How to Hire Sales Teams for Longevity

Hiring sales reps is easy. You publish a job opening online, promote it a few times across social media and hey presto, you’ll be inundated with hungry applicants. Hiring the best sales candidates? Now that’s a whole other ball game.

We invited guest writer, Chris Batsford, Partner at New Peak Partners to the Sales Confidence blog to explore his top insights for recruiting with the aim of increasing longevity. Over to you, Chris!

A couple of months ago, I was speaking with a seasoned VP Sales about building out a successful team in EMEA. We had already explored our approach at New Peak Partners to identifying and attracting great talent when we got onto the complex area of retention.

Read more: Introducing New Peak Partners

The client was finding that only around 60-70% of their sales executives were still with the business after 24 months. From our experience, this did seem like a low rate of retention, although we could certainly think of businesses with higher rates of churn. In constant pursuit of improving performance and marginal gains, we have put together a helpful guide to recruiting with the aim of reducing employee churn and increasing the longevity of tenure.

6 Considerations for improving the success and stickiness of candidates:

  • Longevity in previous roles – has the candidate stayed anywhere over 3-4 years? Everyone’s allowed a mistake, especially in the start-up tech world but is there a worrying trend of short tenures?
  • Personal circumstance when accepting the job – were they out of a job and in a situation where they would accept the next thing offered to them? It’s worth considering if this is ‘just a job’ or ‘a well-considered career move’.
  • Give candidates the ‘warts and all’ picture of the company – yes, you want to position the business in a positive light, but it’s important to manage expectations and let them know it’s going to be hard work and challenging at times!
  • Moving industry – if recruiting from other verticals or technology, is it realistic that candidates can easily learn your market and make the jump into your space? Do you have a track record of successful onboarding and coaching employees through this process?
  • Ambition – do the candidates’ mid-term ambitions match the company’s? This is also the case if you have highly ambitious candidates who will get frustrated without progression opportunities.
  • Stock – do you incentivise your key employees with stock, tying them into the long-term company vision?

These are some of the key considerations to bear in mind during the hiring process, however, it is equally important to have great onboarding and training processes and a well-defined, supportive management structure.

Read more: Why it makes sense to hire for diversity

Of course, most candidates go into ANY role with a 4-6-year plan and when they sign a contract, they are equally hopeful that the marriage will be a happy one. The impact on an individual’s fortunes can be equally affected by getting this decision wrong, so consider how you can best support them to be successful.

About the author

Chris Batsford is a Partner at New Peak Partners, with extensive expertise in the technology industry. Chris has worked on searches globally, from West Coast USA to Japan and over 20 countries in between. Chris’ approach focuses on partnering closely with high-growth and disruptive businesses, consistently delivering solutions to complex talent acquisition problems. To contact Chris please email chris.batsford@newpeakpartners.com.

About New Peak Partners

New Peak Partners advises B2B and B2C tech companies on how to solve hiring challenges at the entry/mid executive level. They work with investors, boards and leadership teams supporting our clients’ landmark hires. Typically operating between £80k and £150k basic salaries, they excel in hiring first in function leaders and building teams across sales, pre-sales, customer success, marketing, professional services, product and engineering. Their work is global, and they regularly run parallel searches across multiple geographies.

Ben Davies, a former Partner of Erevena the leading executive search firm, founded New Peak Partners in 2016 and remains an integral part of the Erevena Search group, benefitting from their global network and reach. Together, Ben and Chris have 65 consultants with offices across London, San Francisco and New York. Visit the company website at www.newpeakpartners.com

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