Nothing can impact your business more than finding and hiring real sales talent. Great salespeople with an incredible fit for your business can impact sales and profits faster than any other action and the effect can last for years. These 9 steps to hiring great salespeople will really help!
Hiring mediocre performers can hold your business back and keep it struggling.
How to hire great salespeople? Here are 9 steps that will help!
- Forget job boards and CV databases. The best salespeople are never looking for work – why would they! If they are good they are constantly being chased by recruiters or the competition. If you want to hire the best sales people court your competitor’s best performers – this is the lowest risk, highest reward option. You must actively hunt for the best salespeople!
- Know who you are. The biggest mistake businesses make is trying to hire for the company they think they are or think and not for the company they are at the moment. Every industry and every type of company has amazing salespeople that could help you grow your business, but it is important to chase potential candidates who actually want to work in a business like yours.
- Pay for talent. It’s an old saying but true, ‘If you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys.’ Don’t expect to get a bargain when hiring. Experienced sales performers know what they are worth. Low base salaries and capped commissions will show experienced salespeople that you won’t reward performance. These are not the signals you want to put out there.
- Write a clear job description. Poor performers will accept just about any offer you throw their way – they are desperate. Top performers will want to know exactly what is on offer. Winners don’t look for an opportunity to lose and will demand as much from you in the interview process as you demand from them as candidates – maybe more!
- Be decisive! As a recruiter I see companies that must have five interviews over ten weeks to fully vet potential candidates. Guess what? They lose the best talent for two reasons: First, while they are going through their process candidates accept other roles. Second, however valid the process taking too long sends the wrong signals to candidates. Can these people make decisions? Quick hiring processes gives candidates confidence in the company and makes them feel wanted.
- Interview consistently! Asking the same questions with all candidates will give you the best comparative results. Allowing interviews to randomly progress makes it very difficult to compare candidates. Asking the same questions and completing a pre-scripted evaluation immediately after each interview will allow you to better compare and contrast interviews.
- Don’t talk! The majority of interviewers make the mistake of talking 90% of the interview only giving the candidate time to give short, often prepared, answers. Try talking only 5% of the time and ask opened ended questions. Encourage candidates to keep talking. The more candidates have time to talk the better the chance they will move away from their rehearsed answers and start telling you who they are – give anyone enough rope and they will hang themselves!
- Invite a third wheel. It is easy to get lost in the conversation. Having a third person simply to watch, take notes and give feedback is very helpful. No matter how many people in the interview having an extra person to watch and take notes can give a sober, detached, outside view.
- Don’t interview for the sake of interviewing. If you find the perfect sales candidate at the first interview, then believe in yourself enough to offer the job and close the process immediately. In fact, if you have conducted the recruitment process correctly you should quickly find the perfect candidate. Why waste everyone’s time looking for the sake of looking?
Make a commitment to only hire the best and honestly put in place the process and the package to make that happen and your business will benefit from the best sales talent. Use these 9 steps to hiring great salespeople and the rewards are real!
View other blog posts to learn about recruiting tope sales talent for your business. Contact The Sales Experts for assistance.