidates, have some conversations and recruit people from other locations. Because what you get when you do that is a really varied set of skills instead of personalities that can diversify your culture a little bit and set you up for success. Rob, anything to add to that?

Rob: I think you nailed it on the head, but I will add one thing to this because you're right. When you're on the road, that's a fantastic time and here's why. This question is a great question. When I work with sales leaders, too often they think their role is just to hit their sales number. Part of their role has to always be recruiting. You’ve got to be seeing recruiting as an ongoing role. Who are the two or three people you want to hire? Who are the people that I need to be meeting with and talking with on a regular basis, because too often they have a territory open and they say, "Oh man, what am I going to do?" and so then they say, "Well, I guess I'll get it posted," and that's great but they don't know who the usual suspects are.

So my most important advice is make recruiting part of the role. I had a CEO I worked for at a company that was an IPO company that part of what he did when I was SVP of sales and marketing was he told me he wanted me to take a sales person from each of the top three competitors that we had. That was one of my KPIs. I had to go hire someone away from each of our top three competitors. Now that was an interesting deal but it hit me really hard that I was always recruiting. Then when I was on the road, that was easy to build in interviews and stuff like that. It's a huge, huge question and the answer is as simple as what you shared. The only other thing I'd add is as companies, we need to realize that we have to be social companies, not just have a social strategy. Because if the only time we do those social kind of things is when we have a need, we don't get the benefit of having relationships we can count on before we need them.

If you make it roll, then it's easy to build it in. So I should always be looking for people to talk to, and if I'm not talking to the right people with this kind of predetermined frequency, I'm not doing my job. I think that you can solve most sales problems with role clarity.

Lauren: Great. A lot of great questions coming in. We'll take another one here about… any suggestions, Rob, for addressing burn out in an inside sales call center? Any ways to keep these people engaged and motivated?

Rob: That's a huge problem. It's not an uncommon one especially since inside sales is growing at a really, really fast rate right now. Here's the easiest way I can look at it. One of our mentors wrote a paper on burnout in a call center environment. His name is Gary Rhoads. You can look it up. It’s R-H-O-A-D-S. It's a fantastic article. Here's the premise: think of burnout as... there are two factors. Think of the scales of justice. On one side you have stress factors, and on one side you have passion factors.

When I go to organizations and I talk about this, it's real easy for me to go and say, “List all things that are stressful.” I can fill up page after page after page of stress factors. By the way, that's inherent in every job. That's why we call it work. The other side is called passion factors, and when I go around that same group and say, “Now tell me all the passion factors in your job,” it probably won't surprise you that the stress factor are far easier to identify than the passion factors. The list is much longer on the stress than the passion. Everybody talks about removing stress from the workplace and it's impossible to do because stress is part of what we do.

So the real thing that I found, the easiest way… before I tell you that, we want to get as close to balance as we can. You want passion factors and stress factors to balance. It's hard to do because you can't remove the stress. What that means is you have to insert and inject more passion factors. Coaching is one way to do it, having mentors is another way to do it, finding ways to celebrate is another way to do it. There's a list of passion factors but I'll tell you the one that when we’ve conducted studies we found was the largest driver of passion factors was unexpected rewards; shout-outs that they didn't expect.

Getting your bonus at the end of the month or quarter that you expected isn't necessarily a passion factor because you expected it. It's can you do things that you didn't expect? It's a long question; that's the shortest answer I can give you, but if you can start to thinking of balancing passion and stress and you can't take too much stress off, take what you can, but if you can get really focused on inserting more passion factors, you'll find that you will eliminate some of that burnout, but I will leave you with one last thing. Burnout, there's one good thing about it: you’ve got to be on fire before you burn out. So if you can find ways to add passion factors, the fire burns a little bit longer.

Lisa: I feel like this is just a back and forth with “I agree with you”, but here's the thing I'll add to burnout, which is that are you really in a position to know in every scenario exactly what is causing someone to burn out? You can look at the data, you can look at common factors, but until you truly ask your employees, "Hey what's going on here? What's bothering you? What's causing you to lose your passion?" you’re really not going to know anything about your own specific company, and so I would encourage every organization out there to make sure that you constantly have your thumb on the pulse of what specifically to your organization is causing folks to burn out. You can do that through company surveys, you can read your reviews on Glassdoor. Again, social media is a key element here especially if you have a lot of young people working for you. And making sure that you can identify... I would look for three or four main factors that affect you guys specifically.

So it's not just what customers are rude on the phone, that's going to happen in every single organization, but is there a senior member of the team that's causing problems. Are people really frustrated that they have to drive 10 minutes to eat lunch anywhere every day? And tapping into those key things and really coming to the problem with some data in your back pocket will help you make decisions that you can track for results.

