Hiring the right people for your business can make a big difference between having a ‘good’ company and a ‘great company’. Understanding the expectations and responsibilities of a salesperson, figuring out the best time to hire, and evaluating and selecting the best talent can either make or break your company. Furthermore, if you end up hiring the wrong person, it could cost you a fortune to find, onboard, and train a replacement.
The average turnover for sales teams is around 27% per year, so that means, if you have 10 sales reps, you could lose 3 of them by the end of the year. Smart CEO’s will always try to retain their sales force and increase their sales by hiring often and hiring well. And if you want to build a good sales team, you’ll need a quality hiring strategy.
If you’ve been looking for ways to improve your sales strategy, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled an 8 step guide to help you select and hire the best sales reps. Let’s dive right in.
7 Step Guide to Hiring the Right Sales Team
Compile a Hiring Profile
Your first step should be to figure out the qualities that you want in your salesperson. Identify the type of sales representatives that have the necessary skills, experience, and a background that will prove to be productive for your company’s environment. The best way to do this is by analyzing your sales team and highlighting the top-performing individuals. Check out their previous industries, their top skills, and their motivating factors.
Here are some general traits that successful recruiters watch out for:
A passionate salesperson will work towards achieving higher goals for the company as well as for personal excellence.
This is very important. Whether you’re taking credit for a success or holding yourself responsible for a failure. A salesperson should be able to take accountability for his actions.
A good salesperson is a quick learner. He can absorb information and use it to drive better results.
Every year, technology has a bigger role to play in sales. CRM’s, AI Chat-Bots, and other such inventions, so it’s necessary that a salesperson has the know-how of the current and upcoming technology.
Top salespersons know exactly what they want to accomplish and they will create and follow strategies to accomplish their goals.
Evaluate the Right Time to Hire
Before you start looking for your ideal sales representative, make sure that it’s the right time to hire one. New sales reps should be hired when it’s more likely for them to make a positive impact on your business and also when you’re ready to onboard and train them.
Whether you’ve recently decided to start building your sales team or are thinking of expanding your current team, the right timing is important. You can watch out for certain trends and patterns that will signal that you need to bring in a new sales rep. I’ve mentioned three of them below:
- Your buyer’s behavior. If your customers keep getting stuck or fail to complete purchases. This is a sign that you will need a new sales rep that will bring in a new strategy. You can get this cue from other types of customer behavior as well.
- When you have a new product rollouts and a new or bigger audience, it’s a sure sign that you’ll need a new sales rep.
- Your lead flow. If you’re starting to generate more leads, and you think you can support another rep, then it would be a great idea to hire one.
Review The Job Description
After you have figured out the qualities that you want in your sales rep. It’s time to translate your required hiring profile into a job description. Take some time to draft out an engaging and well-formatted job description that describes the role your company is hiring for. Also, make sure that the job description accurately explains the skills and experience that you’re looking for in a sales rep. The number of applicants you get and their quality will entirely depend on the job description that you’ve compiled.
A common mistake that some recruiters make is sending out a previous job description. They forget to go through it and then they start to drive applicants that are irrelevant to their requirements. Before you send out any job description, make sure that you review it make the necessary changes. Also remember to rectify any typos and grammatical errors, these mistakes are a huge turn-off.
Prepare Your Interview Questions and Technique
Before you start calling your selected prospects for interviews. Make sure that you prepare your interview questions in advance (use the same set of questions for all the prospects, it will be easier to compare and contrast). If you want, you can add some personalized questions for individual applicants but make sure that you keep similar core questions.
You need to come up with an interview strategy that will enable you to measure each of your required traits in the candidates. You can use interview questions like:
- “Tell me what would happen if..” or “How would you handle this type of situation”
- You can also ask your candidate to give you an example of how they have exhibited a certain trait. Such as ‘accountability’.
- During the interview, ask questions (such as their school, or sports accomplishments) that will reveal certain markers of success. If a prospect is goal-oriented and passionate, they will have many such success stories.
Create a Recruiting Pipeline
I’ve noticed a common mistake among most inexperienced recruiters, compiling a job description, hitting it up on about 10-15 job boards and waiting for the applicants to roll out.
That’s an excellent strategy for getting a lot of applicants, but, the quality of those applicants will be questionable. If you want to do quality sales hiring, then it’s essential that you start off by creating a pipeline. Instead of posting your job description on multiple boards, it would be better to find a few high-quality boards and draw accurate applicants from there.
Here are some examples and the types of boards that you should be outreaching from:
- Niche Job Boards: These boards will help you target your industry related reps. You can get more accurate applicants from these types of boards.
- Traditional Boards: Boards such as Glassdoor and Indeed are very popular job boards that are very easy to use.
- LinkedIn: This is an excellent platform for finding users that fit your job description.
Listen Closely for Selling Skills
An expert salesperson will definitely use their selling skills during the interview. They will ask you intelligent questions that will reveal that they took the time to research your company. If a salesperson is really good, you might even end up giving them feedback on the spot. Furthermore, they will also go the extra length to send you a thank-you note. Keep an open ear to the signs of a good salesperson. Also, watch out for the below-mentioned factors:
- Was the candidate comfortable on call?
- Was the candidate on time?
- Was he well-spoken and communicated effectively?
- Was the candidate able to build a relationship and sell themselves?
Note Their Appearance
By appearance I don’t just mean the ‘looks’, you have to focus on factors such as clothing, body language, and demeanor. A sales rep candidate should meet all these requirements. It’s important that they dress and act professionally.
Are you ready to start hiring? If yes, that’s good to hear.
Before you embark on hiring a sales rep, it’s essential that you understand your company’s needs and the sales skills that you require. The best way to do this is by compiling a strong job profile and job description for the role. Once you understand who you’re looking for when you need to hire them, and where you can find them, continue your search till you find the perfect sales representative for your business.