Recruiting Top Sales Talent From Your Competition - Sales Executive Recruiters

      Recruiting Top Sales Talent From Your Competition

      A stellar sales team is critical to growing organizations trying to expand their footprint and build a customer base. However, finding talented and experienced sales agents can be quite challenging, especially for relatively unknown startups and mid-level companies in competitive environments. One solution is sourcing qualified sales reps from other businesses.

      Some organizations consider the practice of “talent poaching” to be in the gray area between ethical and unethical. However, just as companies compete for clients, there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t spar for the best employees, too. 

      Stakeholders want the best for their organization in all aspects. If they can attract gifted sales executives through better compensation and benefits, they’ll be all the stronger for it.

      Start the Recruitment Process Discreetly

      Executives who have an eye on talented sales executives at other companies must work discreetly to attract them. They shouldn’t call them outright and offer them a job. If they do, the news will likely flow right up the corporate ladder in their competitor’s workplace, and this can result in unwanted consequences like a talent war or tension.

      Similarly, emailing the targeted employee’s work address isn’t a great idea. While it might be a simple way to reach them, most employers monitor company email, and communication from a competitor will likely attract attention. Additionally, employees aren’t likely to feel very comfortable if they know their leadership is aware they’re entertaining a job offer.

      Work with a Third-Party Recruiter

      Third-party recruiters are skilled in finding exceptional talent and regularly collaborate with organizations seeking to attract employees from other companies. They know how important it is to remain discreet, and their sourcing process allows them to keep an organization’s name secret until they’re sure the employee is interested in the role.

      Since recruiters are third parties seeking to find the best talent for their roles, they’re unlikely to attract unwanted attention from executives and other stakeholders concerned about talent poaching. It’s an excellent way to source the talent you’re looking for without being overly direct.

      Ask for a Referral from Others

      Another way to connect with the talent you seek is through referral. Look for a professional or personal connection with the person on sites like LinkedIn. You may have multiple associations in common.

      To start the process, reach out to the mutual connection and tell them what you’re looking for — a high-performing sales rep who knows how to close clients. If your company is in the same industry, you’ll also want to highlight that fact. Chances are they’ll recommend the person you’re hoping to hire, allowing you an opening to start a conversation.

      Use Industry Events to Your Advantage

      Most companies send their best sales reps to industry conferences, where they will likely rub elbows with competitors and clients. If you have your eye on a specific sales rep you know will attend an event, try to be there.

      You can sign up to attend a few of the same networking activities so you’ll have a way to get to know them and discuss your opportunity.

      Other events, like local networking activities, conferences, and clubs, are great places to connect with the salespeople you’re interested in hiring. Find out what they enjoy, and join the next affair you know they’ll be attending. It’s an excellent way to connect with future employees naturally without offending your competitors.

      Stay Aware of Legal Repercussions

      Before directly offering a sales professional a job, you’ll want to determine whether they’re under a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements come with restrictions that prevent employees from jumping ship to another organization, and they can carry legal ramifications for companies that hire them.

      If there is no non-compete agreement, you have nothing to worry about. You can go forward with the hiring process. However, if there is one, it’s worth talking to an employment lawyer before you offer them a job. There may be a workaround that you can use that still allows you to hire them without becoming the subject of a lawsuit.

      Make Sure the Sales Rep Understands What You Have to Offer

      Most sales representatives won’t leave a job they’re good at (and respected for) without a clear-cut reason. That means you’ll need to ensure your targeted employee understands the advantages of coming to work for you and why it’s in their best interests to do so.

      Offer Excellent Compensation and Benefits

      Find out what the sales representative is earning in their current organization. You’ll want to provide them with an offer that exceeds that amount. A few thousand dollars extra each year isn’t likely to attract them; instead, you’ll need to offer them a significant raise they can’t refuse. 

      Similarly, a robust benefits plan can turn their attention to what you have to offer. Find out what benefits they have through their current employer, and make sure yours are better.

      Stand Out from Your Competitors

      Sales representatives are attracted to companies with a strong industry reputation. Established organizations will find it easier to present themselves as market leaders, while start-ups may find the task harder. 

      However, that’s not to say start-ups can’t attract the talent they’re looking for. If your organization is new to the industry, highlight any factors that might attract qualified talent, like significant backing from investors or advisors. If you’re aiming to shake up the existing industry, say so.

      Provide a Path for Advancement

      A lateral move from one organization to another may be unattractive to sales representatives, especially if they have a path paved out in their existing company. You’ll want to ensure that your target employee understands there are opportunities for advancement available within your organization.

      Providing them with a clear roadmap that outlines their future roles within the organization is a good start. Ask them what they hope to achieve over the long term, and make sure you support their goals.

      With a Clear Strategy, It’s Possible to Attract Qualified Sales Talent from Other Organizations

      Talent poaching qualified sales reps is possible without raising the ire of competitor organizations intent on retaining their key workers. Instead of contacting potential hires directly, consider working with a third-party recruiter or reaching out through mutual connections. 

      With the right strategy and clear benefits for the employee, you’ll find it easy to attract the talent you’re seeking.

      Sales Executive Recruiters | Sales Executive Search Firm

      At Cowen Partners, we stand at the forefront of the executive search industry, empowering companies to thrive and excel in their growth, revenue, and market presence. We specialize in identifying exceptional leaders and placing them in key positions to drive success. Our team of seasoned executive recruiters collaborates with organizations of all sizes, encompassing both public and private enterprises, pre-IPO ventures, and non-profit entities.

      Through a meticulous and discerning approach, we unite handpicked candidates, with companies in pursuit of the most exceptional executive talent, representing the top 1%. With the support of our experienced senior partners, we execute a diligent and efficient executive search process, ensuring leadership placements within a remarkable six-week timeframe.

      Executive search placements span the entire C-suiteCEOsCFOsCOOsCMOsCIO/ CTOsCHROsCLOs, Chief Sales Officers, and leadership roles including VPs, Directors, and more.

      Check out our industry-leading retained search resources to see why Cowen Partners is a top sales and marketing executive search firm in New York CityAnchorage, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:

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