All staff are important, but salespeople are the lifeblood of the company and they are the ones bringing in the money. Poor sales people can kill a great company while top reps can make it fly. Take the time and effort to find the best of the best.
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Timing and objectives
Recruitment is probably one of the most challenging aspects of management. However, it is the most important. If you do not surround yourself with quality and competent people, you will have a problem.
Make sure you are ready to hire a new salesperson. Do not recruit people when you are not ready to sell. You need to have all resources in place so that the new recruit can hit the ground running.
One thing you should do before you start the process is to define the person you want and determine their responsibilities. If you do not know what you need, how will you know when you find them?
Understand your sales process
If you do not fully understand your sales process and your clients, you will not know what to look for when hiring salespeople. A good understanding of the sales path and buyer behavior is essential before evaluating potential salespeople.
Be clear on who and what you want
You will most likely rece9ive many applications. Be crystal clear on your needs and requirements for a new sales rep when you post the position. That way, you can quickly identify potential candidates and eliminate poor ones.
Rather spend your time and effort interviewing suitable candidate than wasting your time on those that will never work out. Screening out poor candidates will save you time and effort.
One thing to consider is checks. You can do criminal record checks, financial checks, employment history, and even a Urine Drug Tests. Weeding out the non-starters before you spend hours interviewing and considering will be a massive saving.
Plan Your Interview Questions
Interviewing is a tough process and even the most seasoned recruiters make errors. A good way to avoid this is to preplan many of your interview questions. That is not to say you have to stick with the clichéd and typical interview questions, just give it a bit of thought. Consider the position and the person you will be interviewing and come up with a few deep and meaningful questions that will make them think. You want them to dog deep.
Ask open questions
Any question that can be answered simply with a yes or a no will not give you much insight. Try to ask open questions that will make the candidate elaborate and express a bit more. You will learn a lot more that way and the answers will be more honest.
Observe the candidates appearance and body language
This can tell you so much about a person. Often, way more than what they say. If they cannot make the effort to dressappropriately for the job than that tells you a lot. Small details are important. Their demeanor and appearance is a direct indication of how they will perform in your company.
Listen for specific sales clues
Remember, you are recruiting a salesperson. As such, they should display sales skills in the interview process. Look for an understanding of your style and method. They should be able to adapt appropriately. If the interview is positive, they should be able to read the “buying signal” and adapt accordingly.
You will probably have to sell yourself a bit
Top salespeople do not want to work for a bad company or a poor manager. Accept that you will have to promote your company as well as yourself a bit. If you are passionate about the company, this should not be a problem.
Past experience counts but it is not all about that
Industry experience will save you a bit of time in training but a really good salesperson can sell anything. It is, however, not as simple as that.
A great sales record is always a good sign but be wary. At the very least, you want someone with similar experience, especially if it is a technical sales position. Attitude and motivation are probably the most important factors. If the person has drive and ambition, they are likely to succeed.
This is another major factor to consider. Each company has a unique culture. Not everyone will fit in easily with yours. Consider their personality and ensure they will blend in easily. A poor culture fit will work against the employee as well as the company.
Be straight an honest
Do not give a candidate unrealistic expectations. A poor hire is very costly so ensure they know what they are getting into. Not all sales positions are for everyone. If the candidate is fully aware of what he or she is getting into you have a better chance of them sticking around and making a success.
Do not rush into any new hire. Take the time and effort to ensure you find people that will fit in and make a success of their sales career with your company.