Looking for a “hunter”… a “closer”? …
It’s not all like the wolf of wall street. Buying and selling behaviours are different in 2020, so if you are looking to be vigilant with your HR budget and run the recruitment process yourself, it’s extremely important to question whether you are being realistic and likely to get a good result in your hiring process.
Most of these businesses fail at running their recruitment processes, and as a result are stuck with weak sales representatives that end up costing them more time and money. Representatives who barely scrape in each month to meet their sales quota while they’re working 9-10+ hour days.
What do you really want, a true high performer or an order taker? We all know that one bad hire could be poisonous to your organisation. Your sales team if done correctly will be what drives your business forward. In this article, I will provide you with an in-depth guide on how to hire a good salesperson without all the hassle, endless interviews and consistent follow up.
First of all, when is the right time to hire a salesperson?
Really great sales representatives are known to empower their co-workers and their supporting departments. They understand the expectations of themselves and their co-workers and achieve their goals weekly/monthly/yearly enabling the success of the overall business.
In this order… take care of the people, then the products, then the profits.
It is important to remember that no one will ever have as much compassion as you do for your business and the product/service that you offer. That being said, when you’ve discovered your product-market fit and understand that there are more than 5 customers to handle, it’s a clear indication that you need a supporting sales team member.
If you have some experience with the sales process, you will have a very clear idea of what it’s like to sell to your ideal clients. This in turn should support your ability to hire the right person.
Before you get the ball rolling and get hundreds of applications, consider downloading a CRM to keep applications from multiple sources together and this way you will never lose a single CV.
A Simple Guide to Hiring the Right Salesperson
STEP ONE: Who is your ideal candidate? Define their profile
The truth is, there is no one size fits all to this step, you need to dig deep and think about what this person looks like, and how they will contribute to your company culture. A lot of the time, businesses will choose to outsource recruitment services to move things along in this space as it can be time consuming, and quite stressful.
Aside from that, here are just a few characteristics you can focus on:
How do you find out if your prospective salesperson is actually dedicated and passionate about the industry they’re asking to enter into? How does this translate to the dedication that they will have for your company?
Maintaining a good conversation with many good quality, OPEN ended questions will help you to unveil what kind of sales experience they will offer. It really isn’t important how long the individual has been in sales. What is important is their tone, consistency in performance, emotions etc. If this person has a passion for your specific industry that goes beyond what they expect to be paid, they will most likely be a great candidate to consider.
How driven are they towards growth? You must hire a salesperson that is interested in the future of your business, its evolution and someone who is going to actively initiate improvements. A good candidate will have a strong desire to support the growth of your business along with their own.
An ideal sales representative will take responsibility and own their mistakes when made.
The mistake itself is never a problem, people make mistakes all of the time. But when the sales representative starts to blame others for mistakes they have made and fail to acknowledge their own mistakes, you are dealing with a big problem.
Your reps need to be modest, humble and willing to admit where they have gone wrong. This is all contributed to a healthy company culture.
STEP TWO: Establishing and setting up specific criteria
A search for the ideal sales rep can and will most likely take time, however rushing your hiring process can just lead to a higher staff turnover and missed opportunity costs. Here are some of the main criteria to consider in step 2:
Your ideal sales rep absolutely must have the qualifications and abilities to do the job you’re hiring them to do. An example of this might include if you are operating in a retail niche, but your candidate has absolutely no idea about what “retail” is, and has not attempted to learn about your business and the industry it serves prior to the interview that is a huge red flag. Further to this point, let’s say this candidate had actually done their research, but has not been exposed to your market segment then it is also important to consider the learning curve that might be involved should you move ahead with their application. If you are unsure about how to set out these capabilities be sure to reach out to me & I will help you to design the ideal job description for your industry specific.
It is so important to assess the value that an individual will bring to your organisation. Are you getting the most expertise for your money? If you want to hire a good salesperson for less just because they are on the hunt for a job, I can almost guarantee that they will just end up leaving your team as soon as they find a better offer.
You need to understand that it is vital for your organisation to pay people what their jobs are worth. If the person does not have the desired experience, but you can clearly see that they have potential and the ability to network you should invest in them and grow them into a respected sales professional within your company.
Company culture is so important to nurture and it really does come down to the quality of hires from day one. Employing disruptive employees that show disloyal traits can do tremendous damage to your customer relationships and destroy morale within your sales team as it grows. Putting it into perspective, your sales team spend 42+ hours per week (minimum) in the work environment so it is important that the company culture is in tact to ensure peak performance and a desire to work. Pay attention to behaviours during the interviewing process.
STEP THREE: The quality of your candidates is only as good as your job description
Ensuring that the job description is attention-grabbing, and thorough in the description of the role itself for the sales representative vacancy is crucial. Here are a few job posting tips:
Job Titles: make them as specific as possible. Do not write odd tag lines such as “we are seeking the next wolf of wall street” Make job titles as specific as possible. Relevant titles = Relevant and qualified job seekers.
Your Summary must be captivating: Provide an overview of the company that will ensure sales reps are excited about the potential role and the company.
Ensure you are including the essentials: Include core responsibilities, soft and hard skills, day-to-day tasks and clearly explain the value of the position to your company.
Be Succinct: Posting job descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters tend to receive up to 30% more applications.
STEP FOUR: Recruit
Interesting fact, 70%+ of candidates will check out a company’s reputation prior to submitting an application for the job. Further to this, if they don’t like what they see 69% of these people simply won’t apply, even if they are currently unemployed. It is important to adhere to a regular posting schedule to ensure that your branding strategy is consistent, and you are getting your business out there. The reputation of your business rides on it and will definitely ensure that when hiring commences, you have consistent messaging and feedback to support a great reputation. Don’t get stuck in a rut – have a calendar, content and prompts to stay on top of this.
Ensure you are keeping your company attractive to possible employees that are going to make the recruitment process more affordable and faster.
For assistance with recruitment of the right sales team, be sure to get in touch.
Bonnie Young, Director