Strategies for the Capture, Care and Feeding of Top Software Sales Talent

January 9, 2017

 

To a certain extent, it doesn’t matter how good your product is or its affordable price point if customers don’t purchase it. Yes, word of mouth is powerful stuff but it needs client advocates and that takes some time and effort. And this is particularly true when it comes to the consultative sales process. Indeed, in the world of technology and less obvious tangible benefits, top sales producers need to have a special blend of ability to articulate clearly complex ideas as well as understand the consultative process and its subtle closing process. These talents are in huge demand and not easy to find…and keep.

 

As management gurus like to point out: software analytics companies are in “A War for Talent.” Combine that with the pace of innovation and the broad, almost instantaneous spread of information, products, and services that are placing more companies under increasing competition and the need to evolve sales efforts. In fact, recent studies show that most top sales talent goes shopping for companies-not necessarily the reverse.

 

This article is part one of a three part series that provides some interesting data as well as strategies for attracting and retaining top tech and software sales talent.

  • Most top candidates are off the market within 10 days.

  • 60% of candidates quit the application process because it takes too long.

  • 66% of candidates surveyed believe that interactions with other employees are the best way to get insight into the company and its culture.

  • 27% of candidates will spread the word about a negative hiring process.

  • 75% of top sales people are normally attracted to companies with strong employer brand and culture.

  • Strong employer brand can reduce turnover by 28%.

 

Some interesting Candidate Survey Findings[1]

  • Most top candidates are off the market within 10 days.

  • 60% of candidates quit the application process because it takes too long.

  • 66% of candidates surveyed believe that interactions with other employees are the best way to get insight into the company and its culture.

  • 27% of candidates will spread the word about a negative hiring process.

  • 75% of top sales people are normally attracted to companies with strong employer brand and culture.

  • Strong employer brand can reduce turnover by 28%.

[1] https://hbr.org/2016/06/a-portrait-of-the-overperforming-salesperson

 

Of course, as with all surveys, the data is based on a sample and only represents probabilities of the total population.

 

The “capture” of top talent is more a matter of attracting rather than “hunting,” however many small and mid-size companies may not have the expertise to know how to attract top sales talent. That is where Search Consulting firms that specialize in recruiting sales talent for their niche market can be an excellent option.

 

As with any market force, top sales people want to go where they can optimize their income potential AND feel that they work for a company that supports them and others like them. Winners want to work with winners, it’s that simple. Moreover, top sales performers in risk management and analytics software know who the best companies to work for are and it is not always about the money. Of course, well established and successful employers that offer attractive packages like benefits, salary and commission and prestige usually get the lion’s share of top talent, but that does not mean that smaller companies with the right culture, products and services can’t attract top talent.

 

It’s important to keep in mind that even top producers have up and down periods in their careers. Indeed, the ability to recognize top performer characteristics can provide real opportunity to develop talent in the analytics software segment even if a candidate does not have much experience in selling more complex products found in technology.

 

In part two, we will discuss one powerful way to really find out if a candidate can “walk-the-walk” without having to depend on personality profile tests or even experience in the tech field.

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Nation's Executive Search Group is sought out by leaders in Enterprise Risk Management, Marketing Services and Decision Analytics for mission critical sales and marketing leadership talent.

 

For more information, email or call Rob at 410.827.0180, rmilner@nesgroup.net.

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