Don’t Sell the Wrong Opportunity to the Right Person!

March 7, 2023

So you’ve got a candidate to phone screen? Now you need to sell them on the opportunity, right? WRONG!

Just like in sales, you can’t sell until you’ve conducted a proper client needs/solution fit analysis. You must first seek to understand the candidate. Over the course of a quick and very focused conversation, you will determine the right title/opportunity within your sales organization that this person might fit into. You may have a great Major or Enterprise Account Executive in front of you and you’re preemptive pitch of an inside sales role may ruin your chances of landing the candidate.

Only when you’ve determined which opportunity makes the most sense for this prospective candidate can you start selling said opportunity. Here is a basic pie chart outlining the WIIFM sections you’ll need to cover to initially sell an opportunity.

When selling an opportunity in an initial phone screen, candidates need to hear about some of the basics.

Compensation: You’ll need to outline the base salary range, as well as any draw or guarantee on commissions and a realistic year one and 2 expected On Target Earnings. Candidates for higher level opportunities will be interested in hearing about company offered stock options, overrides, advanced severance packages, just to name a few.

Benefits & Perks: Briefly cover the fact that you do offer Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k, Paid Time Off, etc. No need to go into great detail here, this is more of a checkpoint to ensure that your organization is offering what all others offer. If your company has a benefit/perk that stands out feel free to highlight that now. This is where you can also showcase the fact that your sales team members enjoy company paid phones, cars, and cover reimbursable expenses, etc.

Products/Services: This is the work content. Prospective sales candidates are going to want to know what they will be selling. You should cover this in 2 stages… Product/Service benefits/features then explain what headaches your solutions solve for the client. Here you can also outline typical deal sizes and what products/services are included in a typical deal.

Sales/Product Training Program/Plan: Outline the in-class and in-field product and sales training program that the prospective candidate will enjoy. Some employers may also outline how their quota and/or draw ramp periods will work during the training period.

Potential Career Path: What is the typical career path for an individual in this role? I would recommend providing examples as well.

Sales Territory: Will this prospective candidate enjoy a protected list of accounts? Will he/she cover a geographic territory? Are there some basic sales ruled of engagement you can cover quickly?

Company History & Short Term Goals: Spend some time developing a quick 45-second overview of where the company has been, how the company got to where it’s at today, and where the company is headed. Highlight your stable company growth and the current growth trajectory of the organization and how that will impact this position, team, region, etc.

With a bit of practice, you should be able to cover all of this in under about 10 minutes.

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