The 3 deadly sins of hiring salespeople
This is one of the most popular questions I get asked. What are the 3 deadly sins of hiring salespeople? In my experience, there are very few rules that work for hiring salespeople that works with other departments. Why? Because we make these mistakes:
They have experience. They have had sales jobs, maybe even in your industry. Eureka! A perfect hire … not.
We believe we have met “a natural salesperson,” and we expect they will be successful.
These 3 deadly sins of hiring salespeople are common. Consider these steps to help you make the right decision.
This is a comparison of performance against external criteria. Often, organizations try to benchmark against their best salespeople. Big mistake. The correct way is to use valid, research-based metrics and modeling of success. Then, from this information, create custom benchmarking for your own organization. This is your sales-hiring DNA. Once this is completed by a leader in your sales organization, the benchmarking is ready for matching with a candidate.
What is benchmatching? The idea that salespeople should be matched to “your best salesperson’ is ludicrous. I am not saying that looking at comparisons can not be a good criteria but it is almost impossible to compare to another salesperson. Why? Because it leaves the best salesperson comparison to too much subjectivity.Send candidates an assessment to complete—and use it to see if there is a match of your corporate DNA to theirs.
3. Short telephone interview.
Still taking only a few minutes, there are specific questions whose answers will give you the information necessary to move this person up—or out quickly.
4. Sales assessment.
See what their sales beliefs are. That’s right: beliefs. You don’t care if they can sell, you care if they will, right? This difference is paramount.
5. Role play.
Giving the candidate a short role play outline, customized with your company’s situations, will be the quickest way to see if they are a fit with your company’s selling style.
6. In-person interview.
Pay attention to such things as eye contact, confidence level and overall appearance. Have two people interview the candidate, saying at the end: “We’ll let you know.” The final test is if they ask for the job, or at least a next step.
This seems like a lot of work to hire a salesperson doesn’t it? You betcha!