Lauren: Great. I'm going to address just three more questions today. I see some people have dropped off, and again thank you and I do encourage you to stay through the end of the questions. As a reminder, we will be sending materials. So we’re going to take another one here. What would you say is the average time from an interview to an offer letter for young sales professionals for example a recent grad?

Lisa: We actually did a study with our chief economist on time to hire. We looked at the length of time that it actually takes to hire someone. We found interestingly enough that overall, when we look across the data that we have on Glassdoor and across industries, time to hire overall is increasing. That's due to factors like people wanting to test folks a lot more before they get in the door. People are realizing just how detrimental it is to hire the wrong person, and so they’re making interview processes as a whole and kind of overall more comprehensive than they were maybe 10 years ago.

And now what’s interesting is that this person is asking specifically about young hires, young sales professionals. I did not notice much of a difference here. What really stands out in this study is actually by industry. So if you’re hiring in the retail space, you are in the fastest industry to hire for [inaudible 00:46:51] very, very quickly. The slowest industry: government. So depending on the company that you're hiring for, you'll tend to see a lot more variance depending on your industry rather the age of your candidate.

Lauren: Great. One other question here: How would you deal with a sales and business development person who's been with the company for quite some time, very familiar with the product that they're selling but just not quite meeting the sales goals of the organization? The fear is that if you let that person go, all the knowledge is gone, and you're really left with not a lot of sales capabilities with the company. Rob, what piece of advice would you give for this situation?

Rob: It's a complex question with a lot of different answers. Here's the short way I'd look at it. I've learned first that I first look in the mirror and say have we coached them? Have we shown them what awesome looks like? I have to understand clearly if we've done a good job with the coaching. The second thing is can I value what they have in their heads and leverage it in different ways? At the end of the day, if I have a sales person that's not willing to do... excuse me. If they're not willing to make changes or respond to coaching, I have a hard time being patient with someone that isn't contributing the way that we’ve agreed they need to and also isn't willing to change.

If you have a good coaching program, it’s a lot easier to have that question. Otherwise it just comes down to are there other ways that you can value what they have and then at the end of the day I've learned that if you find it's a bad fit… but sometimes it wouldn't be. It has been there a long time. I would have to know why have they been here so long? It's a really complex question and I hate dodging it, but I always go back to coaching and they survived for a long time for a reason. Has the company changed and they're not willing to adapt with it? Maybe it's a place that we employ them doing other things, but what I do know is if you have people that won't adapt to where the company is, that makes it hard to hire and retain god people because I see people that aren't doing it are allowed to thrive. You cannot let that happen because it’s a cancer for your organization.

Lauren: Great. The last question for today's webinar: When would you say is the best time to communicate the compensation related cons meaning maybe a lower based pay or salary? In the ad, on the phone, in a face to face interview, on the offer letter, when would you say is the best time?

Lisa: Going back to that slide about transparency, I don't think there's ever a time to really hide any of your pros and cons, but I think the question here is do I literally write in my job advertisement, “Sure we don't pay as much SAP but look at our great culture,” maybe not. In this scenario, I would let your review speak for themselves. Link to what your employees have said about what it’s like to work at your company. Maybe call out a few reviews that really speak to it. Let that third party data tell your story for you a little bit in this scenario. I think anytime anyone asks about it, your job is to be as transparent and clear as possible and say, “You're right. If you saw that on our site or you saw that on Glassdoor salary report, it's true. That's about how much we pay,” and then we tell you about all these other factors that we think is a great fit for you.

So I don't know if it's necessarily about holding up a big sign saying we don't pay as much as other companies, but it's more about being completely open to having that conversation and being as transparent as you can with the data that you can offer.            

Lauren: Wonderful.

Rob: I agree. I wouldn't lead with it, that's for sure because remember it's about value. I wouldn't hide it. I would have the conversation based on what they value and it's just like selling anything. You don't leave with price most of the time unless you're the low cost leader. If you're the high cost leader in salary, then lead with it. Lead with your strength every time and it's going to be something else that [inaudible 00:50:57] lead with.

Lauren: Sound like a sales guy.

Rob: That's right.

Lauren: Well, folks, I think we’ve reached the end of the questions. If you submitted one that we didn't have a chance to get to, please feel free to just respond to one of the GoToWebinar reminders that were sent and we'll be sure to get back to you. And just a quick thank you to my co presenters Lisa and Rob, thank you so much for all the great valuable input and insights you provided. And to all our attendees that joined us, thank you so much for your time. We hope you learned something valuable and good luck in your sales recruitment effort.

Lisa: Good luck, everyone. Thanks.

Rob: Good luck and thanks for everything.