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Where are all the good sales people?

Recruiting any position within an organisation is important; you have to ensure that they can do the job and that they will fit with the rest of the staff.  Recruiting sales people is a particular challenge for most organisations and very costly if they hire the wrong person.

As a sales strategist working with many organisations on building their revenue through increases in sales, I have seen many organisations suffer the consequences of hiring the wrong people.  Sales people are particularly difficult to recruit, as there are many traits and behaviours that make up the sales person that is going to generate business.

Typically, a sales person is a cost to the organisation for the first six months.  The new recruit needs to find their way, understand your products and services, learn internal processes and become familiar with clients.  Not often does a sales person hit their targets in the first six months.  In other words, for six months they are an expense to the business.  If you hire the wrong person have to start the process again, you then you have lost one year of revenue very easily.

Man! Good sales people are hard to find

Research has shown that most people make up their mind about hiring someone, just five minutes into the interview.  Typically, you hire people you like or people that are like you.  This is a real DANGER for the success of your sales performances.

Here are some tips that might help you recruit the right person:

  1. Recruiting is a process – not an event. It must be ongoing and continuous especially when the market becomes tight.  Seek out the best sales people, and continually be on the look out for them.
  2. Don’t fill a position because you need someone with that role now.  Recruit wisely, don’t absorb and put a “bum on a seat”
  3. Define the right candidate: what do they look like, what skills should they have?
  4. Ask probing questions that discover the inner person.  This is the ultimate skill you require as an interviewer.  Know the questions you need to ask.  After all how many times have you asked a sales person how they feel about rejection in an interview and they say they have learnt not to take rejection personally and then when on the job they procrastinate in doing their cold calling.
  5. And what about the person who always wants to give discounts?  This behaviour will not be discovered by simply asking “when would you give a customer a discount’?
  6. Use tools like profiling that identifies sales behaviours.
  7. Use a scoring table to assist you in your decision making.  If you would like a FREE sample of Xsell’s decision table, please call 08 9260 0000

Hiring sales people can be challenging and getting it wrong can be costly.

Anna Zammit is the Managing Director at Xsell

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