Whether you are hiring for entry-level sales roles or want to add seasoned sales professionals, the hiring process can be complicated.
First, you must understand what makes great sales reps stand out. Second, you must attract the right candidates to your sales team.
Follow these tips to single out promising candidates and make hiring salespeople successful.
Establish Your Sales Organization Needs
Hiring sales reps begins with understanding what good sales candidates look like. What specific need does your business have that good sales reps can fill?
Determine if there are knowledge gaps in the current sales team. Find sales reps that can fill those gaps.
Sales hiring managers need to be honest with themselves and candidates regarding the skill set and experience they need from new employees.
Finding salespeople that meet your criteria for an ideal candidate will be easier when you are upfront about your needs.
Be willing to learn from past mistakes so that you can find salespeople who check every box this time.
Write the Job Description
An effective job description is balanced. Sales recruiting managers should include key factors like experience, skills, and traits they require.
Include information about the company culture and sales expectations. Be honest about day-to-day duties and don’t oversell the sales role or downplay the work involved.
You aim to get only some good salespeople to respond to your job ad. Instead, you want good salespeople who are also the right candidate to apply.
Being direct, with clear and concise language, can help to weed out unqualified sales reps. If the job description is more than a page long, it’s too long.
Find and Hire the Right Candidates
In your search for the top sales rep, there are decisions to make regarding where to look for the best candidates.
Here are a few suggestions on where you may find your next sales hire.
Social Media Platforms and Professional Network Sites
It’s a no-brainer that the greater exposure you give your job opening, the more response you can expect.
Social media sites like Facebook can help you reach thousands of sales reps at once and connect personally.
LinkedIn is a professional site that may help you contact passive candidates who may qualify for your salesperson position but are not actively seeking a new job.
These candidates may be different from the right fit right now. But they could be great candidates in the future or be able to refer someone who is an ideal candidate.
A sales manager may post their job ad on a popular job site or use a headhunting service that searches through candidate profiles and delivers the best matches directly to their inbox.
Whatever method is used, be strategic in the keywords used to filter results down to the best salespeople.
Be open to this hiring process, and do not limit yourself too heavily. For example, sales professionals from another industry as long as their sales skills can transfer to your sales process.
Niche Job Boards
While large job sites are one option, niche job boards may prove effective too. These specialized job boards will cater to specific roles.
They will have a smaller reach than the big-name job sites, but the responses are more likely to align closely with your needs.
Remember to keep your eyes open when selling to potential customers at sales events like trade shows or business customers.
You may find your next great salesperson working for a competitor or working for one of your new clients.
Be Mindful of Your Interview Process
Be ready to interview as many candidates as needed to find the right salesperson. But only stack so many interviews together that you can’t remember one candidate from the next.
Consider using a multi-step interview process to filter down to the great salespeople.
Start with informal chats to get first impressions. This may allow you to gauge culture fit and soft skills in a less sterile environment.
Next comes a formal meeting which can stress test their skills and give the candidate a chance to prove their sales success and respond to well-prepared questions that test their experience, knowledge, and abilities.
This is also an opportunity to identify further if the sales talent will jive well with the sales team and has similar priorities as your company values.
A mock sales pitch may be an effective tool to see the sales rep in action at the last interview stage. Please pay close attention to body language and the extra effort to connect emotionally with the client.
Qualities of the Perfect Salesperson
The top talent will possess complementary qualities and traits that make them more than just good salespersons.
They will also display key qualities that make them good employees and coworkers.
Knowing how to pick up on another person’s emotions and display their own at the appropriate time lets salespeople be sympathetic, confident, and humble at the right times.
There always needs to be more hours in the day. The salesperson should be able to prioritize tasks and know when a lead is no longer worthy of pursuit.
Changing times and market realities may mean that sales reps must alter their strategies, methods, or tools.
Can they recognize when it’s time to pivot or develop a different approach?
Sales professionals with a clear path forward are more likely to achieve it. Do they plan for the future or live in the moment?
Onboarding Sales Reps
Make the onboarding process effective. Provide clear objectives, so the salesperson knows what they need to achieve to meet and exceed your expectations.
Even if they will work independently long-term, consider a mentor arrangement until they get up and running.
Take your time with training. Top performers start out knowing what they will accomplish daily, weekly, and monthly. Also, provide feedback regularly.
If the salary structure is a commission-only arrangement, consider providing a good basic salary during training until the new sales hire established in their position.
This can soften the impact of getting revved up in their sales cycle.
The best sales reps have a combination of experience, skills, and personalities that make them shine.
There are many things you can do to find these stellar salespeople and get them selling for your company.
Determine the best places to look in your job hiring efforts and make the application and interview process work for you.
Give attention to the onboarding process so the salesperson can hit the ground running and make their employment with your business successful.