For a small business that deals in sales the salespeople are the most important members of the team. They are the ones who truly get the business running. Therefore, hiring them is one of the most important steps you’ll have to take as a business owner. Make a mistake here and you might very well join the 23% of small businesses that fail because they don’t have the right team. But to hire the best salespeople you need to know exactly what makes them the best as well as find ways to attract them to your company as offering exorbitant pay is, most likely, out of your reach.
How to Hire the Best Salespeople: 3 Tips for Success
1. Know what makes the best salespeople
The first thing you need to do to hire the best employees is define a profile of your perfect salesperson. In this particular case, you should start with researching what features the true sales wizards have. Then, come up with interview questions that will help you determine whether the candidate possesses those character traits.
However, you shouldn’t forget that having the character for it doesn’t necessarily make one a good salesperson. To succeed in this profession one must also have a burning drive for it and a competitiveness streak a mile wide. Account for this in your interview and, if possible, try to run some simulations or at least observe the new recruits during the trial period to see if they implement their talent.
And if they don’t, think hard about whether you should be working to develop and realize that potential or hire someone else. While the former option is definitely more promising, business is ruthless and one needs a good team now to succeed and win the time to nurture talent in the future.
2. Hire the best salespeople by enticing them with benefits
The good news for small business owners all over is that employees of today are more interested in benefits than in money. Therefore, once you find the best people for your sales team, you can win them over by offering good benefits even if you can’t afford to offer them a very good salary yet.
Do you wonder how exactly you can afford to offer competitive benefits to your employees? The answer is simple, you don’t really need to afford this. What you need is to find suitable PEO providers. PEOs are Professional Employers Organizations that hire people on behalf of small businesses. As this is the kind of thing they specialize in, these companies provide a wide range of benefits and other perks that can help you attract the best salespeople.
Another advantage that a small business gets from working with PEOs is reduced taxes. Technically, the people won’t be in your employ. Therefore, you won’t have to pay additional taxes that usually come with expanding your staff. This might give you an opportunity to hire more people or to give a raise to your team.
3. Avoid the three greatest hiring mistakes to hire the best salespeople
Three greatest mistakes business owners might make when trying to hire the best salespeople are:
- Failing to define a highly specific salesperson profile for your business
- Poaching salespeople from your competitors
- Trying to hire carbon copies of the successful employees you already have
The issue with the profile should be resolved at the beginning because you’ll need to develop it in order to find the best salespeople in the first place. But you’ll need to expand it and outline what exactly will define “success” in the context of your business. Those must be clear goals that your new employees will need to achieve in order to stay on the team.
Other mistakes are easy to make because both options are tempting. However, remember that a person you poached might be poached from you just as easily. And trying to find someone “just like our sales rep of the year” means you are closing yourself off to new talent.