What Sales Professionals and Recruiters can learn from one another

Interesting Article
Having sold Broadlook’s solutions for over 7 years to 1000’s of recruiting operations and to B2B sales organizations, I have observed several things that both the seasoned recruiter and the experienced sales professional could learn from one another.

Over the course of the next several newsletters, I will share these observations – with the desire to identify ways that our readers can learn these best practices from each other.

Observation:  There is more than one door into the building – a best practice from Sales

Recruiters can get fixated on finding “the person” with a specific title, a specific skill set, from a specific company, geography or with specific certifications, education, qualifications.  It is what recruiters are paid to do.  It is the job.  And a lucrative job if done well.  That is not the problem.

The challenge is often in how they look for “the person”.  Recruiters can get trapped looking for that “magic well” of information where everything is lined up nice, neat and easily accessible.   In the past, the Job Boards made looking for “active job seekers” easy.   But in today’s competitive market, the hunt is to find the best, brightest (and passive) talent for their clients, which poses a whole different set of challenges.

Many recruiters will say; “I am looking for the Director of Inside Sales, with 10 years experience, ERP systems, working for or has worked for Oracle, and lives in Texas.  I can’t find that person.  All my research efforts did not find that person, what do I do?”

Here is where its time to take a page out of sales playbook.  The good Sales Professional seldom engages a company with a singular contact target in mind.  They expand their research efforts to identify and call other people in target organization(s).  Their goal is to learn some information and network their way to the best person(s).

It seems simple and logical, yet many recruiters seem reluctant to have to start peripherally and move towards their target.

Observation:  It helps to aim before you shoot a gun – a best practice from Recruiters

Sales people can get fixated on activity.  They know they need to find companies to work with.  Contacting people and getting on the phones are one of the mantras of sales.  It is one of the things sales people are measured on.  The activity is not the problem.

The challenge is in an effort to “get on the phones”, they often do not take the time to understand the type of people they need to target, find out what challenges they may be facing, and know the right group of players to contact to get the client’s attention.

Here is where sales can take a page out of the recruiters playbook.  The best recruiters know how to perform research.  They have invested in learning to tap into all the data sources, especially the Internet, to determine what the needs are, and then to find the best “fit” to solve the need.  For the recruiter, finding just anyone will not do.

Again, simple and logical.  Yet many sales people seem reluctant to step back, plan their approach, and take aim before they start taking action.

The Net: In the current market, if you are a recruiter, it is a necessity to expand and engage more targets.  You can’t just focus on “the one person”.  On the flips side, if you are in sales, you need to slow down in order to speed up.  For both, it is critical to identify the points of influence that will get you to your goal and then take action.