Ever needed to just fill the sales position? Only to take shortcuts that you knew you would live to regret later? Many sales leaders face an ever growing problem, recruiting and hiring great sales people. It can be so easy to fall into the following traps.
If you are a manger you know the feeling. You need someone in this role now! If they even seem remotely fit for the position, they’re hired. The problem comes six months down the road, when you realize this employee was really more of a farmer than a hunter, and is just not comfortable asking for the sale.
I like Them, so they Must be Good, Right?
Sometimes interview candidates can do a good “sell job” on the hiring person. The problem is that's where the selling ends. This is the issue with the “rose colored glasses” we all wear. We like to work with others just like us, however the problem is not being objective can cause hiring mangers to overlook many important questions. For example: How much time in your last job was dedicated to sales? Where did you measure in performance to your peers? What do you like most about selling, least about it? These questions can give you great information regarding whether they are the right fit for the position.
Future Based Questions
Tell me how you would handle this problem? What are some ways you would deal with irate customers? What spirit animal are you? These hypothetical questions are often asked at interviews. The best indicator of future performance is past performance. The following questions will give more accurate indicators about past performance. Let's review your resume, tell me about your work history? Can you give me some details of your last job requirements? What did an average day look like? How many hours did you work a week? What was your quota? How often did you exceed it? How would your Boss, co workers, customers describe you?
A personality assessment is not a guarantee of a good hire, however it will weed out initial candidates that are truly not salespeople.This test should be done at the front end of the interview process. There are many available on line with the DISC personality test the most widely used for sales.
Job Description Review
Detailing the job description and reviewing it in detail with prospective hires can be very productive in weeding out candidates that may not fully understand the expectations of the job. This simple technique will save you the effort of weeding out your garden later, if you know what I mean. Unless you give an accurate description of what the position entails, much can be lost in translation. When interviewing, ask the kind of questions good sales people ask, discovery questions that uncover details. There is no magic bullet, however having a “best practice” hiring procedure can at least take some of the guesswork out of hiring good sales people. A more structured interview process for sales positions will result in improved outcomes for your sales and your team.