Hiring sales people: The essentials

It’s a sobering thought for growing businesses – in most companies 80% of the sales come from 20% of the sales force. And because of the impact on your bottom line, hiring sales people is an area you can’t afford to skimp on – give it the time it deserves.
The process

Define the position you are recruiting for. When it comes to hiring sales people, you must consider the skills sets you are looking for. Do you want someone who can present well, who knows how to close a deal, who has good industry contacts, good time management skills or who has knowledge of and belief in your product or service?

Next steps

The crucial part about hiring sales people is that they must interview well – if they can’t sell themselves well, they won’t do a good job selling your product. But how do you spot the best from the rest? Get them to sell you something as simple as a pencil or ask them to do a presentation around your product.

Develop a standard set of questions for all candidates. This will stop you from getting sidetracked and ensure you safeguard yourself from a legal point of view, in case any candidate suggests you are discriminating against them. What do candidates know about your industry, what was the toughest sale they ever made and how do they know when to close a sale? Always ask for references to guard against exaggerated claims.

Need to know

Get a second opinion – involve a sales member of your team to assess a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. A good salesperson has to work as part of a team but must also use their initiative to build and maintain relationships. The image you want your business to convey is crucial when it comes to hiring sales people. As a growing business, your sales people will often make the first contact with your prospective clients so ensure they can represent the public face of your business.


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