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About This Episode
The pandemic has put plenty of us out of a job.
Job seeking during a hiring freeze has to rank pretty high on our “worst nightmare” scale.
For sales reps in tech — or who want to break into tech — I’ve brought on today’s guest to give insider tips for job searching.
Companies that used to want to hire 20 engineers would suddenly want to hire 30 salespeople. “Engineers had all these amazing platforms helping engineers get the jobs, but there was just nothing for salespeople,” Mike said.
Approved candidates listed on the platform can be searched by employers and contacted directly.
“It’s effective, it’s unbiased, it’s super scalable, and we’re seeing really great results,” he added.
Who’s hiring during the pandemic?
I asked Mike to sketch out what’s going on in the marketplace right now.
Hiring is definitely slowing down, especially in earlier stage companies that might be having an outright hiring freeze.
“Unfortunately, some have had to let very good people go. But on the flip side, there are some amazing candidates entering the market that are primed and ready for the next opportunity,” he pointed out.
For companies ready to hire, they’ll have their pick of amazing talent.
Who’s hiring right now?
- Tech that facilitates remote work (like collaboration software)
For candidates, there’s presently a lot less demand for salespeople.
“People need to get creative and find different ways to get in touch with the right opportunities,” Mike said.
3 ways to be a stand-out candidate
So, the market’s noisier now.
Candidates can separate themselves from the pack by keeping positive.
“This is temporary,” Mike said. “This will improve.”
During tough times, we tend to see improvements in technology and processes… which means tech people will come out from this situation even stronger.
“More people are available for less roles, less opportunities,” Mike said.
1. View the job search like a sales process
“Finding a new role is one of the most important sales processes a rep can go through in their career,” Mike explained.
You sell a product that’s valuable for a group of people — but not every single buyer.
Getting hired right now means finding the right opportunities, your best fit as a candidate.
Don’t try to get interviews just because they’re interviews. Efficiency means being prescriptive to the companies that you are getting in touch with.
Map the current buyer. Target certain companies. Narrow down the sales funnel.
2. Break into B2B tech sales with strategic positioning
“Find overlap with your experience in another role,” Mike said.
- Average deal size. If you’re used to selling 20K insurance packages, you can sell a 20K SaaS technology.
- Target buyer. If you’ve been selling sales outreach software, you know how to sell to sales teams.
- Deal length. Your sales cycle in a different industry took nine months, so you understand the stages of that sale.
- Industry knowledge. Find a new company that’s trying to break into the industry you just came from.
There are so many ways you can position yourself as a valuable new member for a tech company, even without certain logos under your belt.
3. Leverage your networks
Don’t underestimate the network. “Find ways that you can, in a very low friction way, get influential people in your networks to help out,” Mike said.
You could say something like this:
Scott, you know a lot of sales leadership and talent leadership in tech. I crawled through your LinkedIn and found 10 names I’d love to get a connection with. Would you be able to introduce me to 2 or 3 you think would be a good fit?
This approach takes very little work for your contact — but could deliver a huge amount of value for you.
The introduction doesn’t have to be glowing, either. It could simply be a note asking whether the contact is open to a 10 minute chat.
“If you do that with 3 or 4 people in your network, you can suddenly build out that web,” Mike said.
On a personal note, I believe we sales leaders need to rally together and help each other where we can. If it’s as easy as facilitating an introduction, we need to be open to that.
Mike’s 3 takeaways
- Don’t panic. We need to think differently about how we can be most successful.
- As you’re looking for new jobs, think of it as a sales process: identify targets, personalize, find unique decision makers, and find out of the box ways to get in front of these people.
- Use the network in a frictionless way. Find something where someone can help you out in a very little bit of time.