March 17, 2022

Tips to Hiring Top Sales Talent

Tips to Hiring Top Sales Talent

In today’s episode of the ‘Sales Samurai’ podcast, host Sam Capra, who helps marketing leaders in the retail space go beyond the sale/transaction, talks with guest Mark DeChant, Founder of ‘RevsUp’ who gives tips to hire top sales talent.

Episode Highlights

  • 01:48 – Sam enquires, what the landscape of the market is today specific to sales, and what you're seeing out there?
  • 03:01 – Mark says, the work from home thing impacted sales a lot.
  • 05:10 - There's just far more entrepreneurship, people are starting their own business than there has been previously, mentions Mark.
  • 07:30 - How you should be approaching the hiring process in general, and your initial outreach, if you will? Sam asks Mark.
  • 09:04 – Mark states that it's not much of a big stretch to turn that needs analysis document more inward-facing to understand what our ideal candidate profile is.
  • 11:45 - What is the hardest thing for people to get their head around when doing this, asks Sam.
  • 13:22 – Mark points out, sometimes there are just perceptions and biases that sales leaders have about what makes a successful salesperson and it takes some time and works to overcome those objections.
  • 15:55 – Sam asks, what is the narrative that will capture an A player's interest?
  • 16:47 - The clients, companies, and the employers have to have a succinct, powerful narrative about who they are, what they have to offer, and why they can make this person specifically successful, states Mark.
  • 18:16 – Mark highlights, it’s not always the number one driver on how much people are making but we should have that narrative of here's where we were, and here's how we've done in the last 12 months.
  • 20:00 - We need to have that narrative of why should somebody come to a series a $5 million company right now. 
  • 22:33 – Mark says, the best matches happen when there is openness and honesty about what I have to offer.
  • 24:32 – We just have to be candid about what happens before the leadership changes.
  • 27:47 – Mark tells, your candidate experience is a reflection of your leadership style.
  • 29:30 – If you are a client and employer and you are missing, rescheduling, ghosting, and going dark, you have no chance to land top talent, explains Mark.
  • 31:42 – Sam enquires, what are the biggest misfires when it comes to the candidate experience?
  • 33:28 - The candidates get pretty annoyed by the lack of consistency in the messaging of what the process is going to look like.
  • 35:15 – Mark would strongly encourage putting in a personal development plan with your current employees that you can then use as a selling point while you're interviewing.
  • 41:05 – If you're behind your number, you're going to use a PTO that you require to stay ahead of your number.
  • 43:57 – Sam says that it becomes a drain on an individual if you don't allow them to unplug or allow that candidate to understand that.
  • 45:41 – We should need to have a human being on our team to unplug and relax.
  • 46:45 – Mark states, sales leaders should be realistic about the quality of the talent that they're going to be able to hire at the comp plan that they're advertising for.

 Three Key Points

  1. We need to dig into this, what percentage of our reps are making quota? What is our number one rep earning? What is the spirit of the team? Is it growing or is the revenue growing?
  2. It is important to say, is there an alignment where you want to go, and do we have the tools and the resources, and the human capital to take you to where you want to go?
  3. If you want to be finding the top sales talent, define your ideal candidate profile, create a narrative for a player, prepare to overcome objections, then live up to those expectations on the employer’s side, and then the sabbaticals and those non-table stakes that you should be doing as an organization for the candidate.

 Tweetable Quotes

  • “The work from home, the move to work from home, a couple of interesting things that happened, one of the main ones is people ended up working more than they ever have.” – Mark DeChant
  • “The lack of options to spend your money, especially around Travel and Leisure and everything else, people save a lot of money.” – Mark DeChant
  • “There's an absolute exciting draw towards entrepreneurship and side hustles by these new generations, I think it's exciting. I think it's great for the economy.” – Mark DeChant
  • “Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z are driving in awareness of all sorts of health issues and health care, mental health is certainly among the top of those.”- Mark DeChant
  • “It should be a very easy parallel for leaders to take some time and define their ideal candidate profile. ´- Mark DeChant
  • “Ranking the requirements in a certain order of most important to least important, okay, and I do challenge my clients on this pretty frequently.” - Mark DeChant
  • ‘The buyer type and buyer profile and titles are the most common non-negotiable. And I completely support it.” - Mark DeChant
  • “10 years are almost always a sign of success and sales; you don't last very long anyplace. But short 10 years don't necessarily mean that they can't be successful.” – Mark DeChant
  • “I want to show you what 90k can buy. I'm going to show you what 130 can buy. There's no other better way to say it.” – Mark DeChant
  • “They want to contribute, but they're not necessarily driven to be the number one rep, that's perfectly fine. My opinion as a sales leader was fine.” – Mark DeChant
  • “I love to go work for someone who has a reputation for providing resources and removing obstacles.” – Mark DeChant
  • “I encourage the sales leaders to be able to understand that to articulate that, and to in some ways, sell that as they're going through the process.” – Mark DeChant
  • “It's not just the missteps, but how are you guys learning? How did you learn from it, so it doesn't happen again, and impact me?” - Mark DeChant
  • “Companies get the candidates they deserve and salespeople get the job that they deserve.” – Mark DeChant

Resources Mentioned

Title Sponsors:


