Getting your sales job advertisement in front of eyeballs can be an uphill task but doable with targeted keywords. However, attracting high-quality candidates to apply is nearly impossible without a well-thought-out job posting. Most managers and recruiters will admit to having a hard time crafting appealing job postings.
The challenges aside, this task doesn’t need to be a nerve-racking experience. There’s even software that can help you with every step of the process, letting you focus on short-listing and interviewing successful candidates.
Why Well-Defined Sales Job Descriptions and Titles Are So Important
There are many reasons to use unorthodox sales job descriptions and titles. You may want to stand out from the competition. Also, sales has gotten a bad rap in the past, conjuring up images of the sleek talking snake oil salesman. Whatever your reasons, you may want to hold off on these more creative and unorthodox job descriptions and titles.
Firstly, a sales job title comes with perceived expectations. A sales representative, for example, implies that they are at the frontline drumming up new business for the organization. Sales Rockstar is becoming more common as an alternative title. But, it doesn’t entirely communicate the role as well or as seriously as the sales representative title.
Secondly, a sales title also communicates the employee’s position to potential clients. The title of sales director or manager, for example, indicates a managerial or senior status. It is tempting to assign salespeople such titles to boost morale or in place of a raise.
However, such a move can lead to many awkward and frustrating situations. Potential clients may have issues or questions that the ‘sales director ‘ has no authority to address. These scenarios send out a message of incompetence to your leads and clients.
Additionally, a good sales title and corresponding job description help you hire the right people for the job. Creative sales titles like ‘Results-Getter’ and ‘Happiness Engineer’ may sound fun, but they can send the wrong kind of message to potential employees. Also, it makes it much harder for qualified people to figure out where they fit into your role/organization if they are confused about what the actual job entails.
Lastly, a sales title communicates the importance of the position to potential employees. Professionals generally prefer titles that reflect their level of experience and the work they have put in to occupy those positions. Also, ‘serious’ job titles communicate the professional’s value to clients. Creative job titles can often sound gimmicky and do not effectively communicate the seriousness of the role.
A case for often-used sales jobs titles
According to Indeed, one of the world’s leading job listing websites, the most-searched-for sales jobs titles include:
- Account manager
- Account executive
- Sales representative
- Regional sales manager
- Sales consultant
Quick Tips to Improve Your Sales Job Descriptions and Titles to Attract Top Talent
Many hiring managers forget that top talent vet your business just as much as you vet their applications. Since the job description is the first time that prospective employees interact with your brand, you must get it right.
Also, a stellar job description does a lot more than attract high-quality candidates. The job description also helps recruiters create a solid recruitment plan and justifies the additional headcount to finance.
HRSG is job description management software that makes the entire process so much easier. This software aligns job requirements with competencies to increase the chances of finding the best candidates. The software also includes 1200+ draft descriptions, AI Suggestion Engine to build descriptions from scratch, 1500+ competency-based interview questions, 5000+ custom development activities, and career pathing for your employees.
Besides getting valuable input from high-quality job description management software, consider incorporating customer relationship management (CRM) software into your workflow. CRM can help you align your sales and marketing department and give your sales team an edge over the competition. We dedicated an entire post to the best CRM software currently available here.
#1 – Craft Precise Job Titles and Descriptions
Tempting as it might be, go easy on ‘creative’ job titles like Lead Door Knocker and Master Handshaker. Such titles set you apart from the competition but not in a good way. Stick to traditional sales titles that define the role clearly at a glance.
Additionally, remember to include the essential information in your job descriptions. This information may include:
- Overview of the role
- Key responsibilities
- Salary range
#2 – Aim for the Ideal Length
Appcast.io tracked more than 30,000 job applications to find the ROI of job descriptions. According to the research’s findings, job titles between 50 and 60 characters outperformed other titles by up to 40 percent.
The research also found that the click-to-apply ratio peaked for job descriptions between 2,000 and 10,000 characters (1000 to 5000 words).
The message here is clear. Keep your job titles short and precise. Also, try to create a job description that isn’t too long or too short. Too-short descriptions may repel analytical candidates who require more information before making an application decision. Similarly, too-long descriptions can make your organization appear unreasonable, too demanding, and oppressive.
On a related note, the appcast.io research also revealed that the click-to-apply ratio dropped by 365 percent for applications that took more than 15 minutes to complete. Try to avoid time-consuming, complicated, and lengthy applications. Applicants are already investing a lot of time and effort in job hunting, so unnecessary or arbitrary application processes are unlikely to work in your favor.
#3 – Stay True to the Role
There is a fine line between getting people excited about working for you and providing misleading information. Most high-quality candidates already know what to expect from the position, so there is no need to over-sell.
Making promises you can’t keep is likely to cause problems later in the recruitment process. Additionally, you may inadvertently sell yourself a dishonest employer, discouraging further prospects from applying to your company. It is also a lot harder to retain high-quality, successful candidates who feel shortchanged.
