How do I attract and retain top sales talent?
By Arial Harland, GreatAmerica – As an HR professional, I get asked all the time, “How do I attract and retain top sales talent?” While the question is generally simple, the answer is most definitely not. There is no silver bullet, obviously, or it wouldn’t come up time and time again as one of our industry’s greatest challenges. Certainly, there are specific recommendations I do make to individuals who ask this question (usually after a more in-depth needs analysis!). Yet, the last time someone asked me, I became a little more curious myself. Setting my HR hat aside, I thought, “How would top sales talent answer this question? What would they say?”
I reached out to an individual in the industry who I would classify as “top sales talent.” While I know a single individual isn’t a perfect sample set by which you obtain statistically significant data, I see value in gaining a different perspective on how to attract and retain top sales talent. Interestingly enough, I found this individual’s insight shared a compelling story for why it is so important to have well-thought-out hiring and onboarding processes.
Hire With Purpose and a Plan
According to the sales professional I spoke with, what’s most attractive to him as a prospective employee is being treated like a valuable asset and being shown how his talent aligns with the organization’s needs. This was clearly highlighted during my conversation, as he commented, “Are you looking for a warm body, just any salesperson, or are you looking for me? If so, why me? What specific qualifications do I have that you believe will be a fit for your organization?”