The sales department is arguably one of the most important functions of an organization, whether small or big. Many businesses fail in the first three years not because they have an inferior product or poor management, but because they lack sales which generate income for the company.
Since the sales team can make or break an organization, every consideration must be made when hiring the sales team. They are the people who have the first contact with the consumers, so they represent your brand.
When hiring a sales person for your business, the best strategy is to have information before and during the process. Here are some tips you must know when looking to hire the right salesperson for your company.
Nail Down Your Hiring Strategy
Knowing what you are looking for in your sales team is very important. How many people does your sales team need? Are you targeting to expand locally, regionally or nationally? These questions need to be answered before you advertise for the sales job.
You can hire a great sales person if you don’t know what you are looking for. We suggest you start where you shop. Start by paying close attention to the salespeople around you. They may not necessarily work for you but the ones you encounter. Learn to recognize traits that make people good at selling.
Hiring the best person to drive your sales requires a detailed recruitment and retention strategies. Gather information about tactics high-performing companies are using to hire the best sales team. Attracting top talent is the best investment you can make in your company. After all people, not the buildings or products make a company.
Advertise Your Company Online
Showcasing your company online can have a positive effect on how people react to your brand, especially potential employees. To attract the best employees, they should know what your company does, its goals and how it’s performing in the industry. This information should be easy to find online. As an employer, keep an updated company profile all the time. A company that is and looks successful makes people want to be associated with it and work for it. A survey done by Glassdoor in 2014 on sales professionals, found out that the most effective way of reaching out to salespeople is through social media on sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
First, you want to make sure you have a stellar website that has information about you. Create social media pages and post frequently. In this age information is gold. Get your current, or former employees write a review about their experience working for you as reviews are taken very seriously. The more you make your company look good, the more you are likely to attract the right sales talent.
Write a Performance-Based Job Description
When advertising for the job, ensure the job descriptions is performance-based and not characteristic based. Don’t succumb to describing what traits you need the salespeople to have. Instead, write a detailed description of what the job requires. Personality traits are important; however, describing the job will weed out those who feel they are qualified and capable from people who only think they can do the job.
To find the right people, you need to draw from a vast talent pool. Advertise on your website and social media sites. Use recruiting agencies and referrals.
Every employer should know there are different types of salespeople: relational- those who are good at forging relationships with clients, closers- those interested only in closing a deal and consultants- well-rounded sales executives who can deal with customers and close the deals.
Look For Important Qualities During The Interview
Once you pick out candidates from the pool of applications, take them through a series of tests starting with a face to face interview. During the meeting, ask the right question that will help you draw out the applicant’s real character. Unfortunately, standard interview questions don’t cut it. A salesperson needs to be a person who can think on their feet and make decisions that can affect a company’s bottom line. Therefore, the ideal candidate should possess in-depth knowledge about your products and how to sell to different people. Conduct test to ascertain if they have the know-how of dealing with different clients. A great salesperson is a person who can adapt well and can deal with different customers.
A person may be lacking the experience in sales that you are looking for, but you will be able to spot a motivated person who is willing to put in the work to prove them. That’s the person you will need on your team. According to Mark Roberge of Hubspot, a salesperson should be coachable; a person willing to learn, have strong motivation, be good at managing times and very organized, communicate very well, be curious, be able to connect with people quickly and build rapport with them, can work independently and a high tolerance to rejection. More times a sales person will be told no than a get a yes. They need to have a thick skin to move on and source business elsewhere.
Hire a Person with a Passion for People
A salesperson will always be dealing with people. They must be people’s person – a person who enjoys interacting with other people. If a person believes in what they are doing, they will do their best to perform exceptionally compared to a person who is doing the job for a paycheck. A question you should ask your potential hire is why this industry? A person can have the experience in selling and have a great track record but lack a connection with customers.
Equip them with tools to make them great
The most important thing after hiring a great sales guy is retaining them. Chances of losing a good employee to competition are high. A good incentive package will go a long way in making sure your employees feel valued.
Make sure their growth needs are met. Continued training and mentorship programs and giving them the right technology to get the job done are all important in keeping a great salesperson on your team.
It’s necessary to note that every industry has it its own unique needs and sales executives must adopt different tactics to perform. A salesperson who works on the pharmaceutical may not be able to sell insurance.