#4 – Make Your Description Easy To Scan
Applicants have potentially hundreds or thousands of job postings to go through. Make the essential information obvious at a glance to grab the interested candidate’s attention. Highlighting critical information and using headers and bullets are great ways to improve your description’s scannability.
#5 – Focus on Keywords
Applicants search for a job based on specific keywords like industry, job title, location, skills, and responsibilities. Make your job easier to find by using keywords relevant to the job title you are advertising.
Here, it’s also important to stick with easily recognizable job titles that potential candidates are searching for. You may mix in your creative titles and duties in the description if you must, but it is better to stick to your industry’s best practices. Most successful salespeople aren’t too hung up on job titles, to begin with.
Long-Term Strategies for Attracting Top Sales Talent
High turnover in your sales force doesn’t just hurt your bottom line. Losing employees also harms overall team morale. Putting together a winning job description is just the first step. There are a few long-term strategies to help you attract high-quality candidates.
Build Candidate Profiles
Part of putting together a great sales team is figuring out the types of candidates you want to onboard. Candidate profiles help guide your recruitment efforts and increase the chances of matching with the kinds of candidates you need.
Identify the ideal candidates’ personality traits, values, goals, desires, and interests, and tie these to your job postings. With a candidate profile, it is also much easier to identify recruiting opportunities and where you are likely to find the kinds of employees you are looking for.
Create an Appealing Careers Section on Your Site
Many companies take a passive approach to their website’s careers page or section. They simply list the vacant position and leave it to prospective employees to determine if they are a good fit.
Instead, take the time to build an appealing careers webpage. Create valuable content that benefits prospective employees. Content about your interviewing process, interviewing tips, and other information that prospective employees may need during their journey will drive up engagement.
This is also an excellent time to post videos of what it’s like working for your company. Think of team-building events, company parties, charity drives, and other activities that make your company unique or attractive.
Be sure to highlight attractive perks like prizes for top performers, bonuses, and incentives. Additionally, update your social media profiles, including Glassdoor and LinkedIn, to create a great first impression.
Build an Attractive Company Culture
It may sound like a no-brainer, but you need a place where people want to work to be successful in your business. With a positive company culture, your sales team will have an easier time communicating the value of your products or services to prospective clients. Your sales team will also be more motivated and effective if they can get behind your company culture.
Communicate your sales culture throughout the hiring process to attract top talent. Small gestures like personalized gifts and team parties to celebrate positive results go a long way in making you an attractive employer.
Additionally, communicate how your products or service positively impact the marketplace. Today’s employees look for job opportunities that make an impact in the world. Be clear about your company’s mission and communicate to prospective employees where they fit in the larger picture.
Involve Your Team
Consider involving your sales team in the hiring process. You can have preliminary interviews to identify the candidate’s skill set. Then, invite team members to an interview and get their opinion on the candidates. It is much easier for new hires to blend with the sales team after creating an initial rapport.
Additionally, you may not have the full picture of the sales team’s dynamics. By involving people the prospective employee will work with, you get valuable insight to identify the best people for the positions.
Also, ask current employees for leads on new talent. You may be able to find someone who would naturally fit into the team.
Create an Effective Onboarding and Coaching Process
Top candidates want to succeed in their new environment, so any effort you make towards this end makes a huge difference. Prospective employees are more likely to choose your company if they sense your commitment to their growth and development.
Also, overloading new hires with information in their first weeks could leave them feeling overwhelmed. Instead, take a long-term approach to onboard. The process should take six to twelve months. During this time, work closely with the new employees to create their action plans and adjust them accordingly.
Consider training your managers on how to motivate, mentor, and manage a successful sales crew. Competent managers can save you a lot of time, effort, and money in the onboarding process.
Support New Reps With Career Advancement
Top salespeople are naturally ambitious and want to see a clear path to career advancement. However, many aren’t sure what prospects lay beyond the horizon. By helping new reps map out a progressive career path and offering guidance during their journey, you are more likely to attract and retain top talent.
Ongoing training and mentorship programs are both great ways to retain top talent long after the hiring process. Check-in with sales reps regularly to discuss their career progress and offer the relevant support where required. Also, consider hiring internally for high-level positions like Account Executives. Sales representatives are more likely to stick with you even during downturns if they can picture themselves advancing into higher positions.
Consider incorporating role-playing simulations and post-call critiques. These sessions help to build confidence and increase knowledge retention. Transitioning to higher positions or taking on more responsibilities becomes that much smoother.
Consider Outsourcing Recruitment
Startups have a tough time attracting and retaining qualified candidates. A recruitment partner can go a long way in helping you in reaching your hiring benchmarks. While you will have to spend more money, a recruitment partner is more likely to develop a full pipeline of qualified candidates.
Partner with a recruitment firm that exclusively focuses on sales professionals. These firms are more likely to connect you with top-performing sales professionals who aren’t on typical job boards. Additionally, recruitment firms have the reputation, brand, resources, and network to recruit your dream candidates.