Speaker 0    00:00:01    Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You are now tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra.  
Speaker 1    00:00:30    Well, welcome to another episode of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe and download on today's show. We're going to be discussing tips to hiring top sales talent, which I know is top of mind for a lot of the listeners. And I have an amazing guest on for round two, Mr. Mark, the chant, the founder of top 10 sales talent, mark. Welcome back,  
Speaker 2    00:00:52    Sam. Thanks for having me again. It's great to see you again, and, uh, I love your podcast. I'm a listener and looking forward to a chat and today.  
Speaker 1    00:01:00    Awesome brother. I appreciate it. And I'd be remiss if I didn't say happy new year, cause this is, uh, obviously we're in 2022, January very early into 2022.  
Speaker 2    00:01:08    I think I was the new year's guest last year.  
Speaker 1    00:01:11    I'll tell you what, you're just kicking off every year. So 2023, you're going to be on for round three brother. Awesome. Hey, so I want to jump into this around because the last episode that you were on, you were really giving it the candidate side, right? How to land that top sales job. And it was an amazing episode this time. We're going to really focus on the employer side, which I think is going to be near and dear to my heart. Cause I know you helped us with us from acquiring the best sales talent. So we're going to jump into that. But before we do, obviously top of mind for me is this whole great resignation of 2021. Give me your thoughts. Give me your feedback. Insights of really what the landscape of the market is today specific to sales and what you're seeing out there. Mark.  
Speaker 2    00:01:51    Yeah, absolutely. I just like you I've read as many articles and blog posts and videos about this as well. It's very fascinating. Something I haven't experienced in my lifetime and we're about the same age. So yeah, I mean the short summary is because of COVID and the work from home to move to work from home, a couple of issues, things have happened. One of the main ones is people ended up working more than they ever have. So because they didn't have community because they, they were kind of always on they're always right by their laptop or their desktop and in their home office, whether it's their own choice, whether it was pressure from their employers, whatever it might be. You know, people just really worked a lot. Wasn't much else to do it as well. Right. Remember when we weren't able to go a lot of places and travel a lot of places.  
Speaker 2    00:02:34    So because of that sort of burnout combined with the turnaround that we had in hiring last year, geez. And I also say M generational thing, which I'll definitely touch upon just a lot of employees in sales. And otherwise just decided to look out more for themselves as opposed to looking out for their employer and decide to take more control over their employment situation. They knew they had more options. So the work from home thing really impacted sales a ton, right? It used to be a massive selling point. I was doing this for many years now where I could say, Hey, guess what my customer right, allows you to work from home, right? And you know, 90%, 80%, 70% of the employers out there in software sales were having to come into an office. So that advantage completely evaporated within months. So we can debate whether that's good or bad for lots of different things, but that gave the employee so many more choices as far as who they wanted to work for, what size companies, what their working arrangements were.  
Speaker 2    00:03:37    And that's, that was one of the major drivers of this great resignation. There are things that happened, which again, these are such weird things when it comes to the pandemic, is that out of fear, as well as out of again, the lack of options to spend your money, especially around travel and leisure and everything else, people save a lot of money. People invested in their own houses or their own living quarters. They didn't go to as many vacation homes, et cetera. So they have the savings, uh, piled up. And, uh, you know, so you take the combination of the burnout, uh, plus the ability to control your destiny more plus having some money in the bank and maybe reducing your expenses because of the lack of spending options out there, all these kind of combined to form this great resignation now told different episode non sales related about working in retail, working in healthcare. A lot of those folks resigned for very different reasons to be real clear. Right?  
Speaker 1    00:04:30    Tell me a little bit about the generational piece, because you said that was a big piece of, I mean, kind of a perfect storm, right? I mean, Kobe was kind of the, the tipping point or the epicenter or the, whatever the case might be, but everything kind of trickled in this, but help me understand the generational piece. That's not something I maybe have been kind of catching on to now  
Speaker 2    00:04:48    Your thoughts around that. Absolutely. So, you know, I'm, I'm, uh, I'm right smack in the middle proud gen X-er myself. Uh, but I, I'm a huge fan of Y and Z, you know, millennials and gen Z. And one of the couple of things that they've really brought to the table around employment is around control about your own destiny. I'm sure you've read, you've read and heard about that. There's just far more entrepreneurship people starting their own business than there has been previously. It starting a lot earlier, right? So kids, I say kids for me, you know, 25 year olds that have two or three years in the workplace. I mean, I'm talking to these folks, I'm interviewing these folks, right? They've got side hustles that it turned into permanent hustles, or maybe they stay side houses, but there's an absolute exciting draw towards entrepreneurship and side hustles by these new generations that I think is exciting.  
Speaker 2    00:05:35    I think it's great for the economy. It's great for the collective creativity of the United States workforce. That's driving this as well. The other thing that I see a ton of it's really gets me excited is around mental health, self-care personal development, professional development, and not having your workplace be your entire identity. Okay. That's been a big driver for the great resignation, but it's also been in the, maybe I'm getting ahead of ourselves here. It's also been a driver for a lot of really interesting things around hiring and around benefits. So gens gen Y and gen Z are really driving an awareness of all sorts of health issues and health care. Mental health is certainly among the top of those. So as my clients are hiring, I see a much more, a much larger and more intense focus on providing those types of benefits. There's just a great article about sabbaticals, right? So more companies of all sizes are offering sabbaticals, which two weeks or three weeks paid on pay. We can go into that. But again, it's a recognition that in order to have the best workforce, I don't need them. I don't need 60 hour a week workers, 52 weeks a year.  
Speaker 1    00:06:46    Right. That's a good call out. I know we're going to, we'll probably dive into a little bit more cause we want to make sure we're getting into understanding. What are the key criteria? How do you hire that type talent? Like what do you have to do in today's market? And all the part of those are probably the things that mark probably when we were coming up. I mean, mental health has always been important, but like it, wasn't a focal point of the benefit package and how they appeal to you as a market. But let's dive into it a little bit. So let's talk a little bit about, I use the term ICP in sales. I know you do as well, but there's also that from a candidate standpoint, and I want to get your thoughts around is that the first step as a hiring manager, should that be, Hey, what is my ICP? Talk to me a little bit about how you should be approaching the hiring process in general and your initial outreach, if you will.  
