5 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Sales Manager

August 15, 2014 Matthew Cook

5 steps to hiring the perfect sales managerNo company can survive without a great sales team. You can have the best product or service in the industry, but if your sales team is not performing, then your company will not succeed. And, like any team, you can have the best players in the world but if the person who manages the team is not the right person, your team will never live up to its full potential.

Build a job description for the perfect sales manager.

The first thing you need to do is develop a specific description of what is involved in the position. This position description should include anything that is important for the sales manager to accomplish.  This can include:

  • Manage new business
  • Build existing business
  • Generate leads
  • Build and manage a sales team
  • Meet projected goals
  • Other duties as assigned.

Determine a compensation package for the perfect sales manager.

If you want the perfect sales manager, you need to be ready to provide the perfect compensation package.  This can vary depending on the size of your company, but a general rule of thumb is to provide a salary with incentives.  Incentives can be based on a portion of the sales from the entire sales team, or can be based on generated revenue. Other compensation should include opportunities for professional advancement, vacation time and bonuses.

Look for the perfect sales manager.

You know that the perfect sales manager is out there. How do you find them?  You need to be constantly on the lookout.  Do you have someone that sells to your company that does a great job?  Put feelers out and ask other businesses if they know of anyone. When you are at conventions or trainings, always be aware of the skills and abilities of the other participants. The days of just putting an ad in the local paper are gone. You need to take advantage of social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.  You should also list job opportunities on your own company web site.

Interview the perfect sales manager.

There are two goals for the interview process. One is for you to talk about the position and the company. The other is for you to find out more about the prospect and really try to find out if they will make the perfect sales manager for your company. As you interview, in addition to any skills and ideas the potential perfect sales manager can bring to the table, you also need to determine if the individual is going to fit with your company culture. If your environment is a laid back, tee shirts and jeans kind of place, a three piece suit guy is not going to fit in and is unlikely to succeed. Each of your candidates should also be interviewed by several people at your company. Human resources is important, of course, but also include other managers that this person will be interacting with.  Make sure everyone feels comfortable with the potential sales manager.

Follow up for hiring the perfect sales manager.

Obviously, you should do your part of the follow-up.  This will include:

  • Checking references
  • Background checks
  • Meeting with all individuals who interviewed the potential candidate and get input.

You also want to look at how the candidate for your perfect sales manager position follows up with you. Post interview, the candidate should reach out to you and the others that they spoke with. This can be in the form of a note, email or phone call.  This kind of contact allows you to easily invite them for a second interview, and also shows you the candidate’s interest in the position.

As you begin your search for the perfect sales manager, you need to put in time up front.  You should build a job description, develop an appropriate compensation packet and begin hunting for the person that will help to make your company even more successful.

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