How to hire the best… and make them better

How do you hire salespeople who are most likely to be a success at your organisation? Once you’ve hired them, what’s next? A top sales leader from DocuSign tells Sales Confidence.

Last month, we staged the 3rd Sales Confidence live event at Level 39 in the Canary Wharf Tower. We were privileged to hear some of the best sales leaders in the SaaS industry speak. Everyone left inspired and motivated to act on what was said. We’ve put together some articles, so even if you couldn’t be there, you can still share the learning.

Jacqui de Gernier

Our 3rd speaker was Jacqui de Gernier. Jacqui is currently Area VP for Commercial Sales at DocuSign, the company changing the game in the electronic signature industry. Jacqui has been with DocuSign for 3 years, and shared with us 3 tips on putting together a high-performing sales team. Her first tip was about setting up a workplace culture, and you can read about it here.

Jacqui’s next tip was about hiring. How do you make sure you hire the right people? Use the right recruiter, of course!

The role of the recruiter

Recruiters, whether they’re in-house or with specialist recruitment consultants, are not often credited with a pivotal role in building a company. However, if you can find the right one, then use them to their full potential, you can reap the rewards. Jacqui put it like this.

‘Your recruiter is your best friend. I’m lucky enough to have an awesome internal recruiter. We meet and speak on a regular basis. Very early on during my time at DocuSign, we spent various dinners and drinks where I talked about my vision for the team and what the next couple of years were going to hold.’

‘That enabled her to go into the market, to have calls with potential candidates, with that vision in mind.’

When you have a recruiter that clearly understands what you’re looking for, it streamlines the recruitment process. When it works, your recruiter should be only putting forward candidates who totally meet your standards. This should stop you wasting time on people who may be skilled, but wrong for your team.

Of course, getting to this level takes trial and error, but once it works a few times and you trust your recruiter, it becomes second nature. For Jacqui and DocuSign, it works like a dream.

‘I don’t need to do any phone screening anymore. If someone fits the bill as far as my recruiter is concerned, they’re going to fit my bill. I go straight to a face-to-face meeting.’

Your hiring vision

Of course, if you’re going to share your hiring vision with your recruiter/best friend, you have to have a vision in the first place.

For Jacqui and DocuSign, she looked at the original team and what common attributes they had that made them successful. Then, she hired to fit in with those attributes.

Here are the 3 components of Jacqui’s hiring vision.

  • Able to work at an extremely fast pace.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity – when a company is growing there are a lot of grey areas.                            Successful team members need to be able to cope when circumstances change and there isn’t always a right answer.
  • Team collaborators – no such thing as ‘not my job’. Successful people at DocuSign will roll up their sleeves and do whatever needs to be done.

What about you? What kind of people do you hire for your team?

Onboarding

Jacqui’s final tip concerned what to do once you’ve hired your special people. What do you do to get them ramped up and delivering revenue as quickly as possible?

Here’s how Jacqui does it at DocuSign.

‘We looked at the formal onboarding and education process at our Head Office in San Francisco, and we looked to replicate that in our region. We have 3 certification processes. Discovery, demo and proposal generation. We have scorecards that we measure all our new hires against. We give them lots of on-the-job coaching and feedback. It’s been hugely beneficial. Next year we plan to turn it into a playbook.’

The key is to formalise the onboarding process, to teach all new starters the same process at the same time, making sure everyone is up to speed before they hit the market. The days of giving starters a phone on their first day and telling them to get on with it are long gone!

Over to you now. What are your tips on how to hire the people you want? Then, once you’ve got them, how do you get them to deliver? Let the Sales Confidence community know by leaving a comment below.

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