Speaker 2    00:07:34    Absolutely. One of the reasons I left sales and went into staffing, and one of the reasons I just love talking about sales hiring is guess what? There are so many parallels between selling anything and hiring, right? And that's on both sides. And we already touched a lot on the candidate side. So why, if I'm easy to talk about the ideal candidate profile with sales leaders and by the way, sales means customer success and sales engineering, anything that's customer facing is that as your, as a sales leader or a CS leader, or you define your ideal client profile, you spend money, you spend time, you hire people to do it. You have big round tables with your C levels to understand exactly who we should be targeting from a client side. And that's a really fun exercise and it helps make or break many companies as we talked about.  
Speaker 2    00:08:20    So it should be a very easy parallel for leaders to really take some time and define their ideal candidate profile. One thing I strongly encourage that I do with our customers and if you're whether using staffing agency or not, if you're a hiring manager, take some time and complete an internal needs analysis document. So we'll talk about job descriptions as a separate entity, but right. So if you're a salesperson and you're interviewing like all that, and I guess not interviewing, but you're, you're doing a needs analysis discovery call with a client, right? You have all these criteria that you're trying to, what exactly it is about the pain points of your client, how you might be able to solve those. We know those documents back and forth. So it's not much of a big stretch to turn that needs analysis, document more inward facing to really understand what your ideal candidate profile is.  
Speaker 2    00:09:13    So to me there, that goes far beyond just the requirements. I talk about the job duties, right? And I talk about it with a little bit of a smile on my face because we know if it's a regular ag position, which is majority of sales hiring or an am or CSM look the top 10, 12, 14 things that you do as a salesperson, doesn't change a whole lot between each job right now, if it's a mid-market versus enterprise, if it's an am versus CSM, of course there's differences, but it's really about what are the most important criteria for success at this organization. Okay. And I asked my customers this and they inevitably say, that's a great question. About half of them have never thought of it, which is fine. That's why I'm there. Right? But outside of just what you do on a daily basis, if you go back and look at your top 10%, your top 20% of performers, what are the unique characteristics of those individuals that help them succeed at your company, selling your stuff to your ideal client profile?  
Speaker 2    00:10:13    Okay. So those can be things from average deal size to selling to the types of buyers to the sales cycle. Is it a quick sales cycle? Is it a longer, more complex sales cycle? It also goes to other characteristics just as far as is this a role that requires a lot of prospecting knowledge, a lot of unique ways to get meetings. Some jobs have tons of that and others have none of that. It might be more important for them to be able to articulate a more technical solution. So there's a lot more to, I can, I can go into lots more detail about a needs analysis document, but if I'm a sales leader, I strongly recommend that you take the time to really dig into what that ideal candidate profile is and go beyond just the surface requirements.  
Speaker 1    00:11:00    Yeah, that's a good call-out because when I used to think of what we were talking about now, and I, I very surface level, I know you, we got in the weeds when we started our project together, but I used to always think, Hey, build an ICP. I used to think to myself, well, they have to have SAS background. I guess that's more of a require like you, I'm thinking of the requirements. Ideally in retail, they have to be local to Orlando back pre COVID. Like, those are two, I understand where you're coming from, but you, what you're saying is where are those differentiators? Like, what are the things that separate you from the pack as you internalize this and start to basically broadcast this to your, to your candidates, to the, whatever the case might be. Is there anything that you see that people have the biggest challenge in building that? Like, what is the hardest thing for people to get their head around when doing this?  
Speaker 2    00:11:46    Um, well, one of them is ranking then ranking the requirements in a certain order of most important to least important. Okay. And I do challenge my clients with this pretty frequently because of course, everybody wants a hundred percent, you know, they want 10 on a 10 on everything. And even when I'm talking to my folks, I've got 9, 9, 10 folks out here at top 10, as they're evaluating candidates for our clients. It's look, if they check off seven out of the 10 boxes, but the three of them are the most important to our client. Then that's someone you're going to want to talk to. So going back to the client, that's really what I challenged. That's what they really have a hard time, which is yes, they need to have all these things. You know, you've heard the term unicorn over and over, but, uh, so I say, look, if they had more of this and less of that, would that be someone who's successful?  
Speaker 2    00:12:29    The other to think I do, which is really fun exercise on the rare occasion where I really don't come to a consensus with the client. I'm really not agreeing with her ideas about what they, who they should be looking for is guess what? You go on LinkedIn and you find their existing employees find their existing salespeople. So the most, you know, one of the most common ones is I want people that have, that I've had that aren't jumping around and have three years of experience. And then maybe a two years in a three or four that God bless them. But I've already, we've already talked about this long tenures are almost always a sign of success in sales. You don't last very long, any place, but short tenures don't necessarily mean that they can't be successful. Right? So the point of the very first thing is I don't, I want people three years tenure. And then I go back. I said, well, I just looked at the four people you told me were your top performers. And I saw 18 months. I saw two years, I thought three or so. You know, you have to do it in a respectful way, but sometimes there's just perceptions and biases that sales leaders have about what makes a successful salesperson. And it takes some time and work to overcome those objections.  
Speaker 1    00:13:32    It's a great catch. I always think of it as what are your non-negotiables like, what are the things that are like mission critical? Like if they don't have these two or three things, I can live with it, we can work around it. We can train around it, whatever. We're just the quintessential. They don't have these two, it's an automatic. I just can't make that decision. Is that a fair way of assessing? I mean, that might be boiling it down way too far, mark, but is that, is that fair?  
