Hire Only the Best Fit for Your Sales Team

Hire Only the Best Fit for Your Sales Team
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How to Hire Only the Best Fit for Your Sales Team
If you want to hire only the best fit for your sales team, you can’t afford to make a mistake. 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 performance) down.

In fact, recent research by Korn Ferry discovered that a person whose attributes strongly match what is required for success in a role is about 8 times more likely to be highly engaged than a colleague with a weaker fit.

What Is The Best way To Hire Sales Reps That Fit?
Assuming that you have already put your current team through business sales training and have a clear sales process, you want to select someone who can easily work into the same sales rhythm and approach that gets consistent 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?

Four Tips to Hire Only the Best Fit for Your Sales Team
Here are our recommendations for effective sales hiring success:

  1. Use a proven Sales Hiring Simulation
    Top sales teams go beyond first impressions with by using scientifically validated data to quickly identify top sales talent — especially for high stakes roles.  Because interviews and resumes often don’t tell the whole story, leading organizations use simulation-based hiring assessments to ensure not only a fair opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their capabilities, but to select top sales talent is ready to excel in their new role.

    Would your hiring benefit from a comprehensive assessment of real-time sales leadership skills?

  2. Use a Team Interviewing Approach
    If you rely upon just one interviewer, there may be an unfair bias either for or against a sales candidate. With more than one person interviewing, you can avoid prejudice of any kind. In addition you can give each sales team member an assignment.

    If you are checking for a candidate’s sales 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 sales 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 fit for your sales culture and sales strategy.

  3. Check Out Past Sales Performance
    The resume may 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 sales candidate who fulfilled the role of sales manager at various companies. But, were they just managing sales people or have they actually carried a bag?

    The best interviewers know how to probe beneath the surface of the resume for proof of actual sales performance and the ability to sell solutions to target customers to better predict a candidate’s future behavior.

  4. Hold a Meeting to Make the Decision
    Compile reports on each candidate and share perspectives. Never settle. 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 capabilities. Test them with specific sales scenarios most common for your industry.  Give a trial period where both the sales team and the candidate can assess their fit for the job.

    This kind of real-world performance test is in the best interests of both the company and the candidate.

The Bottom Line
If you want to hire only the best fit for your sales team, do not settle.  It pays to be patient and demanding when you hire for critical sales positions. Do yourself, your sales team, and your organization a favor by taking the time to get it right from the beginning.

To learn more about how to hire only the best fit for your sales team, download 9 Traits to Avoid When Hiring Sales Reps

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