6 Tips on How to Hire Great Salespeople


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When you’re putting together your sales team, you want to recruit only the best, right? The sea of applicants that you’ll receive must be weeded through in order to find the right salespeople, who then must be brought in for an interview. But how you you hire the best?

Here are the top 6 tips you must know when looking to hire great salespeople.

Tip # 1 – Nail down your Hiring Profile

The sales manager must first know how many salespeople they need to hire. Is it five? Ten? Fifty? What is the scale and scope of the sales campaign? Are you targeting locally, regionally, nationally, or globally? Obviously, the sale manager will know this based on the goals set by the company and must recruit accordingly. One way to do this is to create a hiring profile, which is a sort of wishlist of the traits you’re looking for in a salesperson.

According to Hubspot’s Mark Roberge, these are the five questions you need to ask of the candidates:

  • Are they coachable? They must be able to absorb and apply feedback.
  • Are they curious? They need an interest in the sales process, asking probing/clarifying questions.
  • Are they intelligent? They must be able to master tasks and think critically.
  • Are they hard-working? They must be willing to put in the time and effort to succeed.
  • Have they ever been successful? They need to have had success in some area of their life (school, sports, personal goals/dreams, etc.)

Then, using the hiring profile, the sales manager will create the job posting. Be as detailed as possible in the description, and make your needs and goals clear (as per the hiring profile, which will also be used with the candidates themselves later in the process). This will show the potential top candidates that you are focused on success, which will attract them to apply.

If you wrote and effective job posting, you’ll begin receiving the onslaught of replies almost immediately. Sales jobs are always available, but the quality of the sales job itself, the company culture, and, of course, the potential earnings, are factors that candidates use when making their decisions. You want to make sure to appeal to those top candidates before someone else snatches them up.

Tip # 2 – Showcase Your Company Online

This is about attracting candidates that are going to ultimately make your company’s sales soar. So in order to attract the best talent, you need to showcase to those candidates why they should want to work for you. You want them to trip over themselves in an effort to work for you, but how do you create that kind of hype?

First, make sure your company’s online presence is stellar and well-reviewed. I’m not talking just about having your forward-facing website in top shape, but check out reviews you may have on Glassdoor, or other hiring sites. Encourage your current and past employees to write up a quick review of their experience working at your company.

Secondly, you need to craft a job posting that will grab their attention, and keep it. You want to make sure that they are learning about the great pay incentives, benefits packages, and any other perks that come with the job. If the workplace is fun and relaxed, replete with pony-keg Fridays, let them know that if they work hard, they can play hard. Depending on the candidate, this can be worth so much more than a 401K.

The more enticing you make your company, to more likely you are to attract the sales talent you’re looking for. Remember that people want to associate with success, and these potential sales reps are no different.

Tip # 3 – Talk About Your Brand and Company Success

Your brand is important in attracting top talent if it is associated with success and professionalism. Your branding needs to be intact across the board if you want your salespeople to trust in the quality of the brand they work for. It’s not just about finding a great salesperson, it’s about finding the right one for you. You want to find someone who believes in what you believe in. When hiring a salesperson, it’s helpful to sharing stories of growth and success within your company, showing them that you all believe in the brand and are successfully moving along towards the same goal. Talk about the following things, and you will hopefully be able to pick out a candidate that wants to join your brand:

  • Core values
  • Current and past employee testimonials
  • Brand success stories
  • Personal stories of growth and success
  • Employee rewards and recognition
  • Employee stories of success and company life

Tip # 4 – Show Them the Money

Salespeople thrive on making money. Their time and effort are precious and they should be compensated when they do a good job. Now, when it comes to recruiting new salespeople, one way to attract them is with good ol’ cold, hard cash.

We’re not talking about bribery here, but rather offering cash incentives, such a signing bonus, quota bonuses, or other cash rewards that will motivate these candidates to consider working for you.

When deciding on what kind of cash incentive to offer, think about 1) what you’d like to be offered as a candidate, and 2) how not to break your bank. But just be sure to not make any promises that you can’t keep. You may go overboard with excitement when describing how amazing your company is and what they can do for the candidate that you may let an empty promise or two slip.

Tip # 5 – Pay Attention in the Interview

Once you sift through the mountain of applicants, reading sales resumes, checking for any red flags, and finally find the candidates you think might be a good fit, you decide to bring them in for their respective interviews.

In the interview itself, you’ll want to keep the room as minimalistic as possible. Two chairs across from each other will suffice. The interview is conducted so that the candidate has to focus on the questions at hand, undistracted by things on the wall or a cluster of furniture that can make an interview feel awkward.

In the interview, you’ll want to pay attention to the subtleties exhibited by the candidate, such as if they talk openly about themselves and their work or if they are guarded and reserved. You’ll also want to see how they talk about tasks and other people to get a sense of whether they would be a good fit for the team. While every salesperson is uniquely gifted at what they do, sales is a team effort and the best and brightest salespeople understand that. Find out if they are able to discern a good deal from a bad one, and if they know when to jump ship if needed.

They information you get from your interview will help you determine the best candidate to hire. It’s not rocket science, but interviews are daunting nonetheless.

Tip # 6 – Give Them the Tools to Make Them Great

Once you made a decision on who to hire on to your sales team, you’ll be able to feel good knowing that you found someone to fill that sales position who is intelligent, understands sales, is good with the rest of the team, and is genuinely interested in doing better for the company. But the most important step in hiring a great salesperson, is being able to keep them. A well-thought out onboarding process, continued training, mentorship programs, and giving them the right technology to get the job done, are all integral parts of keeping a great salesperson on your team.

Salespeople are happy when they are closing deals and hitting their quota. If you can help them achieve these goals, they will probably stick around. Use a CRM, like Spiro’s, that makes salespeople’s life easier by eliminating data entry from their jobs. And this gives them more time to focus on reaching prospects, building relationships, closing deals, and crushing their quota.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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