Speaker 2    00:13:56    We use that term every single day with our clients, with our candidates, with each other. So yes, non-negotiable. So again, selling to the buyer type and buyer profile and titles is the most common non-negotiable and I completely support it. You just mentioned selling to retail at flux engage. Of course, that's who you're going to be engaging with. You're going to know their business challenges. You're going to know their language. You're going to know the other titles that are in and around marketing retail. E-commerce so those of course, if that is a major non-negotiable, which it is for many, many of my clients, then I support that. It makes sense. It's going to reduce the learning curve, et cetera. So yes, non-negotiables I think you should put those out there. And then what, how I articulate this to the clients is as follows, right? So it's, you know, bill, how about this?  
Speaker 2    00:14:43    We're going to go find people between a hundred and 130 K base. Okay. That have the retail background that definitely have sold software. Right? Let my team give you some different looks. Okay. I'm going to show you someone who's 90 K. I'm going to show you someone who's 140 K base. Okay. You don't have to hire any of them. You don't even have to interview any of them, but we're going to give you a detailed profile of each of these individuals. And I say it this exact way, right? I want to show you what 90 K can buy. I'm going to show you 1, 1 30 can buy. There's no other better way to say it. I mean, there's nothing wrong with saying it that way, right? That's what the market bears for this type of a comp plan, for example, or let me show you someone who is slightly outside of your, of your area, but is passionate about your business, but knows is in and around your space, but doesn't come from a direct competitor, for example. Right? So most of my customers are very open-minded we're doing the work anyways, right? It's a contention model. So rather than this narrow definition of your ideal candidate profile, I very often encourage my folks that just open up to start with, and then we can always calibrate once they see some people  
Speaker 1    00:15:47    That's perfect. Hey, so talk to me, cause this next bullet really resonates with me. And what we were talking about offline was the narrative. Like what is the narrative that will capture in a player's interest and to go back to the top of our conversation, I think this is the most critical thing in today's landscape because it's so competitive. It's always been competitive and enterprise SAS sales, but I mean, it's ungodly when I'm hearing out there that people are making just throwing money around just it's just insane. So you've got to have a top track, a value prop and elevator, like you've got to put this all together, that's going to attract the right talent. So walk me through what you mean from a narrative standpoint that will capture the ATS.  
Speaker 2    00:16:26    Absolutely. And again, it's, it's pretty fun to talk about this because it's the same story and guidance that I give to candidates about their narrative, right? The clients, the companies, the employers, they have to have a succinct, powerful narrative about who they are, what they have to offer and why they can make this person specifically successful. Okay. Again, you've noticed, we're not talking about job descriptions. We're not talking about job postings whatsoever. Yes we can. Those are more tactical ways to just build up a pipeline. I think it's far more interesting to talk about once you have mutual interests, right? I love talking about that term. So, Hey, you've got this person's interest, this candidate's interest and the candidate is interested in you because of what they see as potential. So whether it's in written form, and especially when it's on the phone, when you're in the interview process, it's a two way sales conversation.  
Speaker 2    00:17:17    Let's just be honest. It always was especially for a player talent. And it is more now than ever because of the, sort of the mismatch of the amount of jobs, the amount of talent available. So when I say narrative, this means that, you know, here are some of the things that I hear the most from candidates. And if you're listening to sales leaders, you really want to really dig into this number. One of course is, Hey, what percentage of your reps are making quota, right? What is your number one rep earning just in general? What is the spirit of the team? Is it growing? Is the revenue growing by the way, I've always been a big, big believer. You and I learned this from our previous employer many years ago that everyone has their own drivers. Okay? So not every salesperson wants to make a half a million.  
Speaker 2    00:17:57    Not every salesperson wants to be the number one rep some very many want to work exactly 40 hours. They want to make the quota. They want to have a life outside of work. They want to be in good standing. They want to contribute, but they're not necessarily driven to be the number one rep that's perfectly fine. My opinion as a sales leader was fine. So that's not always number one. Drivers is how much people are making, but you do want to have that narrative of here's where we were. Here's how we've done the last 12 months. And just as importantly, here's our plan to help you be successful over the next 12 months. Right. And beyond that. So that's for sure. Then it's the leadership, right? The leadership really is one of my non-negotiables when deciding which companies to represent and that leadership is, does the sales leader or customer success leader have a history of success either at that company, which is great.  
Speaker 2    00:18:46    If they'd been there a while or if they're fairly new, do they have a history of success and good tenures elsewhere? Okay. Do they have a focus on the individual contributor? Okay. Are you a high integrity, low ego organization? That's a huge question and talk track that I hear from candidates all the time is look, there's lots of sales jobs. There's lots of base salaries. There's lots of people making money, but geez, I'd love to go work for someone who I like. I love to go work for someone who has a reputation for providing resources and removing obstacles. So again, when you're talking about that narrative, can you describe, can you give some examples of how you provide resources of how you remove obstacles? So again, history of success from the sales leader, the CEO, the other senior leaders are also an important part of that narrative.  
Speaker 2    00:19:36    And then a couple more that are really more specific to the company. So as you know, I have worked with 20 person series, a 3 million in funding, not too much anymore. I started out that way through series B 50 million through a couple. Now I've got some $4 billion valuation companies that are represented by the way. There's nothing wrong with any of those. Okay. But you need to have that narrative of why should somebody come to a series, a $5 million company right now? Okay. What's in it for them? Is it the early stage equity? Is it an evangelical sale that you're passionate about that are, that's getting lots of traction out there in the marketplace. And by the way, I have a 950 employee fit 20 year old company that I represent that I've made 30 placements at that company. That's a different narrative. That narrative is stability. It is upper right-hand corner of the Gartner magic quadrant for 10 straight years. Right? So again, whatever that specific stage of the company is, I encourage the sales leaders to really be able to understand that, to articulate that and to, in some ways, sell that as they're going through the process. That's fantastic. So whether that kind of caught me, that thought was for me, as you're talking through that  
