At its simplest, a business is a system where goods or services are exchanged for money. Without sales, you don't have a business, so when you're selecting a sales rep you need to make sure you choose the right person.
The success of your business is perhaps more closely tied to the performance of your sales rep than it is to almost any other person barring the CEO. This is because as long as you are selling and making money you have time and resources to fix any other problem with the business, but if your sales team is not performing then no matter how well everything else is running you'll soon run out of money and be forced to close.
With your business at stake you will of course want the perfect sales rep, let's look at five tips for finding and hiring him or her:
1. Define your perfect sales rep
The perfect person for a sales role in one business will not be perfect in another business. Different personalities, sales techniques and attitudes may be attractive, useful in one industry and company, and destructive in another. Your perfect sales rep might be someone who can slot into an existing team environment and work well with those around him or her, or your company might favor lone wolves; self-motivated and ambitious. Unless you define what you are looking for you might find yourself getting exactly the wrong kind of sales rep.
2. Offer a salary and/or commission appropriate to the role
The perfect sales rep can probably walk into almost any sales job in your industry - so why should they work for you? To get the best you need to offer an attractive package that pays well and offers incentives that will attract high-performers. Typically, a brilliant salesperson will expect a good amount of commission so that their performance is matched by the rewards they receive.
3. Advertise in the right places
If you want an experienced and brilliant salesperson there is probably no point advertising in your local paper! This is much more likely to attract people who are unsuitable for the role, which will use up your valuable time, as you have to sift through hundreds of poor applicants. Instead, look to industry-specific magazines, sales magazines and websites that attract high-quality job seekers.
4. Interview effectively
No matter where you advertise your job and how specific you are about the qualities you need you'll still get people applying who are unsuitable. The interview is there to help you find out who the real contenders for the role are. To find your perfect sales rep you need to ask questions that will reveal whether someone is qualified for your job. For example if one of the personality traits you desire is the ability to solve problems then you need to ask questions that will reveal whether the person being interviewed has a talent for problem solving or not. For example, you might ask 'Describe one time in your career when you came up against a seemingly insurmountable problem and how you overcame it'.
5. Offer them the job!
The last step is simple - offer them the job! If this perfect sales rep is currently out of work and looking for a job, they'll probably be offered interviews at a number of different companies. If you've found someone amazing who has everything you could possibly want don't wait around before offering them a job - otherwise they may go somewhere else!
Hiring the perfect sales rep isn't difficult - you just need to know who you're looking for, attract them with a good offer and then interview effectively to make sure their in-person performance matches their CV - then hire them!