Hire Only the Best Fit for Your Sales Team

A giant hand reaches down to pick out one in five avatars for solution selling success

You can’t afford to make a mistake this time. Your hiring decision will make the difference between a fully contributing member of the sales team or another “below average performer” who drags everybody (and the team numbers) down.

You have put your current team through solution selling training so you want to select someone who can easily work into the same rhythm and approach that gets consistent and sustainable business results. The question: what is the best way to go about hiring a sales rep that will fit in terms of competency, culture and performance?

With two decades of experience in hiring effective sales folks, here are our recommendations for success:

  • Use a team interviewing approach
    If you rely upon just one interviewer, there may be an unfair emotional bias either for or against a candidate. With more than one person interviewing, you can avoid prejudice of any kind. In addition you can give each member of the interviewing team an assignment. If you are checking for a candidate’s competencies, each interviewer can focus on a particular ability that you have decided is critical for success.Give every interviewer the same assessment form to fill out. These will be pulled together and discussed as a group when all interviews have been completed. The rating system should be simple (pluses or minuses for each competency explored) and the notes should refer to specific examples. Some discipline on the interviewing team’s part is required to spend time to prepare thoroughly beforehand and, afterward, to finish the form while the interview is still fresh. On your part, make sure each interviewer understands and appreciates the importance of their efforts in hiring the best and, thus, achieving the sales goals.
  • Check out past performance
    The resume may well list a number of positions that “sound” good but behavioral interviewing skills are required to uncover meaningful and repeatable experiences. It’s impressive to see a candidate who fulfilled the role of sales manager at various companies. But, were they just managing people or have they actually carried a bag? The best interviewers know how to probe beneath the surface of the C V facts for proof of actual performance and ability so they are able to better predict a candidate’s future behavior.
  • Meeting to make the decision
    Compile the reports on each candidate and share perspectives. Don’t ever hire just to fill a slot. The best candidates should rise to the top…but are they good enough and will they fit in your unique organizational culture? If you still have doubts, you can give them a chance to prove themselves…their abilities, their attitudes, and their experience. Team them up with a member of your sales team to demonstrate their selling techniques. Test their strategic thinking by proposing a problem that needs solving. Give them a trial period where both the team and the candidate can assess their fit for the job. This kind of real-world test is in the best interests of both the company and the job seeker.

It pays to be patient and exacting when you hire for critical positions. Do yourself and your team and your organization a favor by taking the time to get it right from the beginning.

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Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

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VP Human Resources

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Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

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I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

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I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

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LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

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I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

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Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

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