In any industry and every business, salespeople are a vital asset. There are certain times in your business when you may need to add more reps to your sales team. But hiring is an important decision and there are trends and factors to consider while bringing in new sales hires to build your perfect sales team.
When to hire
When you get to a point in your business where you can’t hit your sales goals it might be time to hire sales reps. However, before beginning the hiring process, you need to remember that the backbone of any successful sales hiring strategy requires team leaders to make sure it’s actually the right time to hire.
Many organizations struggle with the best time to hire a sales professional. If your sales are strong and your business is expanding, you may set new objectives and targets that are beyond your current team’s capabilities. If that’s the case, now is the time to build a sales team that is capable of handling the sales function of your business.
Also, keep an eye out for progress from your initial sales reps. Have things become stagnant? Are your current reps struggling? If yes, new salespeople can add new energy to your sales team and help them out. If you see good results from this you can consider replacing some extremely underperforming sales reps by adding more fresh faces to your team.
Does your company’s sales projections look strong? If your company is seeing growth projections it is crucial that you strike while the iron is hot by ensuring that you have enough members in your sales team. Hiring when your company is growing corroborates that you can competently meet sales demand, offer quality services, and close as many new deals as possible.
Once you have identified when to hire sales representatives, the next step is to know:
How and Who to Hire
Identify the Job Profile
This is the foremost task you should do in the hiring process. Start by building an overview of the job profile for the salesperson you want to bring to the team. This contains the outline of the job's key responsibilities, skills and experience needed to do the job, and the personality of the employee. It is the job profile that will uncover whether the candidates are an ideal fit for the role
Now that you have your job profile ready, it’s time to dive a little deeper and start candidate screening. Research says that the primary cause of poor performance and turnover is poor job fit. Hence, here’s what to look for when hiring:
- Behavior: Always remember that great salespeople are relationship builders between your company and your customers. They have a direct connection with the prospects. Hence, it is important to focus on their nature and behavior of the candidate you choose.
- Market Experience: Does the candidate have enough market experience within your field? Your first salesperson should have experience as he/ she will be entirely responsible for forming your sales processes and culture - and you definitely want someone who has done this before!
- Resourcefulness: In sales, the one quality that comes most handy is resourcefulness. Find someone with the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties during sales and who can think outside of the box.
- Coachability: A coachable rep has an internal motivation to improvise and do better. Here is a checklist you can use to determine how coachable your candidate is: Humble Follows instructions well Hungry for feedback and the ability to act on the feedback Eager to learn
- Teamwork: TEAM means Together Everyone Achieves More. Likewise, a sales team can only meet its target if every team member is working towards the goal as a team. If a rep is hesitant or selfish to share information or sales tips with other members, you’re going to have a problem. So, choose wisely!
Once you align these attributes with your specific job profile, you will have an easier time determining your perfect candidate for the sales rep’s role.
Focus more on Skills than Experience
Even though experience matters, it is not the only thing to consider during recruitment. There are other things that matter more than experience in the job interview. One of them is skills. A highly skilled person can adapt to different situations easily, so the experience becomes less relevant compared to the skills they possess. Hence, when you reach out to candidates don’t let their experience keep you from seeing their other skills.
Develop an Interviewing Strategy
Develop an interviewing strategy that includes many questions and techniques. It should be relevant to your job profile so you can measure your candidate’s unique traits that might be a good fit for your company. According to a research report, 69% of companies identified a broken, non-standardized interview process as the greatest reason why they were unable to hire quality reps. Hence, through the interview process gain a better understanding of their goals and interests, as well as their approach towards sales.
Sales Assessment Tests
Before sending out an offer letter to any candidate, the last but the most important step is to test out their abilities. Even though a candidate may appear good in an interview, nothing shows their true capabilities like a real-life test. Put them through sales assessment tests. This can validate their demonstrations of the traits and skills sought. Considering the cost of making a bad hire, it’s best to do this before signing the contract.
Understanding the need for a sales team within your company and defining a strong job profile are always the best first steps to take. You have to remember that this is a both tough and time-consuming process and cannot happen overnight. Thus, hire candidates who you know will make a difference in the long run for your organization.
So, Ready to start hiring?
A proficient, well-behaved sales team is a company’s most significant asset - and an incompetent one its biggest liability.
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