Hi guys! I’m Anna Talerico, with Married2Growth and these are a 9 quick tips on hiring better sales candidates.
One, chemistry counts when initially building your sales team. You have to want to work with them. You have to be able to imagine working with them—and look forward to that, earnestly.
Two, listen to your gut! I sometimes had a gut feeling that was ‘off’ about someone, but they seemed right on paper. But after a lot of bad hires, I came to learn that my gut is always right when it comes to sales candidates. Trust your instincts.
Three, use a candidate scorecard. For every candidate. Despite my love of chemistry and gut intuition, I do rely on a scoring matrix in order to evaluate candidates. A score is a counterbalance to the emotional aspects of hiring. Scoring gives you the less subjective perspective in terms of how the candidate actually fits your requirements.
Four, use a set of standard interview questions. Similar to the scorecard, I believe all candidates should be asked the same set of questions. Trust me, this will make it much easier to evaluate your interviews.
Five, ask tough questions. Too often, as sales managers, we know the questions we should ask, but we avoid them—wanting to skip over the tough stuff and not put someone on the spot. Hard questions weed out a lot of candidates by revealing weaknesses, undesirable characteristics, real attitudes and true aptitude. So, ask the toughest questions you can
Six, go off script. Ask tough questions and use a standard set of interview questions. But don’t stop there. Every sales interview should be a conversation, so don’t be afraid to go off script. Sales reps have conversations with their prospects. The best ones tell stories, they build rapport quickly, they show empathy and innate curiosity. If you aren’t having great conversations with a sales candidate, will your prospects?
Seven, look for the fundamentals. Make sure a candidate has a professional phone presence. Make sure they send timely, well-written thank you emails. Have an active email exchange and make sure they reply quickly, accurately and with good grammar. Your prospects will be interacting with your reps primarily via phone and email so make sure their skills are strong.
Eight, don’t rush your decision just because you need to fill a spot. Follow your process, weed out the wrong candidates and wait for the best. It will be worth it. It’s incredibly short-sighted to rush into a hire just because you have an open headcount you need to fill. A bad hire is costly.
Nine, have a partner you trust. I don’t believe in hiring by committee, but I do think two heads can be better than one. Collaborating with someone you trust will help you make a more thoughtful decision about a candidate. And that’s it! These are a few of my tactics to find the best sales reps, all learned from lots of skinned knees along the way. I’d love to hear how these work for you, so stay in touch. And, thanks for watching. Good luck!