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Having Trouble Hiring Inside Sales Reps? Here’s an Idea

22 May 2012

If you are building a new inside sales team or expanding an existing one, you know that recruiting good people can feel about as easy as qualifying for the Olympics. Most companies’ job postings sound alike: they seek to hire sales development /lead generation reps or quota-carrying inside sales professionals with at least 3-5 years or more of experience. Given today’s challenging market for senior reps, it can take months of recruiting time to lure someone with this ideal background. You can spend the time, compete for the same reps as everyone else… or you can get creative.

Consider this alternative: Hire a recent college graduate with a sales degree.

Colleges across the U.S. and in Europe are offering education programs in Sales, often including internships providing real-world selling experience. The University Sales Foundation provides a list of these universities.  If Alyse Qaquish, recent grad of Coles College of Business sales program at Kennesaw State University, GA is an indication of the quality of sales candidates coming out of these kinds of program, we have a lot to look forward to.  Alyse called me to explain the benefits of her program; she is a clear sales-superstar-in-the-making. After several decades of working with entry-level sales professionals, I know how to spot them. Some of the best-known executive names in technology today –  Marc Benioff (Founder & CEO, salesforce.com), Vinny Smith (Chairman & CEO, Quest Software,), Mike DeCesare (Co-President, McAfee)  – started their careers in the group I built: Oracle’s inside sales organization.

Alyse’s school offers hiring companies several opportunities to access potential hires, many of whom will relocate. Sponsors are reporting some solid measurable outcomes in addition to lower recruiting fees as a result of partnership: 30% reduced turnover rates and 50% faster ramp time. As sales-skills-focused programs like Kennesaw’s expand globally and attract more students, hiring companies will be able to tap into a growing pool of motivated and qualified sales candidates that could potentially keep up with the rapid growth of inside sales teams..

You can contact Alyse directly at aqaqish1231@gmail.com for more information about sponsorship and recruiting event programs ….and check out her sales skills in the process! But don’t get your hopes up: she’s already spoken for. She was McAfee’s top pick this year.

Are you hiring inside sales reps this quarter or later this year? Are you recruiting grads of local universities…or colleges specializing in sales?