Effective recruitment to build a productive sales team

Many companies, struggle with underperforming sales teams with a high turnover-rate. A very expensive problem.

As a sales recruiter, I see many businesses that overcomplicate the hiring process. Solid candidates are often lost with long, drawn out, multi-stage interview. Then companies sabotage successful recruits by failing to support them through the onboarding process.

With discipline, most recruitment processes can be made quick and painless for everyone involved virtually eliminating failure for both the candidate and the company.

Here are the three steps of recruitment:

  1. Have a clear goal of who you want to hire. Select ideal candidates that have a proven, verifiably successful track record in your specific industry. A minimum history of three + years with every employer. Design interview questions to understand: 1) What the salesperson has achieved? 2) What sales skills they have developed in their career? 3) Is their personality a match for your organization? Keep it simple!
  2. Interview as quickly as possible. Most sales roles can be hired with two or three interviews. The second interview should be comprised partly of role-play to determine speaking skills and confidence. Seriously, if you know what you want it should not take more than two – maximum three interviews to decide. With normal delays around scheduling interviews, it is very possible to lose strong candidates during overcomplicated recruitment process. Don’t let the entire interview process takes more than three weeks. Make it fast!
  3. Onboard with full support to guarantee success. The first 90 days are critical to a new salesperson’s success but, most companies just take a sink or swim attitude. The best companies put in place a 90-day mentoring program. Assign a senior sales manager to ensure that the new employee receives all the training, support and mentoring required to ensure success. The responsibility should be on the manager to make sure the hire is a success. Create a program to be certain the candidate’s sales pipeline is well established by day 90. Make it strong!

To sum it up:

Recruitment process to hire a sales team
  1. Be clear on your objectives. Know what you want and have a list of skills and requirements that are measurable. Requirements should not change and evolve through the recruitment process. If you’re not clear on what you want – you won’t find it!
  2. Only interview against your defined requirements. Look for exactly what you need not some ‘holy grail’ ideal. Interview to understand the match between your requirements and the candidate. Don’t introduce new requirements during the interview process. Confuse the process and a good decision becomes impossible!
  3. Remove the risk and ensure success. If you have defined what you need and hired against that then take responsibility to make it work. Candidates are human and some can struggle to adapt to a new organization – don’t let that happen. Put all the energy and experience of your organization to support the candidate’s success. Don’t allow failure to even be a possibility!

Keep it simple! Make it fast! Keep it strong!