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How to Create a More Data-driven Sales Hiring Process

Sales leaders don’t have to be reminded how important it is these days to fill open sales positions and avoid bad hires at all costs. Simply stated: hire fast and hire well. Granted, that’s easier said than done sometimes. But it is possible, and there’s no denying that if you succeed, you’ll find it much easier to hit your number. If you don’t, your company will constantly find itself mired in neglected accounts, abandoned opportunities and overall poor performance.

So as the war for sales talent intensifies, it is critical to understand your sales hiring funnel and its associated KPIs so that you don’t get caught short.

How well do you know your sales hiring funnel?

Funnels rule sales and are crucial to understanding and modeling marketing and sales effectiveness. Our recent State of Sales Hiring Survey revealed that on average, you will need 100 applicants to fill three B2B sales positions. Of those 100 applicants, you will interview 25 and make five offers. Of those five offers, three candidates will accept. And, on average, it will take four weeks to get the 100 applicants, another four weeks to receive acceptances, 12 weeks to onboard, and 24 weeks to ramp to full production. 

Factor in some PTO and holidays, and we’re talking nearly a full year!  

Granted, these numbers are averages across more than 100 organizations. So, your organization may be very different. Regardless, if you don’t have these numbers at your fingertips, you are at a serious disadvantage for both planning and execution.

Conversely, when you have these numbers, you can take measures to improve conversion rates and times, just as you would for your marketing and sales funnels.

How to get started on creating your sales hiring funnel

1. Keep it simple – It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you seek perfection. That’s not your goal.

2. Partner with your recruiting or HR teams – They should be doing as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Afterall, you’re their customer and they 

3. Create a funnel mindset – Just as you do for marketing, there should be a sales funnel mindset for sales hiring. This includes defining stages (such as the example funnel above) and capturing your current state by documenting what gets done at each stage and by whom.

4. Identify the data and KPIs you need – If this process is new for you, start at the bottom and work your way up. It’s often easier to follow a few recent placements from finish to start rather than start to finish. For example:

  • Number of hires in the past 12 months
  • Number of offers to land the acceptances
  • Number of candidates interviewed to get offers
  • Number of applicants to get to the interviews  
  • Total time to hire – from issuing the job req to day one on the job

5. Assign someone to this task – Once you have a starting point, assign someone to maintain and enrich this information. A few KPIs they should track long-term include:

  • Time to progress from one stage to the next
  • Cost per applicant by job advertising source
  • Total time (prep, interview, and debrief) spent by managers on hiring
  • Time to onboard and ramp up a new hire to full production
  • Differences across roles, such as Sales Development Rep (SDR), Account Executive (AE), and Sales Manager

When you have a clear picture of the time, effort, and cost to hire and onboard reps, you can plan, budget, and improve your process. 

Download the full survey report here!

What are you doing to improve your sales hiring process?

For B2B sales organizations needing to minimize the risk of bad hires and move fast to land the best applicants, the 

Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (S2P2) is a next-generation talent assessment that quickly and accurately predicts quota attainment while delivering an engaging, differentiated experience for candidates.

Traditional hiring assessments are usually better than gut instinct, but like any tests, candidates hate taking them. Furthermore, traditional assessments only predict potential and not performance. S2P2 puts candidates into realistic selling situations with 3D avatar simulations, scores their interactions with virtual prospects, and through AI, predicts their expected quota attainment. 

S2P2 gives your managers insight to avoid bad hiring decisions, improves hiring objectivity and consistency, and shows candidates you are a forward-thinking company that takes their development seriously. 

Bottom line, we are revolutionizing the way organizations hire, onboard, develop talent, and create a fair hiring process for all. Predictive simulations are the latest enhancement we’re adding to that arsenal of products.

Author: Dario Priolo

Dario brings over 20 years of experience in the sales enablement and talent development industry. He has led marketing and strategy as CMO for leading companies like the Hay Group, Miller Heiman and Profiles International and has been part of 4 successful exits, including his own start-up.


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