3 Tips For Confidently Hiring Successful Salespeople

Many of our clients have started to upgrade their sales team & put their business in strong position to grow. However successfully recruiting, hiring, and on-boarding new sales people is a serious challenge for most companies.

It's a fact that employers turn over 25-30% of their sales department every year.

The cost this represents is mind-boggling. When considering lost revenue, the average "bad hire" costs companies more than 3X annual salary & benefits. That can be more than $300,000 per year and represent a crippling setback for a business looking to scale profitably.

Here are 3 tips that you can use to confidently hire successful sales people:

1. Hire for the role or task.

There are so many different types of sales roles that it's critical for employers to first define the primary task this new sales person needs to perform.

Consider an inside sales position whose primary responsibilities may vary from scrubbing lead lists, to making outbound cold calls, to performing customer service functions.

For outside sales roles, the process is no different. Will the new hire be expected to perform account management or business development? Will they have all their leads & accounts provided to them, or will they be expected to produce & develop their own?

Employers first must define the things that a new salesperson has to be really good at in order to become a successful addition to your sales team.

2. Hire based on fit.

The number one factor that contributes to poor performance is bad job fit. We've all heard the quote - "right person, wrong role". Is this potentially why the really good people you've hired have failed to produce the results you were looking for?

Now that you've defined the tasks and the specific role of your new sales person, it's important to understand whether the candidate you're considering has the right aptitude and attitude about performing the primary duties for this role.

Hiring managers are overly optimistic about their abilities to spot these competencies in an interview and as a result get this wrong more often than they should.

How good have your managers done here? Is it possible they're getting fooled by enthusiastic candidates during the interview?

The best ways to improve your manager's assessment skills is to improve the processes you use to assess which include: structured interviewing techniques, objective assessments, & on-boarding plans that immediately immerse the new candidate in the tasks of their new role.

Not every sales person needs to be a strong hunter, but if that's what you're expecting your new hire to do it's important to have a process that helps you reliably identify your new hire's aptitude & attitude about performing their primary tasks.

Collect a free trial of the sales-specific assessment we recommend here.

3. Be clear on what relevant experience you need

If you find your team hiring primarily based on your industry experience or technical knowledge this is an important obstacle to clear. Ask yourself: are industry experience & technical knowledge the qualities that produce a strong performer or is it actually something else?

Studies show you actually have a better chance of success when you hire a candidate with no industry knowledge - provided they have a successful track record selling products & services to your target customers.

Also, when interviewing candidates with strong resumes it's critical to uncover how they achieved their previous success. Did they follow a different process to achieve that success? If so, will they be able to adapt to performing the tasks and execute the sales processes that you need them to?

Want additional tips & best practices for hiring successful sales people?

Visit our sales recruiting page for more tips and resources here.

Frank Niekamp Founding Partner - High Performance Sales Coach

p.s. - Are you open to brief conversation how we can potentially help you achieve your top priorities for growth? Then let's schedule a 30-minute call to get better acquainted. Book Meeting

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