“The best salespeople know they’re the best. They take pride in their art form. They separate themselves from the rest of the pack regardless of circumstance.”
At Harvard Business Review, Joseph Curtis wrote a great article that summarizes 5 traits of great salespeople. It is the best written summary I’ve seen to date.
According to Curtis (VP of Enterprise Sales at Salesforce.com) the Best Salespeople:
1. Own Everything
” Elite salespeople approach their goals with a total ownership mindset. Anything that happens to them, whether or not it was their doing, is controlled by them.”
2. Are Resourceful
“Elite salespeople almost always figure it out.”
3. Are Experts
“Expertise leads to confidence, which leads to trust, which leads to sales.”
4. Help Others
“The best salespeople I have observed regularly pass their knowledge on to less tenured or less experienced sales people with no expectation of anything in return.”
5. Move Quickly
“Most elite salespeople get things done…”
Look at the top salespeople in your own company and see if they possess most if not all of these characteristics.
If employers and recruiters spend an average of 7 seconds scanning your resume – how can you stand out as an SDR / BDR?
What can SDRs and BDRs do to make their resume / profiles stand out amongst the noise?
Stop Being Vague
Too many SDRs describe their job functions on their resumes and Linkedin Profiles with bland, vague terms.
“Identify and Qualified Sales Opportunities”
Sure, that is what you did – but tell me HOW YOU DID and WHAT YOU ACHIEVED.
Put metrics on your resume and profile. Be specific and you will stand out amongst your peers.
Below are some suggestions of what you can put on your resume:
How many SQLs were qualified on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
How many calls did you make per day, on average?
How many emails did you send per day on average?
What was your conversion rate for Calls, Emails, Conversations, etc.
Where/How did you rank against your peers?
How big was the SDR team you were on?
How many sales reps did you and your team support as an SDR?
Who are you calling into?
What industry, departments and roles did you prospect into?
If you have experience calling into media and broadcasting VPs and CFOs, then put that down.
The more specific the better.
What tools are you using?
Were you using SalesLoft?
Were you using Linkedin and sending emails?
What other tools were you using as an SDR?
Be specific, list them out and you’ll stand out.
You only have 7 seconds to stand out – put the right information on your profiles and you’ll get he attention you need from the right employer.
Quick tips on how sales leaders and employers can improve their sales job candidate funnels by getting rid of the fluff in their job descriptions.
Get rid of the fluff!
Lose the fluff words in your job descriptions that say you are looking for:
“Ability to demonstrate value”
Every sales rep is going to say that they have all of those qualities anyways – so its a waste of time to even put it on the job description.
You don’t even get SEO value out of it because everyone else is writing the same thing on their job descriptions and the words lose all of their SEO value.
Your job descriptions should tell the sales rep enough information to self-screen themselves in our out of the sales job. Instead of being vague with silly phrases like the ones listed above, your Job Descriptions should be jam-packed with specificity.
Good sales reps want to know these three things about the sales job opportunties they are considering:
What is the OTE?
Your job description should be crystal clear about what the On Target Earnings (OTE) are for the sales job. Why waste 2-3 email and phone cycles with a sales candidate only to find out that the compensation you are offering is below their personal requirements? Be transparent on your job description for the role and you will save yourself (and the candidate) a lot of time.
Bonus points for you if you break down your OTE into what the Base Salary and Variable Commission are for the role.
What are the selling targets for this sales job? Include the Industries, Company Size, Departments and Roles that this sales job is targeting.
Sales reps are looking for jobs that fit and match their prior experience and sales history.
There is a big difference in selling to an HR Manager in an SMB company in the Health and Beauty industry and an Enterprise sale to a Fortune 100 Software CEO.
If these details are not explicit on the job description – than you are more likely to get unqualified candidates coming through your funnel.
Product Sales Details
In the spirit of transparency – we suggest that your job descriptions include details about the Product Sales Cycle and Process.
What is the ACV (Annual Contract Value) of the product being sold?
It is a transactional sales that takes less than 30 days and can be closed in a couple of calls?
Or is it an enterprise sales process that involves multiple stakeholders and averages 6-12 months?
Do you expect the sales rep to hunt all of their leads or is their a team of SDRs (Sales Development Reps) to support the Account Executives?
If a sales candidates has no experience working with and collaborating with a Professional Service team or a Sales Engineer – chances are that you will need to invest additional resources to ramp them into the role.
These details matter to the sales candidates.
Forget the fluff and minimize the perks about bringing your dog to work and that you have a regular “beer Friday.” Save those details as you move down the hiring funnel.
Instead, focus on being transparent about the OTE, the Selling Targets and the Product Sales Details and I guarantee you that you will save unnecessary cycles and improve your sales candidate conversion rate to hire.
As we look to the New Year, on Openview’s Build Blog, Todd Caponi and Jeff Rossett highlight “Five “Not So Obvious” Sales Trends for 2019″
- The Rise of Feedback
- The Requirement to Embrace “community” learning, sharing and collaboration
- Importance of Understanding Decision Science
- Sales Stack Overload
- The War for Sales Talent is at an All-time High
While we agree with all of the points they raised, we particularly agree with the 5th point:
“The need for technology salespeople has never been higher. Between a record number of companies raising large rounds of capital (which translates into immediate positions to fill) and the trend of specialization within tech sales – the demand for sales talent far exceeds the supply.
So what’s the proactive solution? The best companies effectively recruit, train, develop and promote their reps – essentially building and curating their own pipeline of sales talent. First, they put a strong career path program in place (Inbound SDR to Enterprise SDR to AE to Leadership, etc). And then to feed that model, the best companies do a great job of bringing in reps – either entry level or industry transplants (think former financial services reps who want to get into tech sales) – and provide them with outstanding sales/product/industry training & ongoing education. This is more of a long term play and the company must be totally committed, but the end result is the ability to fill their own needs (on demand) with those on their “bench.””
A thriving sales team is what drives a growing SaaS company. Employers need to be able to “sell” their company to candidates and prove to them that they can build a career at your company. Millennials are often criticized for job-hopping, particularly in the software sales world. And while poor sales performance is a contributor to job-hoppers, often times it was the realization that there was no future for the sales rep at their prior company.
Every SDR wants to be an AE and every AE wants to be a VP of Sales.
Does your company provide the career path necessary to train, mold and build the right career path for your new sales hires? Sure, OTE is important – but sales candidates are looking for companies that give them more than a paycheck – they want a career.
“With the unemployment rate near a 49-year low of 3.7 percent, Federal Reserve officials view the labor market as being at or beyond full employment.”
- The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits tumbled to near a 49-year low last week
- Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 206,000 for the week ended Dec. 8, the Labor Department said
- Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 225,000 in the latest week