Speaker 1    00:20:46    Is depending on where you're at in that stage, early stage, mid stage established, right? That top track should be unique to you. And what I mean by that is you're selling the dream as it relates to where you're at in that ecosystem. I, for us, we're a young upstart company we're selling the long-term vision, the equity, and you gotta be on the ground floor of something big. Right. Whereas when I was at Salesforce, it was a lot different cop truck. We're we're at the pinnacle we're, we're going to keep busting through, be a part of the big blue machine. Right. That's a different story, right? Mark. That's what you gotta be able to articulate.  
Speaker 2    00:21:19    Absolutely. And you know, one thing I've seen, it's been very heartwarming really for, since I've been doing this for six years now, is that transparency in the interview process has been really good. Right. And it hasn't always been that way. And I even, I noticed, I haven't really used the word selling too much, you know, one of our core values and it's been from the very first day is, you know, we don't sell jobs to candidates. We don't sell candidates to our clients. Okay. And I think everyone should adopt that. Right? So as someone like yourself or as an early stage, a CEO or head of sales is speaking to a candidate, I've seen just lots of outpouring of candor, of transparency, of their faults, of the opportunity of the SWOT, the weaknesses, the strengths, the opportunities. And so that's really helped avoid bad hires on both sides.  
Speaker 2    00:22:06    And by the way, it's also coming from the candidate side too. We're encouraging them. I think more and more folks are being able to articulate what they want. Again, there's so many options. What is the most important thing on both sides? And that's when the best matches happen is when there are, when there is candor about, Hey, let me just be honest about what I have to offer, right? And the candidate is, let me be honest about what I've already done and where I think I can go. And yes, there's some selling, there's nothing wrong with that word of selling and bringing to their attention, the best aspects of a job, just like a candidate brings to your attention, the best aspects of what their performance has been. But there's also that understanding that there's, there's no perfect situation  
Speaker 1    00:22:46    Without a doubt. And so the next one we were going to talk about, and I think this is, this is unique because I, and I think this has, this is probably made more of a shift. In my opinion, due to the marketplace is being ready to essentially handle sales. Objection. You know, candidates, good candidates are going to push you. Like, like you said, Hey, how many reps did like, how many didn't make quota? How many did it OTE? How many did do that? If you, if you didn't have that, if you didn't have any reps or people were below, like you've got that's, that's something you've got to already have a talk track around. And that goes back to the candor as well. But talk me through being prepared with, with some objection responses, if you will.  
Speaker 2    00:23:27    Sure. Absolutely. And this is also where a really nice detailed needs analysis discussion document with your team is very helpful. So again, gosh, I mean, it can be anything from where you are with a funding standpoint, right? It's been 18 months since your series a, it can be someone that goes on LinkedIn and sees that they just lost a couple of reps or they went from three reps to one rep. I mean, all this stuff is pretty available. Now it could be absolutely Glassdoor ratings, which is probably a whole two hour podcast we could have. I will just give you my quick take on that. I believe in Glassdoor ratings, I do believe that you know that for the most part, they're pretty reflective of the culture. I know on one side people say only the negative people go on there. And another side people say that there's a big campaign to make your employees go put nice stuff on there.  
Speaker 2    00:24:15    I'm not saying that all that neither of those things happen, but I would encourage you to be cognizant of Glassdoor and others. There are services that, that also have ratings and reviews. Look, there's no way to avoid it. So you might as well be cognizant of, and at least, and at least take a, take a look at that. But yeah, as far as overall objections, yeah. You just have to be candid about what's happened before leadership changes is another big one, right? So, Hey, I noticed that this is your, if at three CEOs in the last four years, you know, why is that? And again, you don't have to make something up. You shouldn't make something up, but you should have an honest and hopefully strong counter to that. Objection of why the board or the new investors decided to bring in their own CEO or why look that this CEO was a mistake. Okay. This person was, uh, came from the same space, but came from a much larger organization. They came here were only 50 people. She came from a 300 person organization. It just wasn't a cultural fit, whatever the case may be. But yes, just like candidates have to overcome objections about why they misquoted this year, right then the sales leaders and other hiring managers need to be able to do the same.  
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Speaker 1    00:26:00    What I like about that is that it's been some time, but I've seen it firsthand where obviously I gravitated the PR people that were, were transparent with me. Hey, listen, it was a misstep. Hey, it was a bad deal. Like, yeah, simple as that, Angela and I know that top track needs to be succinct and needs to be uniform across the organization, but still truthful, right. Is that resonate with like people make mistakes. There are missteps in business. It happens all the time. So I started to make pivots and change and evolve, but versus the people that tried to account for it in a different way where you know that they're grasping at straws. And that just tells me a little bit more about their leadership, but are they going to be accountable? Are they going to be responsible? Is that somebody want to roll up to, doesn't want to want to report to. So I think it goes back to that whole pander, right? Mark. Just be truthful beyond this, but be succinct about where those missteps and how I think more important, mark. I think you would agree with this. It's not just the missteps, but how are you guys learning? How did you learn from it? So it doesn't happen again and again,  
Speaker 2    00:26:57    That's right. The best thing about sales and startups and all these is that tomorrow's tomorrow and every day you wake up, you can make a change that, uh, that improves your situation from the day before  
Speaker 1    00:27:07    Without a doubt. So this is another one that I think we've done a better job as an organization. I think this is something we should all be improving on is candidate experience. But I want you to talk to, because there's some thoughts I have on this and what that means and how to be in talk to you when you think candidate experience, because this is a critical aspect of the whole process, right? If you like what you do, mark, you can send me 15 people, but the experience is piss poor. Then that's not all on me. Like it's like a revolving door. There's only so much you can do. You can get them in the door, but the experience is horrible.  
Speaker 2    00:27:40    Absolutely. Yeah. This is definitely one of my favorite topics. And uh, you know, one of the things I say is that, look, your candidate experience is a reflection of your leadership style, right? And just everyone believes that. And quite frankly, usually it turns out to be true. This is an area where, as I've grown in my business now six and a half years, I've definitely come far more emboldened to have very candid conversations, by the way before I agree to bring on a client. Okay. It's got to be talked about by asking in our needs analysis call, which is, tell me about the steps. Tell me about the hiring process first and foremost, who's going to be involved. Okay, great. It's going to be these, these five steps. Are you committed to getting this done in a four week period? Right. So one to two steps each week.  
