It is no surprise that recruiting top performing sales professionals in New York City is no easy task. Top sales people in the Big Apple do what New Yorkers do best – make money, and lots of it. To be the best of the best, requires competing and winning in arguably the most cut throat and fast-paced selling environment on the plant, where “no” or “maybe next quarter” is never an acceptable answer.
In the land of “time is money”, ‘A’ level sales people don’t spend much time considering career options or looking for work, but instead are busy pounding the phones, building relationships with key buyers from Chambers St. down to State St., and closing deals with Fortune 100 companies. This reality has given rise to one of the most common questions VP of Sales and HR Mangers are faced with when attempting to recruit in Midtown Manhattan: “how and where can my organization find ‘A’ level sales talent in New York?”
The solution should come as no surprise…
Finding top sales professionals in New York takes a significant amount of time, effort, and resources. Hiring teams must first have a concrete understanding of the skills, experience, and DNA that is required to excel in the organization’s unique selling environment, and utilize those requirements to guide the recruiting plan, including the individuals that will be targeted and how the opportunity will be presented. Not to be forgotten in this process is the impact the compensation package attached to the role has. It should influence and dictate the level of professional a hiring team targets as well as the companies they are sourced from.
What further complicates the recruiting process in New York is that there are over 100,000 sales people in Manhattan alone, with +75% of them not hitting quota year after year. This abundance of sales people creates an artificially large talent pool that is heavily diluted with ‘B’ and ‘C’ level sellers, making assessment even more arduous.
Given the reality that top sellers represent an extremely small percentage of the total sales population, particularly in New York, there is a very small likelihood that traditional recruitment efforts will yield the ideal candidate an organization wants and needs. Committing to a rigorous and structured sales hiring process will mitigate hiring risk and keep a hiring team focused on searching in the right places and for the right people.
Networking Helps Exposure to Sales Talent
It goes without saying that networking and referrals are one of the most effective ways to get exposed to high achieving sales people. Why? Because top performers are looking for something, customers.
Therefore, in order to compliment other sales recruiting efforts, here are 8 sales networking events in NYC where there is a good chance of meeting some great sales people:
- NYC Enterprise Sales Meet-up: The NYC Enterprise Sales Meet-up is a group for sales people in the NYC metro area selling to large companies and involved in complex sales cycles. The ultimate purpose of this community is to create an environment where like minded professionals can not only network with peers, but learn from other industry leaders about successful selling methodologies. This group, in particular, is great for Sales Managers in the software space looking for talent that can sell complex solutions.
- NYC Business Networking Group: The NYCBNG has been hosting business networking events for sales and business professionals alike for 7+ years. With more than 300 events since its inception, NYCBNG has earned a reputation as one of the premier, all around business networking groups in NYC. In fact, NYCBNG won the coveted Top 100 Small Business Influencers Award in Leadership in 2011. Membership is free, which makes it one of the busiest, and well attended business networking groups in all of the United States. While not sales specific, top sellers can be spotted attending NYCBNG events.
- Swap The Biz NYC Business Networking Group: Swap invites business professionals from all boroughs to connect, share experiences, and learn selling techniques from industry leaders. With sales professionals from Fortune 500 companies, right down to late stage start-ups and everything in-between, this group is perfect for hiring managers to connect with sales professionals from a variety of selling environments.
- NYC Start-up Enterprise Sales: The NYC Start-up Enterprise Sales group is targeted to professionals who are currently employed at small tech start-ups selling into large organizations, agencies, or involved in complex sales cycles of any kind. Sales/Business Development pros, founders who sell, “growth-hackers”, and anyone responsible for bringing in revenue or users to a small stage company attend these meet-ups, which makes it an extremely attractive group if adding talent that has thrived within an entrepreneurial environment has been identified as a hiring requirement.
- Networking for Professionals’ High Speed Networking: This networking event is all business and about meeting as many professionals as possible. What’s great about this particular event is that attendees have access to attendee lists; including position and title prior to attending, enabling participants to conduct research and identify high quality targets.
- New York Business Expo and Conference: Conferences such as the NYBEC present a unique opportunity to network with fellow sales professionals while learning new sales strategies along the way. One of the underrated aspects of networking at conferences in particular is that it exposes candidates from across the country. This is particularly important when recruiting for remote roles, or if there are plans for expanding into a new territory outside of the New York City or Tri-state area.
- Manhattan Chamber of Commerce: The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce (MCC) is a vibrant business membership organization comprised of a cross section of 10,000 business members and subscribers ranging from sole proprietors to large corporations and multi-national firms. While this is a paid membership organization, it offers a great way to connect with entrepreneurs, sales leaders and executives from throughout Manhattan.
- Whine & Dine Networking: The Whine & Dine Human Resources Networking Group was founded in 2003 with a simple concept – to advance professional and social networking for Human Resources professionals without the burden of excessive rules or requirements and to support the HR community everywhere. With more than 10,000 members across the east coast, it has become one of the hottest networking groups for HR leaders to meet new talent.
By attending these events, hiring managers have a unique opportunity to meet with ‘passive’ candidates in an informal setting, where candidates can be evaluated against hiring criteria without even having to mention the opportunity at hand. Moreover, developing relationships with established professionals enables hiring managers to more quickly and easily respond to future hiring requirements and gain access to their own networks of contacts. Our team, are, of course, proponents of the ‘ABR’ or ‘Always Be Recruiting’ philosophy, since having a strong talent pipeline, especially in New York, is critical to the long term success of any business.
To your sales hiring success!
P.S. Are you frustrated by high sales turnover, poor rep performance and missed sales targets? This FREE eBook detailing the 10 most costly sales hiring mistakes is the answer.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.
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