Time Kills Deals: How to Hire Top Sales Talent and Beat the Competition

by Dave Lindstrom

It’s a Timing Issue

When people look back on the past year, many will reflect with comments about how quickly the time went by:

“There aren’t enough hours in the day.”

“It’s Christmas already?”

And the list goes on…

Time always seems to get away from us in our personal lives. Unfortunately, that trend has crossed over into our business lives, affecting companies’ ability to land top sales talent.

Every salesperson has one simple phrase that has been imbedded in their psyche, usually as a result of sales leaders who were taught the same phrase when they started in sales: “Time Kills Deals.”

The evidence behind this claim is difficult to argue with. It makes perfect sense that the longer the sale is drawn out, the less chance it has to actually close. The issue with this concept is that the same sales leaders who drill that phrase into their salespeople’s minds rarely practice what they preach when it comes to adding sales talent to the team.

When looking for top-tier sales talent to hire for their team, companies need to be ready, willing, and able to move along their process quickly. If a high performing salesperson is interviewing with your company, you have to assume that he or she is interviewing with other companies as well. The market for good salespeople is extremely competitive, so the company with the most effective hiring process will be the most successful in landing the candidates they want.

So, what does this mean for your organization? It’s important to keep the process moving forward to keep the top candidates interested. This does not mean that companies should take shortcuts to hire quickly without properly vetting each candidate. In fact, companies need to do the complete opposite. Companies need to do a better job of qualifying candidates and vetting the right fit for both the organization’s culture fit and the role. That being said, companies can’t have gaps in the hiring process that allow for a good candidate to hear about another opportunity or lose interest in the initial role.

The good news is there are a few simple changes organizations can make to fix those gaps and streamline the hiring process. In fact, the first of those changes is before the process even starts!

How to Solve the Timing Issue

1. Play as a team, have a plan.

One of the biggest causes of delay in the hiring process is a lack of consensus on what type of candidate the company is actually looking for. For most positions, there are multiple people involved in the interviewing process. Make sure everyone is on the same page regarding what the company is looking for and many issues will be solved even before they come up.

2. Make it a priority.

Another gap in the hiring process can occur when there is a lack of urgency. If your company is ready, willing, and able to make this hire, this is an easy problem to solve. Make this hire a priority. If it’s is a priority for the company, people will make time to interview no matter what they are busy with. Technology has made the world such a small place, so even if a candidate or hiring manager is traveling, tools like Skype or FaceTime make it possible to interview anywhere in the world.

If your company can do these two very simple things before the interview process even begins, you will limit the chances of downtime in your hiring process, and likely find yourself winning over top talent. By expediting their processes, companies will show candidates that their skills and time are valuable. The more valued a potential employee feels during the hiring process, the more loyalty that candidate will feel as they enter into employment with your company. In the world of sales, time does in fact kill deals. And now, it seems that it can also kill the chance of landing a top–tier “deal-maker” for your team.

How has your organization adapted the hiring process in recent years? Tell me in the comment section below!

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© Can Stock Photo Inc. / nsilcock

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