Speaker 2    00:28:24    Oh yeah, that sounds great. So by the way, of course everyone says yes to all of these until I start digging in. Okay, great. Well, do you guys use a Calendly or do you use a once hub or some sort of calendaring tool while some of us do some of us? Don't great. Well, you give our recruiting coordinator access to your calendars. So when you push the button and say, you want to speak to this candidate, that within a couple of hours, we'll have them booked on your calendar. Oh, that'd be awesome. That sounds great that you're going to provide those services to us. So since the last time we've spoken, I've hired a full time recruiting coordinator, which is, you know, for an eight person firm because of how important the candidate experience is. And because to be blunt, and I've told my clients this directly, I'm nervous allowing my clients to own that process.  
Speaker 2    00:29:07    Some of them are fantastic. Some HR departments, many HR departments, many of my customers, they have it together, but it's more about their time commitment. It's more about the other things that pull them away and all these recruiters are also recruiting for other roles as well. So it's just a service that we provide to make sure that it's, that it's done in a timely manner. But if you are a client and employer and you are missing and rescheduling and ghosting, right, and going dark, you have no chance to land top talent for a couple of reasons. Number one, because they're actively zooming through other processes by clients who are more committed to a good process. And number two, like I said, at the beginning, it's, you know, if you have a choice between someone who's really treat you respectfully throughout the process, and one has been a little, let's just say some mishits, it's going to inform your decision on who to join.  
Speaker 1    00:29:59    It's funny you mix it. Could I personally, I'm a big believer in showing up on time in anything. I do like 15 minutes early, you're late. Right? And there's been just nothing. No, no. Other than maybe one or two where they show up 5, 10, 15 minutes late as me as a candidate, not as the employer that, that carries so much weight as I'm going through three or four other processes, even if they're all at a parallel, Hey, I'd like to work for them. All those little nuances always stay with me like, Hey, that's kind of weird. Like, how do you show up late to an interview? Like it's been like, those things drive me crazy from a candidate experience side. Then that might seem very trivial to somebody. I get that. But that carries weight as a candidate going through that. And let's face it. It's not an easy, like that's an overwhelming process for a candidate.  
Speaker 2    00:30:46    Yes, it is. I mean, in many ways it's a second job. The vast majority of folks are currently employed and the vast majority of candidates are going through at least three interview processes at the same time. So it is a full-time job. Sam, it's not an overstatement to say that it is extremely disrespectful for a hiring manager to be five minutes late to an interview, especially multiple times. Okay. That person would never be five minutes late to a CEO meeting for one of their prospects. So by the way, let's just put it up, you know? So, you know, the biggest deal you're going to close is that, you know, half a million dollar deal this year and you're going to be on time, you can be prepared. And now here's a rep, right? By the way, he's going to bring in 1.2 million. So they're your most valuable than all your clients because they're bringing in more than almost any single client brings in. So I'm with you. I track that. We track that as a company. If we hear from our candidates, that our clients are consistently being late, which is very rare, to be honest, then that that is something that needs to have a discussion.  
Speaker 1    00:31:42    What are the biggest misfires you're seeing from the candidates? Because you're hearing it all. You're hearing both sides. You're hearing the employer, you're hearing the candidate. Like what are the biggest misfires when it comes to the candidate experience? Like what are you hearing the most over promising under delivering, being late? Like some of those things, mark,  
Speaker 2    00:31:59    I would say this, we asked them to outline their, the, um, you know, their entire hiring process start to finish. Okay. Now understandably, uh, not every firm asks these detail level questions and quite frankly, holds them accountable. So many smaller companies say, well, it's going to be me. Then it's going to be Susan. It's going to be Jim. And we may mix that up. And so we really work hard to say, no, is this going to be a video interview? Is it going to be a phone call? It's going to be in person. You want 30 minutes, you want 45 minutes. Is it going to be on zoom is to make Microsoft teams, do you want us to provide it? So we really, really dig into getting them to commit to what that process looks like. One of the biggest misfires I've seen is changing the advertised process in the middle of the process.  
Speaker 2    00:32:44    Okay. So that's very frustrating. I'm going through one right now. That is extremely frustrating where the person is as the company has added literally five or six additional steps than they first talked about. It's going on a month, longer than we expected is a senior leadership role that we're filling. So there's some understanding, you know, there's, there's some, I have some understanding about that, but as you can imagine, it's just changing the process is kind of going back on your word. It kind of shows a lack of organization. It may even show a lack of commitment or understanding to what you're trying to do or confusion about why you want to hire this person or what you think is important for this person to go through so way. I'm not someone who says it must be three weeks. It must be four. I know other firms have said really pushed back on the total number. I'm less concerned about the total number Sam than if you tell me it's going to be six, then let's make it six. But that's one that I don't like personally, the candidates get pretty annoyed by it, which is just a lack of consistency in the messaging of what the process is going to look like.  
Speaker 1    00:33:50    Yeah, I think right along those lines is I think it's up to the sales leader or whoever the hiring manager is to get buy-in from the rest of the team. I need your commitment on your availability, right? I mean, if you need to pull something, you have to make, we've committed to these timeframes and today's market. We can't stress this out any further. We're going to lose great candidates because we can't be nimble enough to react and be proactive, I should say. So that's a great catch.  
Speaker 2    00:34:15    And I will say that as a group, over the last two years, the candidate experience has been a focus. It is improved as a group, meaning all my customers combined pretty markedly over the first four years that I was in business. So people are getting it fantastic.  
Speaker 1    00:34:30    So I know as a hiring manager, there's the table stakes, right? Your comp package or OTE your, your health. But talk to us a little bit about what are some of the things that we talked a little bit about sabbaticals and mental health and those personal and professional develop, which I think is becoming bigger and bigger. Like we've even adopted a budget of, Hey, here's X amount of dollars you can spend on whatever professional development you want to invest in. Talk to us about some of those intangibles employers need to be thinking through that are not table-stakes. Those are the differentiators, if you will, in great candidates and with our looking at  
