4 years ago
July 21, 2020

Don’t Hire That Salesperson! 8 Common Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

Your salespeople have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line. As they say, you are only as good as your people. This is very true when it comes to…

Rhys Metler

Your salespeople have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line. As they say, you are only as good as your people. This is very true when it comes to sales. A few hiring mistakes and a couple of wrong choices when recruiting salespeople can affect your sales team, cause you to miss quotas, and cost you revenue.

Sales companies make hiring mistakes just like any other organization or industry. But the most successful companies have been able to identify these errors and correct them. They have the unique ability to find the best of the best. As Toronto sales recruiters, we are always looking for candidates who sell more and are a better fit for company culture.

If you want to improve your sales team, it starts with your sales recruiting practices. You need to hire better to set the groundwork for overall team success. Here are a number of common hiring mistakes for sales managers to avoid to improve your hiring process:

1. Not Knowing the Type of Salesperson You Want

In order to find what you need, you need to know what you are looking for. Often, hiring managers get caught up in the need to fill a spot on the sales team. In doing so, they overlook the importance of assessing the type of salesperson they want to add to the team. Before you create a job ad and post it, take some time to create an ideal candidate profile. Outline the skills and experience you are looking for in a candidate. This will help you focus your search and give you criteria to compare sales job candidates.

2.Rushing the Process to Fill the Spot

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As we said above, when you have a spot or two to fill on your sales team, it’s easy to get consumed with trying to fill the position. This can often cause you to rush the hiring process. In doing so, perhaps you overlook some red flags and make some concessions to get someone into the role as soon as possible. This also opens you up to making a hiring mistake. Sure, you have someone in the role, but if it’s not the right person, you may find yourself trying to fill that same spot again sooner than you think.

3. Making a Decision Based on the Resume Alone

The first impression you get from a sales candidate is not always the right one. Sales managers often identify a candidate or two they think are the best candidates. They have a great resume. They think they’ve found their person. But here is the issue. You need to be careful not to have blinders on. Don’t make a decision about any candidate based on the resume alone. Candidates lie on resumes all the time. Resumes don’t tell the whole story. So, even though you may have a few candidates at the top of your list, it’s important to be open to other applicants and be open to the realization that those initial candidates may not work out.

4. Overemphasizing Experience at the Cost of Other Attributes

Experience is only one of the many things you should use to assess a candidate’s fit for your company. Sure, sales candidates with lots of years of experience and a track record of success are appealing, but there is a lot more to consider. Think about how a candidate will fit with your sales team. Success with one organization does not automatically mean success with another. You also have to consider personality traits, soft skills, and other important success factors for the role.

5. Not Being Thorough Enough With References

References are often underutilized as a tool to assess candidates. Most hiring managers don’t call references until after they have already made the decision to hire a candidate. At this point, you’re only looking for glaring issues that would prevent you from hiring them. But you can use references checks for so much more. They can be used to assess a candidate’s fit for the company and to ask previous employers important questions about the candidates.

6. Hiring Based on a Gut Feeling

Gut feelings can be wrong. In fact, sales managers who hire based on intuition often make hiring mistakes. While a gut feeling may tell you to pursue a candidate, use data and proven hiring methods to make your final hiring decision.

7. Not Involving Those Directly Connected to the Role

There is often a disconnect between those involved in writing the job description and interviewing the candidate and the actual role. If you really want to know what to look for and the type of candidate who is a great fit, involve those who know the role best. Talk to sales managers and colleagues of those around the role. They can provide you with invaluable insights.

8. Great Hiring but Poor Onboarding Process

Hiring and recruiting doesn’t stop when the candidate is hired. It continues from their first day on the job and beyond. Even the best of candidates need support when they first start a job. A good hiring process is supported by a thorough onboarding process. Good onboarding will help new hires ramp up quickly, get accustomed to their new job, and address any skill and knowledge gaps. Without this process, issues could develop quickly.

Get More Advice From Our Sales Recruiting Experts

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SalesForce Search is a Toronto sales recruiting company that specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit salespeople in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services, and medical devices. Find the right salesperson for your organization, start your search here.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.