Sales managers can find thorough and constructive assessments to aid in recruiting sales people. They can train in the psychometrics of personality assessment and cultural fit. But, when time, resources, and finances are not in their corner, they will rely on their own interview experience. One way or the other, the Sales Manager is accountable for learning how to hire the right sales people, the candidates best suited by personality traits to the Sales Representative position.
- Start with wins and losses.
Management had best start with a review of past hires. There is data in the success and failure of hires previously made. There are positive and negative commonalities that should support a checklist for future recruiting. Mistakes made can help you master a future if you admit to the errors. You may have rushed, ignored references, or overlooked input. But, consider these lessons learned.
- Clone what works.
Sales leadership should know what it wants, what it looks like at work, and how it positions itself. It can start with deconstructing the personality of your best sales reps. Learning how to hire the right sales people takes the ability to analyze what you really want and what really works for you. You should not post an opening without clearly specific list of desired qualifications, the personality and skill sets that make the top ten percent standout from the flood of incoming resumes.
- Up the ante.
Sales managers do not have the luxury of keeping the status quo. Their respective futures link to the performance of their hires. So, they have to raise with the intent of raising the average performance. Candidates need to have the best attributes of your above average sales producers. The best evidence of how to hire the right sales people lies in the best of your current staff.
- Purchase passion.
Sales managers profit when they recruit passion. Work history is a primer on passion, but if you do not feel the passion in th
e candidate’s interview, you may be chasing the wrong dog. When you can discern the difference between passion and interest, you have learned how to hire the right sales people. Successful sales reps have that just the right balance between self-interest, team participation, and the desire to kelp others.
- Work on interview questions.
Human Resources usually recommends a checklist of questions to ask job applicants, largely with a view to avoiding litigation. But, Sales Managers who know how to hire the right sales people know that the interview needs to target personality traits that work for the job. So, they have to move past the chronological work experience and educational credentials toward open questions that test the applicant’s self-perception, his/her motivations, and core values. There is more to be learned about a candidate by exploring how s/he values sales compensation, competition incentives, and teamwork.
How to hire the right sales people?
At some point in the hiring process, you must role play and set the applicant up to make a sale. You need to make it challenging and watch for and listen to clues to their passion, stamina, and emotional control. Sales management has the job of selling its interests and employment in those interests. But, the candidate demonstrate how much s/he wants the position and why s/he is the best fit.
The Sales Manager who wants to know how to hire well understands there is a basic conflict at work. While hiring would benefit from assured and certain psychological assessment, the real world expects managers to make crucial hiring decisions in scenarios outside those assessment opportunities. Sales managers would benefit from learning what they can about how to hire the right sales people because their decisions will be made mostly on their own.
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