It’s this simple: Salespeople are what power your business. Ultimately, their success determines the financial health and trajectory of your company. There’s a lot riding on their shoulders.
That’s why it’s essential for you to hire the right salespeople, capable of both exceeding your customers’ expectations and helping you achieve your business goals.
Of course, easier said than done. Finding the right people can feel like hunting a unicorn. You need them to learn fast, fit in with your team, ask the right questions, and connect with your buyers.
But hire salespeople who aren’t a good fit? Then you’ve got to deal with the financial consequence of the lost investment you made in that staff, not to mention the costs you’ll incur in time and effort to get new people identified, hired, and trained.
With the stakes so high, how do you increase your chances of finding that elusive new sales team member? Here’s 7 tips that will help. 7 Tips To Hire The Best Sales Staff
1. Be clear in the job description.
To find the right person for the role, start by writing a thorough and accurate job description. Think of it like casting an actor in a movie. The casting director can’t audition anyone until they know what the role is. Before you post one single job ad, make sure the description is crystal clear.
This isn’t just a list of responsibilities and expectations.. You want potential applicants to understand where they’ll fit within the existing team, and what skills (including soft skills) and experience are key to being successful in the role.
2. Look for enthusiastic and personal applications.
Some people are applying to your company because they want or need a new job. Others are applying because they’re excited to work for your company. These are the people you want to hire.
Has an applicant done their research? Are they taking the time to understand the role? Develop an eye for applicants that don’t just need a job – they want this job.
3. Describe what makes a good fit.
Remember that casting analogy? The casting director knows the qualities that make an actor perfect for the role. List out those qualities.
The right fit can vary between companies and roles. For example, a rep who’s perfect for an enterprise sales team might not do well in a tiny startup. Do you need someone motivated by high sales numbers? Or someone who thrives on building long-term relationships with clients? Whatever you’re looking for, make sure you’ve communicated these qualities to potential candidates.
4. Create an assignment.
Anyone can tell you the answers they think you want to hear. But showing you what they’re capable of as a salesperson is far more meaningful.. Design a task or two that will help your hiring committee answer the question “does this person have the skills we need?”
For example, if you need someone who’s great at connecting with new clients during a first meeting, set up a discovery call roleplay.
5. Zero in on the questions they ask.
When it’s a candidate’s turn to ask questions, listen carefully. Their questions will tell you what’s important to them and what they’re worried about. You’ll gain strong insights into what matters to them and if they’d fit in with the team.
6. Score each interview.
Before you send out that first invitation, decide how you’re going to score each interview. You might score each applicant on distinct areas: critical thinking, active listening, interest in the role, track record, and problem solving. You need a reliable system in place to help you analyze and compare applicants.
7. Follow up quickly.
Don’t wait to follow up with the most promising candidates. Chances are they’re interviewing with other companies, and you don’t want to lose out.
Finding the right people for the job is a challenge for any company. But put these suggestions into practice as part of your hiring process and the task won’t seem nearly as daunting. Your unicorns are out there. Go find them.