Our research tells us that only 41% of senior sales leaders have confidence in their organization's ability to attract, hire and retain top sales performers, yet many front-line hiring managers rush to fill open sales positions. To make sure the sales hiring process inside of your organization ensures you only hire top-performers, senior execs must provide a multistep roadmap for hiring...and hold managers accountable to it.
How to Evaluate the Sales Hiring Process: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself TODAY
Is our organization's approach to the sales hiring process rigorous enough? Sales managers must have as much information as they can on potential hires. The right approach to the sales hiring process should include:
- Resume screen
- Phone interview
- A psychometric assessment
- Face-to-face interview
- Reference checks
- Background checks
- A group interview
- W2 confirmation
- Some sort of hypothetical exercise around a future job accountability (for example, have the potential hire develop a sample territory plan)
Do sales reps know exactly what the sales position expects and requires of them? Without a crystal clear understanding of the daily, weekly and monthly accountabilities required of him or her, your new sales rep will very likely not last. Why? Because top performers have options and without clear management and coaching, they'll find an environment that will provide it. Do your salespeople believe they are 100% compatible with the expectations of the job? Self-doubt can detract from sales success. When a sales rep isn't thoroughly screened and feels as though he or she has basically been given the position, self-doubt will very likely creep in. Do you hire only reps with industry experience? If the answer to this question is "yes," then you need to add some diversified experience to your team. Having salespeople who have industry experience only can be very limiting. Also - reps with experience from outside of the industry can bring new ideas and approaches that can benefit you and fellow salespeople. Do I feel that our organization attracts and hires only the best? If your organization lacks a disciplined approach to attracting, screening, hiring, orienting and coaching top salespeople, then your reputation in the marketplace will suffer. Pay attention to your employer branding around the way you hire and retain top reps. Do I feel that the bar is always being raised when new salespeople are hired? Improving the skill set and motivation inside your sales team is crucial and the sales hiring process must focus on constant improvement in the quality of talent. Why? Because when tenured reps get complacent, new, more motivated - and more talented - salespeople will raise the bar and will force the existing team members to up their game. Do I feel that all applicants are screened as thoroughly as they should be before being hired? If your salespeople feel that new team members are essentially "walk ons," you run the risk of breeding complacency. Additionally, the credibility of the sales manager will suffer as well. Top sales managers are relentless recruiters of top sales talent.