Hiring and maintaining a strong sales force is one of the most important tasks for any business owner. Finding the right sales people takes dedication, patience, money, and time, but the result will be worth it.
Bad sales people will eventually drain your budget, lower company morale, sour relationships, and bring down your sales. Here are five ways to weed through bad sales people so you can have the best sales force.
1. Go straight to a sales recruiter.
Sales recruiters will only send you candidates that are at the top of their field. They will prescreen the selected applicants and do the weeding out for you. Through personality dimensions and mental aptitude tests, and reference checks, you will know that your recruiter is not sending you bad sales people.
2. Pay close attention to the resume.
If you don't want to leave the hiring to a sales recruiter, you need to make sure you're really paying attention to your candidates' resumes. Take a closer look at their resumes and look for a poorly laid-out format, spelling errors, and lack of detail in in their experience or skills sections. And whether a cover letter was mandatory or not, check to see if one was included. These are all red flags of potentially lazy and bad sales people who are giving you the absolute bare minimum and who aren't trying very hard to impress you. If you see any of these indications, don't ignore them or you might be hiring more bad sales people.
5. Dig deeper.
The resume is a good indication of a candidate's skills and experience; however, they are still just words on a page-words that the applicant put there himself. Applicants often exaggerate their skill levels, fudge their employment dates, and generally lie on their resumes to look better. To know if you are going to hire good or bad sales people, you need to dig deeper and stop listening to what the applicants alone are telling you. Ask for at least three references and spend the time to call them and ask them valuable questions that can save you from hiring bad sales people. They might not tell you straight up that the candidate was a terrible, lazy employee, but with carefully crafted questions, you might be able to read through the lines and find out what kind of employee the candidate really was in the past.
4. Test the candidates.
When it's time to interview the candidates who have passed your early screening assessment, it's time to test them. Asking them about their prior work experience is fine, but it won't really tell you how they will fit into your unique business environment. Prepare some hypothetical situations that typically occur at your company, and ask the candidates what they would do in those scenarios. You can even role play sales pitches to see how they would really sell your products. You will not only see how the applicants react to your scenarios, but also see how prepared they are and how well they have researched your products or services.
5. Implement internal checks.
Once you have hired a new sales person, you must keep on top of them through internal checks. Write up clear expectations, quotas, policies, and procedures, and ensure that all your employees-new and old-are following them accordingly. Evaluate their performance often.
Take the time and effort needed to avoid hiring bad sales people.
If you don't put some time and money into your hiring process, you will eventually end up with some duds. Bad sales people can hurt your business like no other employee at your company. It's important to hire the right sales person to represent your brand and increase your profits. With these five tips, you will be able to weed through bad sales people to get to the gems.