Speaker 2    00:35:01    Before the market. Absolutely. Why I think in a way to describe it from an overview standpoint is again, going back to that, every employee has their own driver instead of drivers. Okay. I remember that we were taught that we were leading a team of individuals. I'll never forget that phrase. I've used it as a leader since I first learned it, meaning it is a team, it is a community of like-minded individuals, right? That have similar goals that have similar backgrounds that are going towards a unified goal. That's great. That's what a sales team is, but absolutely they're all individuals. And so I would strongly encourage putting in a personal development plan of some sort with your current employees that you can then describe and use it as a selling point while you're interviewing people. And that can be a thousand bucks a year. That can be just a commitment to a written letter once a quarter.  
Speaker 2    00:35:51    That can be a commitment to outside training. That can be a commitment to reviewing someone for a promotion each year. But if you're a leader and you're not asking somebody during the interview process, Hey, you know what this role is going to be. We want you to come here and sell stuff, right? We want you to come in here and be a sales engineer, wants you to come in and lead our SDR team, whatever it might be. But tell me more about where you see yourself going on. I know it's the old, where you see yourself in five years and you can laugh at that, but it is important. It is important to say, Hey, is there an alignment where you want to go? And do we have the tools and the resources and the human capital to take you to where you, where you want to go.  
Speaker 2    00:36:28    So just the act of asking somebody about what their goals and dreams are in the short term. And I really mean two or three years, not as much, five years is, uh, shows that candidate and that eventuall employee that you are thinking about them, not just as a cog in your wheel, not just as someone who's going to help you make your number, but someone who can help you get to that next level again, gen Y and gen Z, God bless them. They've really brought this more to the forefront about professional development, personal development. It could be leadership. It could be getting a second degree. It could be doing something, an extracurricular volunteering. Oh my gosh. So many companies are giving volunteer days are doing company-wide volunteer. Days are giving back to the community, are matching their employees end of year contributions to the charity of their choice. These are actual benefits. I'm seeing all over the place now. And it's, it's refreshing and talking about it in the interview process. I understand it's not like you said, writing a check for 250 bucks to your charity is not a huge part of this job description, or really needs to be a ma a major part of an interview process, but it, it reflects your culture, your personal beliefs, your CEO's beliefs, and it can really attract. And honestly can be one of the difference makers in landing a candidate.  
Speaker 1    00:37:46    So piece of my thought process on this for the seven focus, that what you said there was, Hey, it's not necessarily part of the job description, writing a check for 250. But when I think through that in high level, I almost think it's not really even the amount or so, you know, if I'm asking some, Hey, is there a training program? You know, it's not so much the answer to it, or, Hey, is there a professional development that, is there a lot of it, you know, it's not so much, Hey, I'm looking for a thousand dollars, $2,000. It's the fact that the answer that they thought through it, like, yeah, there is. And here's what it looks like. And here's how that works. Like the fact that they were able to think, like that's not that common, even in today's day and age, people giving it a lot. But the fact that they're already thinking through that, that speaks more, like you said, to the culture of the organization, that they really must value professional development. That's still pretty even in today's climate. So I think those are some of the sticking points that I would say as well.  
Speaker 2    00:38:40    Yeah, absolutely. And again, on a sabbaticals and work-life balance, let's touch on that as well. And this was fresh in my mind wall street journal just had a really nice little article about sabbaticals a couple of days ago. So it's just really an acknowledgement that keeping a good top performing employee, as we all know, is so much easier and so much more cost-effective than finding a new one. Okay. That doesn't help my business cause I help find new people, but in all seriousness. So giving some, I mean, imagine how easy the decision would be. That if you knew that if you gave somebody three weeks off, paid or unpaid in the middle of the year to go travel, to just unwind to unplug. But if you knew that doing that gave you another two years of performance from that person who would say no to that, right.  
Speaker 2    00:39:27    Who would say no to that? If it's a top performer and they've been there and they've kind of earned the right to do that, there's just more and more understanding of that. I feel there's less and less of this. You have to be available on weekends. You have to be available on next. If you want to, if both parties want to do that, if that's why these are performance-based jobs. Right. Scam. So guess what people got to behind their number, they're working nights and weekends. You and I both did. Cause we opened behind her number like everybody else. Right. Okay. But if you're not, I just think there's a lot more realization that not everyone's identity like it has been for many decades is tied in. So exclusively through your job.  
Speaker 1    00:40:04    That's an interesting point in the sabbatical and top performers taking the time I remember early on in SAS and we do it unlimited PTO. Right. That was a big thing. And it's still like, I don't know, one salesperson, the next he capitalized because we are, performance-based like, you still have that quote, like it's kind of a conundrum, right? If I take the time off, there's no deletion of the quote. Like how do you rectify that? How do you get your head around that as a sales leader that would love to motivate myself. But if they're gone for three weeks, two months, like how, like what's your thought process run that mark. I know  
Speaker 2    00:40:35    From his famous story back in the curricular days have a rep in Atlanta and he was a number one guy for 10 years in a row. I don't know, 8, 7, 9 years in a row. And this is a true story. He stopped working around October 15th of every year. And you didn't see him or hear from him again until kickoff on January 6th. Okay. So he was 110, 120% of his number. He was just that good. Okay. And that goes to the drivers. This is one of the, that stories when the first time that I really sort of started to internalize what a driver really means that was this person's driver. I made my number. I'm 110%. I'm certainly by all stretch, you know, take care of his customers, checking in doing that stuff, but he's not making any more calls. He's not doing any, he is going on vacation, he's going skiing.  
Speaker 2    00:41:20    He's going to hang out with his family. And he made his number and he had an agreement with his supervisor that I'm here to make my number and be 110% of my number every year. And when, on the day I get to there, I'm outta here. So that's a, you know, it's just a sort of an anecdote that kind of kicks that up. When it comes to unlimited PTO, there is a bit of a difference for a true hunter salesperson compared to other roles like CSM, like se like SDR, et cetera, those types of roles require more daily and weekly consistent interaction with customers than your hunter AEs. So I think unlimited PTO PTO means a little bit different to those types of roles. Again, I'm in favor of it because of what you said, that if you're behind your number, you're going to use the PTO that you required to stay ahead of your number.  
