Selecting the best individuals to represent your sales team is crucial to the success of your organization—that is a given.
The steps it takes to find that perfect match are where many people struggle.
The sales hiring process can be a long and challenging one, but its importance cannot be overstated. Grant this opportunity to grow your team the attention it deserves, and keep in mind these 4 tips for maximizing the sales hiring process:
1. Determine Exactly What the Sales Position Requires Before You Begin Your Search, Not After
This seems so fundamental, yet we’ve seen many clients make this mistake. You can’t find a perfect match for a position if you’re not absolutely clear on what the position requires, nor can you help your new hire succeed without crystal clear expectations. Determine the key accountabilities that a new hire will need to engage in on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and prioritize those accountabilities so you have a clear understanding of the skills you are seeking.
It’s important to find a candidate who is not only a good fit for the skill requirements, but also has the behavior style and motivators that will allow them to excel in that role. An assessment is a great tool for predicting a new hire’s probability for success.
2. Get Everyone Involved in the Sales Hiring and Interview Process on the Same Page
Once you have established concrete criteria for evaluating candidates, make sure everyone involved in the hiring process understands their roles, and communicate interview expectations before you even embark on your search. For positions that require interviews with multiple members of your team, clarify what each individual will be focusing on during their time with the candidate in order to maximize the interview process.
3. Make the Sales Candidate Interview a Priority
This is another often-overlooked fundamental: avoiding the temptation to schedule an interview into the tight space you have available between meetings. Instead of treating an interview as something to “get out of the way,” be aware that it is actually one of the most important uses of your time. Treat it as such.
Block out an adequate amount of time when scheduling interviews, and spend 30 minutes prior to the appointment reading the job description, preparing questions and reviewing the candidate’s assessment and resume.
Every decision you make in regard to hiring will have a substantial impact on your organization’s success (or lack thereof) so make sure you make the process a priority.
4. Have Your Sales Onboarding and Orientation Plan Built and Documented Before You Make the Hire
Before you even source your first candidate, ensure that your onboarding and orientation programs are in place and are built to allow the new hire to be as successful as possible as quickly as possible. The success of even the best hire will be diminished if you lack the appropriate processes for launching them.
Really talented people expect to have the necessary tools available to them, and if they don’t, they will quickly become frustrated. Make sure you can meet your new hire’s expectations of the workplace, and make their transition as smooth as possible by planning out from their first day onwards.
Hiring and retaining top salespeople can be one of the most challenging aspects of any sales leader’s job. The costs associated with making a bad hire are enormous, and hiring managers are looking for some sort of edge that will lower their chances of making a hiring mistake. While there are some great ways of lowering your risk of making the wrong hire (assessment tools, sales recruitment firms offering 6-month replacement guarantees and employee referral programs), one of the most powerful tools is right in front of you: taking your time and being prepared.