Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Inside Sales Managers trust their hiring instincts too much. Trusting to a gut feeling about who will match their needs and fill their vacancies is no strategy for long-term success. If you want to upgrade your hiring, you need to recognize and recruit candidates by following these 5 key steps to hire the A-Player for Inside Sales.

Step #1 – Start with Human Resources.

Early in your management tenure, you can meet at length with your Human Resources recruitment people. They really do have something to contribute, but it might take several meetings to get everyone on the same page regarding the valued knowledge, skills, and abilities.

What you are trying to do is to list the cues that will locate qualified candidates. With a list of strengths rather than necessities, you can collaborate on a benchmark for quality that will put only the best in front of you.

You can revise and refine that benchmark list over time, but the collaboration on these 5 key steps to hire the A-Player for Inside Sales will create a framework with strategic purpose and approach.

Step #2 – Picture the hire.

Hiring qualities are vague until you can describe them. Qualities like drive, ambition, and passion remain meaningless until you can align specific behaviors. If you do not know what you are after, you will not find one. Before you ask the candidate key questions, you must know what you mean by “self-starter,” “people skills,” “teamwork,” and more.

Step #3 – Form a team.

Assuming you have the numbers, use the people at your disposal. Existing Inside Sales Reps may be the best advisors. And, the A-Players among them may know exactly what you are looking for. But, others, too, will help. The Inside Sales Leads and Supervisors, the Operations and Customer Service Associates who support their outcomes – they all can all spot an A-Player. Meeting with them to refine that list of characteristics will narrow your choices and show respect for their input.

Step #4 – Diversify the sales team.

When you only look for quarterbacks, you may not understand the game. A successful Inside Sales Team takes a number of A-Players in different positions. Just as the football team needs Tight Ends and Defensive Guards to be A-Players in their own ways, you need to match player with opening. The soccer team needs Wings as well as Goalies, and both are top performers in their own positions. Smart Sales Managers do not duplicate their stars. Your rainmaking performers can contribute to your search, but cloning them only leads to inbreeding and paralysis.

Step #4 – List the desirables.

  • Need to succeed. A-Players set high performance standards for themselves. In games, school, and work, they work energetically and tirelessly. It shows as energy, drive, and sacrifice.
  • Positive in outlook. A-Player charm and people preferences reflect their optimistic worldview. They are resilient in handling criticism and rejection. They open and receive calls with promise in their voice, and they do not internalize disappointment and refusal.
  • Will to win. Inside Sales A-Players want to compete to win. The game participation is only as good as winning results. They enjoy outperforming and changing the score. If they assist others, it is with a view to winning and getting a share of the acclaim.

Step #5 – Ask the right questions.

The best interview questions address A-Player behaviors.

  • What do you do for fun? Describe what fun you get from closing a customer.
  • We all have bad days. What do you do to get your energy level up?
  • Sales Contests can be competitive. Tell me about a time when you succeeded in a sales competition. What did you value in that contest?
  • You will be working on a sales team. What role did you play on your last sales team?
  • Sometimes, a sale will take an extra effort. Describe a sales experience where you had to work harder than usual.
  • Is there anything you experienced at your last Inside Sales position that we have not discussed?

Inside Sales A-Players are self-possessed. They have a sense of personal integrity, conscientiousness, and self-discipline. They are passionate about and committed to their own success and the process improvement that will take them there. They are confident but modest and smart but willing to learn. And, they are only found with strategy. Success starts with these 5 key steps to hire the A-Player for Inside Sales.

5 Key Steps to Hire the A-Player for Inside Sales Image courtesy of iosphere at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomek Jordan

advisory board member at Repignite
Interested in Sales Performance Management, Sales Incentive Management.