Speaker 1    00:42:10    Right. When I kind of assimilate to that is I think it's all about expectations. I think it's all about clear expectations on what you expect me as a sales rep. What I expect you as a sales leader. I expect when you want PTO that you unplug, I'm not going to bother you. I shouldn't bother you like less hell, unless you've said, Hey, you could bother me if this and this fine, I will, but I want you to unplug. I know you need that time to unplug. Everybody needs it. So expectations like, Hey, Hey, I'm good until around six 30, after six 30, I'm not responding until 8:00 AM the next morning. Right? Those types of things resolve a lot of the things that are typical anx between leadership and sales and all those types of fun things. I think you would agree with that, right? Mark.  
Speaker 2    00:42:55    Absolutely. Yep. I mean, you know, if you're going to have good communication with your employee, with your salesperson, your CSM, you're going to have those discussions frequently and consistently. Gosh, I hope everyone listening to this. If there are any sort of boss, please encourage your folks to actually turn off their stuff for PTO. I wouldn't say force it. I don't know if that's a term you can use, but I mean, for my employees, I S I just begged them to, I do. Okay. I didn't, when I first, I mean, I was a one person shows, you know, and I didn't, and that's fine. It's my choice. But a couple of weeks, a year, I am not online. I am not on the phone. I use my phone for Spotify and that's it. Okay. I did text my family members who I'm with on vacation. So gosh, that is such really cool and important in my opinion thing to do, gosh, if they're sales leaders that expect their folks to be on call or they're on vacation, I pity those, those salespeople. I'm just going to be honest.  
Speaker 1    00:43:53    And I think to tie this all back to the top of this great resignation, I've read that the burnout factor is one of the leading contributors to why, Hey, there's this glut of jobs making a lot of money. And you're just burning me six ways to Sunday every day, every night, you're emailing me slack. And it's the whole channel saturation. I'm getting slacked. I'm getting texted, I'm getting phone calls. It becomes a drain on an individual. If you don't allow them to unplug or allow that candidate to understand that that's a culture you're sending as an organization.  
Speaker 2    00:44:26    Well, absolutely. I mean, you want your folks at their top performance and that, and you know, just like a car or any other analogy, right? You can't run your car at a hundred miles an hour every minute of the day and break down eight. So you've got to park that car sometimes and let it recharge. And the same thing for your employees. If you want a long-term relationship with these folks, then your actions will speak louder than just saying, saying you want them, your long-term and your actions are about respecting them, rewarding them, recognizing them. And those are all things that you should be talking about during the interview process, in my opinion.  
Speaker 1    00:44:58    Fantastic. So define the ideal candidates, just kind of summarize, cause these are the big things. Hey, if you really want to be finding the top sales talent, especially in today's landscape, define your ideal candidate profile, you said mark needs analysis document, really? That is key, right? Internalizing that and getting the feedback from an organization. And what that should be from a candidate standpoint, created a narrative for a players. Like why should they come to work for your organization? There's a couple of sub bullets that we've talked through, be prepared to overcome objections. That was a big one in the talk tracks that might come up and the candidate experience. And I think can the candidate experience in my book is a big one, right? Set the proper expectations throughout the interview process and to live up to those expectations on the employer side. And then we talked about the sabbaticals and just those non table stakes that you should be doing as an organization for the candidate, that in some regard is just the right thing to do, right? You should want the human being, your, your team, your whatever, to unplug and relax. Obviously.  
Speaker 2    00:46:04    Well, there's one thing that wasn't on the agenda, but I love sales leaders to hear this right. And I say this to both sides. I say that companies get the candidates they deserve and salespeople get the jobs that they deserve. Okay. It's not being pejorative at all. What that means is, look, if you're a $4 billion series B unicorn with 150 employees, and you're already worth 4 billion and you've got 750 million funding and you're on the front page of the wall street journal, okay. And everyone's making 400 K there and I'm representing a company that has those exact characteristics. Then you're going to have access to the absolute very best top two, top 3% of salespeople, by the way, their culture is amazing as well. Okay. If you're a company that's being rebooted for the third time and you've got 15 months left of runway and God bless them all, okay.  
Speaker 2    00:46:55    I mean, I've worked with companies like that. God bless those risk takers and you're not in, you're in the bottom left hand corner of the Gartner magic quadrant. At least you're on it. Okay. Yeah. Not trying to be pejorative or disrespectful in anybody, but I'm just asking sales leaders to be realistic about the quality of the talent that they're going to be able to hire at the comp plans that they're advertising for. Okay. It's any other transaction society, right? There's a value on this job. There's a value on this candidate and it's our job to make sure that those values match up.  
Speaker 1    00:47:28    I think there's a call I've really do. I mean, I think hit the nail on the head because there's, I think there's some type of a, you think your Salesforce when you're or someone else on that spectrum, if you will, Hey, mark. Round two was fantastic. I sincerely appreciate it. How do people get in contact with you? How they learn more about top 10 talent, you as an individual, the whole nine yards,  
Speaker 2    00:47:49    Uh, mark D champs on LinkedIn. My email is right there on my LinkedIn profile. Mark de Chan top 10 sales talent. My email is mark top 10 sales  
Speaker 1    00:48:02    Fantastic. We'll put all that in the show notes for you guys. Mark. Absolute pleasure having you on man. Have a good one. You too, Sam. I  
Speaker 2    00:48:07    Really enjoyed it.  
Speaker 0    00:48:10    Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra. Be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content. 

Mark Dechant Profile Photo

Mark Dechant

Founder & CEO @ RevsUp

Mark DeChant is the author of The $500k Sales Recruiter and president of RevsUp, a contingent recruiting firm that specializes in placing software sales professionals.

Between 2002 and 2016, Mark was a successful enterprise sales leader and contributor, mostly at early-stage companies in software and services. He hired more than 250 people during that time, exceeded his annual quota in twelve of those fourteen years, and thoroughly enjoyed every role.

In January 2016, he launched a one-person staffing agency. RevsUp now employs 11 people across the United States, and his team helps companies hire customer-facing employees - from Account Executives to Sales Engineers to Chief Revenue Officers.