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The Sales Process is Hard

I was recently involved in a sales call at Ideal Candidate with a company run by a couple of old friends of mine. While I was comfortable asking their help to setup the initial call, I am not the kind of person to abuse that relationship to push a sale – I’d much rather their company see the value proposition in our product.

Unfortunately on the sales call I probably talked too much – I am after all, a technologist. I am hugely enthusiastic about our technology and our science. But that doesn’t explain the actual value our our product.

I’ve been thinking about this since the call. We are basically a recruiter. But we really have two major differences:

  1. We’re massively cheaper. For less than 1/5 of the price of a recruiter for a single hire, you can hire as many people as you need, albeit you have to pay us every month (*).
  2. Rather than scanning resumes/CVs for a match, we use proven science in the field of sales to find people who will actually succeed in your company, from a database of salespeople we have already built, and who have already taken our personality assessment (used in the matching process). This is really hard to explain in either a blog post or a 30 minute call, but there is plenty of well proven research out there showing this science works.

Unfortunately I focussed on the science behind point 2, and missed telling the person on the call about value – the fact that we provide the candidates to them, and these are candidates which are already scientifically assessed to perform well in the department being hired for.

What I’m astonished by at Ideal Candidate is the amount of work we can do for a company for this price. We provide pre-matched candidates. We phone screen for you. We set up and book interviews for you. If I had this service for this price (about double the cost of a job post on LinkedIn), for hiring developers, I would love it. Unfortunately the science works differently for developers (but some day we’ll probably work on it).

But damn, it’s hard to persuade people that the technology is sound, and we’re actually going to save you money. Our sales guys have to be really persistent, and I’m very thankful that they are. Good luck to them!

* – if you’re hiring in sales, and the salesperson performs, then the more salespeople you hire, the more money your company makes, so even if this seems a little odd for hiring in a development (which most of my followers are), in sales it makes a lot of sense for sales.

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