Why Winning Sales Teams Use Recruiting Firms

I hosted a webinar this week with BrightTalk, Why Winning Sales Teams Use Recruiting Firms. In case you missed it OR don’t have 30 minutes to listen in, I thought I’d blog about it and give you the cliff note version and what I hope people took away from it. As a sales leader I’m sure you have to hire a number of sales people each year. I’m here to let you know a few reasons why you should use a recruiting firm to get you those “A” players you want for your team. WE WILL SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY. Recruiting firms will typically find candidates faster which will save you  NOT ONLY TIME BUT MONEY. My boss, Jim Keenan created this open sales position cost calculator showing how much money your company could be losing in revenue by having an open sales position. Our example shows a quota of $800K. With that quota a company could be losing as much as $65K every month in revenue by having an open position not filled. The calculator takes the quota, then uses an expected  days to hire + the  ramp time for the sales person to equal  total days not producing, then divide the quota by 365 days which provides you with a daily lost revenue. Then multiply the daily total by the days not producing to determine how much you could be losing without a sales person selling. Working with a recruiting firm should save you at least 30 days in the hiring process. Which in turn could provide you with an additional $65K in revenue.  WE KNOW PEOPLE. All recruiting firms have a database with lots of people in it. For every search we do we add a number of resumes to the database and every resume we receive from our job postings or website we also add to our database. When we get a requirement for a sales person in Chicago, the first thing we do is go through our database and see if we have any viable candidates. Recruiters also create relationships with candidates they talk to so if they don’t happen to work for a job when we call them, we can call them the next time we have an opening. WE FIND PEOPLE YOU WON’T FIND. Passive search is what we call it – when we are hired to work for a client after looking at our database to see if we have people we know, the next step is to FIND PEOPLE. We will go through the process of posting jobs to see if we can get candidates that way, but usually the client posts jobs too so I never count on finding too many people that way. Searching with social media is the best way to find passive candidates. We look and look and then come back the next day and look again. It’s like a game with me and I don’t win until I find the right candidate for my client. WE HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. Good listening skills are critical to working with clients. I know many of the best recruiters have type A-personalities so it’s really hard to be a good listener when you’re full of thoughts and always running a  mile a minute but as soon as I get on the phone with a client – I slow down! I have to or I might miss the most important thought with my client. It’s the quality of  the contact you have with each person that gives you the ultimate competitive advantage. You may not be the only person your client will be talking to, so it’s important to be the one who hears what they are saying. A good quote I read about listening – J.P. McEvoy said, “When you talk, you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” How easy is that.  I’ve learned to take a moment to listen whether it’s my client or my candidate and then use that to our advantage. WE CREATE A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP. We have a weekly 15 minute update meeting with each of our clients. This is mutually beneficial for so many reasons. If we have candidates submitted we can discuss where they are in the process; we can discuss where they are in the process with any other candidates from other places; I discuss what I’ve done during that week,(been in contact with 20 people, found 2 people somewhat interested, 1 i really like). Also in the beginning of the search when may not have any candidates to discuss yet I ask additional questions to better understand the search. Also this provides a time to see if they will be away – I had a client who told me he was going on vacation and had a week of meetings so we wouldn’t have time to look at any candidates to 2 weeks – that gave me plenty of time to get some candidates in the pipeline. Without that communication with him, I would have thought he was avoiding me. LAST BUT MOST IMPORTANT – WE FIND PEOPLE WHO CAN DO THE JOB. We recruit people, not pedigrees. Is it really a requirement for your sales people to have a degree from an Ivy League school or a GPA of 3.o? Does that really make a difference when it comes to selling skills? Even Google now agrees that there isn’t a correlation to someone with a 3.5 GPA being able to do a job any better than someone with a 2.8 GPA if you don’t consider other aspects of the candidates skills.  Is that genius sales person from a Fortune 100 company really going to fit your team and sell better than someone who worked for a startup for years and really had to work hard for name recognition? Maybe, maybe NOT! There are countless factors that matter more than a pedigree in sales, so if they meet most of your requirements but not all of them ask yourself this question – CAN THEY DO THE JOB? If so, consider bypassing some of  your requirements. If they fit your corporate culture, will get along with coworkers and most of all close a deal, then hire them. If you’re happy with your recruiting firm, good.  A little competition is good for everyone. If you’re getting service that you feel is “not quite” there, then move on to find one that will “exceed your expectations”. There are many different types of recruiting firms out there and you want to work with one that will find you “A” Players so your team is the one that exceeds quota. If you’ve never used a recruiting firm to assist you in the hiring process, I hope I’ve given you a few good reasons to check us out at A Sales Guy Recruiting.      


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.