Finding and hiring the best sales people is a constant struggle for most sales managers. Here’s how to get superstars on your sales team.
Whether you’re looking to grow your sales team or you need to replace one of its members, you need to find the best sales people to fill the gap. Your sales people are often the first people that new clients associate with your business. They’re also the employees you depend on to bring in revenue. There’s no doubt that your sales team needs to be stellar. Without great sales people on your team, you might not remain profitable.
But finding and hiring great sales people isn’t always easy. Often, sales managers end up hiring mediocre sales professionals or duds who can’t sell and who make the company look bad. And this isn’t good for business.
If you’re having trouble assembling a sales team of rock stars, you may need to adjust your recruiting and hiring strategy. Use these tips.
Great sales professionals are hard to come by. Thinking that you’ll land a superstar in the two-week window you left open for applications isn’t realistic. You’ll just end up hiring the best of the applicants, even if that rep isn’t actually ideal, just to fill in the empty position.
Instead, you should always be recruiting. Continuously accept applications. Conduct a few interviews every week. And stay in touch and nurture your relationships with the great sales people you meet. When a position opens up, you’ll already have a great batch of candidates to call on.
Great sales people are rarely without a job. Even if their companies are facing massive layoffs, the best sales professionals are usually immune because they successfully bring in much needed revenue. Most often, it’s the poor or mediocre sales people who tend to be unemployed and actively looking for work.
So it stands to reason that if you focus on recruiting passive candidates—the ones who are employed but aren’t actively looking for a new job—you can increase your chances of building a stronger sales team. Keep in mind, though, that successfully recruiting passive candidates isn’t easy or quick. You must know how to approach them, you must build a relationship, and you must give them an offer that they can’t refuse. The extra time and effort, though, will be worth it.
Mock interviews are becoming commonplace in sales interviews. And it’s no surprise, really. Mock interviews can help you put candidates to the test to see if they really have what it takes to sell your company’s products or services. By asking them to have a mock sales call to “sell” your company’s offerings, you’ll see how effective the candidates are as presenters, how well they prepared, and how well they can sell. It can also help you gain insights into how they communicate, how they handle objections, how they handle pressure, and how they deal with rejection—important skills that all members of your sales team need to have.
Many sales managers focus too heavily on skills, experience, and education when it comes to evaluating sales candidates. But cultural fit is just as important—and many forget to include it as a parameter in their interviewing.
Just because someone has the selling skills and experience that you need doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be a good fit within your company. He could be headstrong and refuse your instructions or coaching. He could use selling techniques that simply don’t mesh with the way you run your business. He could have difficulty selling your products or services because he’s just not passionate about them. And he could rub your sales team the wrong way, actually reducing productivity and morale. Hiring the best sales people for your company requires you to assess cultural fit.
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.