Many small and medium-sized businesses know their product, have great customer service, and know how to run a business. Unfortunately, they might still struggle or even fail if their products or service aren't selling. One of the most important tasks you need to do for your company is form a strong, competent sales team. But, with the wealth of applicants on the market, it might be hard to find that specific sales person that you need. What's more, engaging a poor sales person to represent your company can be detrimental to your company's reputation.
Here's how to find the specific sales representative your sales department needs.
Know what you want.
You know your business better than anyone else, so you should know what you want out of the sales person that will be working on behalf of your company. Before you start searching for applicants, sit down and really think about the qualities that are absolutely necessary in the sales representative that you will hire. And then consider which ones would be nice to have, and which ones aren't necessary to your business goals. Perhaps you are only looking for a sales representative with industry knowledge or inbound marketing knowledge; perhaps work ethic is really important to you; maybe ability to travel is a must. Regardless of the qualities you are looking for, you need to understand them to be able to engage the proper candidate.
Include your sales team.
The sales department is a team. They all work together to grow your business and sell your products. If they cannot work together efficiently, then your business will suffer. If the applicant you are considering doesn't have an attitude that mixes well with the rest of the sales team, you will have tension, jealousy, and anger brewing in your department.
When you find a few candidates that you are willing to interview, include your sales team and ask their feedback. Make them part of the decision. They may see something positive or negative about the candidate that you simply didn't consider. It's often beneficial to go with your gut on these types of decisions, and it might be difficult to trust other people for such an important decision. But if you are constantly hiring new sales people and no one seems to be working out, it might help to get other opinions.
Know what the sales person wants.
Everyone has expectations, goals, and needs. Once you understand what you want out of a new sales representative, you need to understand what that applicant wants and expects out of you, this job, and your business in return. You do not want to start spending time training a new sales person only for him or her to realize that the job isn't what they wanted at all. So, be clear about the job expectations, so you don't have any costly surprises a few weeks down the road.
Test your applicants.
Because you know what you expect from your new employee, you should be able to easily test your applicants during the interview process. Ask them hypothetical questions to see how they would react to typical situations in your industry. Their reactions, comments, and quick thinking will be able to tell you if they are the right fit for the job.
Make it easy.
Finding the right sales person for your business can be a difficult process. You will likely get dozens of applicants, and it can be overwhelming to sift through them to narrow down the list for interviews, and then make the final decision. When you know what you want out of your new sales person, include the rest of the sales team in the decision, understand what the applicant is looking for out of the job, and test the applicants' reactions, you will have a much better chance of finding that specific person who is right for your company.