Applicant tracking systems - Why factor them into your sales process

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Last updated April 8, 2018

If you are a sales or marketing executive targeting the HR space, there are high chances your mails are not being read by HR decision makers. This has nothing to do with your templates, timing or your value proposition. It is just that this space is super crowded and there are a number of companies trying to reach the same set of folks.


The other challenge is that the HR department is viewed as a cost center in most organizations and the budgets are small. Once HR teams have spent money on their core platforms (Applicant tracking systems, L&D platforms, HRIS solutions), they find it difficult to convince their organization on why they need additional budget for tools that may not justify a high RoI.

So if you are selling into the HR division, how do you create enough buzz for them to take notice and convince them to buy your product / service ? What can you tell them that makes your product exciting for them?


One easy way is to find out what platforms your prospects use today, understand their pain point, and then position yourself accordingly. Not only will your messages come across as well researched, but your value proposition will become crystal clear for their use case.

For instance, say you are a tool helping with their talent acquisition process. Your prospects may already be using an applicant tracking system that they use for sourcing, screening, and searching candidates. In all probability they may not perceive the need to try out a new platform. You need to understand where their pain point lies today to even stand a chance of getting a meeting with them. And again this has nothing to do with your product. You could have the best engineers in the world and have built a great product, but how does this really fit into their landscape? Are you trying to force sell or is there really a genuine pain point ? Does your platform solve that pain point? If yes, are you timing your reachout well? Keep in mind that not everyone is looking at buying products all the time. You maximize your chances of getting a meeting by timing your reach outs right.

In the above scenario, the best approach would be to figure out what applicant tracking system they use today. Research the market to identify what the shortcomings of that particular applicant tracking system are. Maybe it does not effectively screen candidates. Perhaps their search is super slow. Perhaps the workflow is very convoluted. Perhaps they do not help automate scheduling. Once you identify what their shortcomings potentially are, then you can position your product accordingly. Just focus on one pain point you think they may be facing today. And tell them how you are able to solve the pain point.

Here is a list of top applicant tracking systems by Ongig. If you are a platform integrating with ATSs or competing with any of them, it may be a good idea to identify who their clients are. If you integrate with their ATS, mention this, as this reduces your entry barrier. If you are a replacement solution, position yourself as such.


At Slintel, we capture companies using various recruitment platforms and track their movement over time. So not only can you find out who their customers are, but also look at what platforms they are moving to and when their contracts are coming up for renewal. This means you could even time your reach outs better. If you compete with an ATS, the best time to reach out would be within 3 months of the contract renewal date. If you integrate with an ATS the best time to reach out would be within the first 6 months of them moving to the ATS. If you are late to the party, they may already have signed a deal with your competitor and may no longer be looking for tools until their contract ends. Keep in mind the budget for HR teams is limited, so there is only a set number of tools that they would be able to accomodate at any given point.


The argument can also be extended to other areas in HR - L&D platforms, compensation and benefits platforms, HRIS platforms. Based on what segment you are targeting, you should have a good understanding of the tools your prospects use, where in the buying cycle are they at, and the challenges they face, to be able to align your value proposition to their pain point. Only then will they perceive value in scheduling a meeting with you. If you are able to do this consistently across all of your buyer segments, voila, you should see a marked improvement in your conversion rate.