8 years ago
April 13, 2016

What To Look For When Hiring A Sales Manager

If you know what to look for when hiring a sales manager, the selection process will be more successful, especially with a sales recruiter.

Rhys Metler

hiring a sales managerHiring a sales manager is one of the most critical business processes in the sales department. The sales manager acts as a role model, influencing the attitudes, expectations, and of course, sales, of the team that he or she manages. A sales manager who does not fit your organization’s culture and goals can be a major setback, one from which it can take months or even years to recover. If you know what to look for when hiring a sales manager, the selection process will be less stressful and more successful, especially with the help of a successful sales management recruiter.

Hiring a Sales Manager Requires Forethought

When starting the process of hiring a sales manager, your first thought might be to write out a job description and post it as soon as possible. Although the sales manager position is critical, in order to ensure a successful hire it’s important to give thought to the exact skills and characteristics you want in a sales manager, and work these in to a job description before hiring.

  • What educational background do you expect a candidate to have?
  • Do you require the candidate to have previous sales management experience, or would you consider a candidate with sales supervision experience instead?
  • Will the successful candidate be dedicated to managing and training, or will he or she also be expected to sell?
  • Do you need a candidate who has experience selling in your industry, or is experience in a similar industry transferable to your organization?

The more flexible you are with the requirements, the more applicants are likely to pursue the position. However, narrowing down candidates can be time consuming. Sales management recruitment agencies can help. By focusing full time on hiring a sales manager, a recruiter can free your time to keep the sales department running until the sales manager position is filled.

When Hiring a Sales Manager, the Interview is Crucial

For entry level positions, you may be able to acquire most of the knowledge you need to make a hiring decision from a candidate’s resume. When hiring a sales manager, a resume will help you decide who to interview, but not who to hire. To find the best candidate for an open sales manager position, you need to ask specific questions that include real world scenarios in order to find out whether the candidate is a fit for the role and for your organization. Prepare questions such as these well ahead of the interview:

  • How would you set sales quotas for our team? Can quotas ever be revised?
  • Describe a time when a sales person was not performing. How did you handle that situation?
  • What do you think are the core skills and experiences needed in a top producer?
  • Are you more comfortable selling or managing, and why?

When interviewing for hiring a sales manager, try to avoid questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Open ended questions will help you determine more about a candidate’s abilities and thinking process, as well as give clues to the way the candidate will interact with your organization. With deep experience in filling highly selective positions, sales management recruitment agencies can help you craft the types of questions likely to lead to an informing answer.

Hiring a sales manager is a difficult job, and should never be taken lightly. Because a sales manager will set the tone for his or her department, it’s critical to approach the process of hiring a sales manager with forethought so that you can identify the right candidate. Sales recruitment agencies can help you with this process from start to finish, helping to free up demands on your time while narrowing the candidate field to those who are most likely to be successful in a sales manager position.

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.