Few things impact the bottom line of a company so dramatically as the sales hiring process, yet many companies are happy to let their sales hiring process become dated while improving every other aspect of their company. Leaving your recruiting to non-specialists, forgoing the use of the latest tools, relying solely upon personal connections and interview-chair charm, using dated incentives to secure and retain talent…any one of these can result in a dearth of true talent on your sales floor, but many companies allow every single one of these problems to go unchecked. Fortunately, we’re here with the answers: 5 reasons your sales hiring process needs improvement (and how to go about it).
Who does the hiring at your company? Do you leave it to team leaders, department managers, or someone from Human Resources? If the answer isn’t ‘someone with plenty of hiring experience’, you’re doing it wrong. Hiring in the past didn’t require the unique skillset that hiring today does, and what flew before will get you poor hires today.
Your sales team lead simply doesn’t have the time to master the art of the interview, read up on the latest articles about talent, keep up-to-date on resume management software, etc. There’s a reason the top companies either keep full-time recruitment staff or outsource to a staffing agency—your sales hiring process shouldn’t be left to amateurs, any more than any other vital aspect of your company.
Does your sales hiring process take advantage of the myriad tools available for streamlining the project? Even if you put an expert to the task, they won’t get nearly as far if they don’t have access to the proper tools. Hours of manual sorting takes away from time that could be spent vetting high-potential candidates—don’t hamstring your efforts by relying upon dated technology!
Do you know what goes in to a good sales candidate? Even the best salespeople and sales management often misjudge what makes them great. Fortunately, there are studies on the subject to guide your sales hiring process, such as the one that pinned these seven traits in the top salespeople of the nation:
- Achievement Orientation
- Lack of Gregariousness
- Lack of Discouragement
- Lack of Self-Consciousness
You also need to consider skill traits, such as the ability to work in a number of different sales mediums smoothly, in your sales hiring process. A good interview is important, but face-to-face charm isn’t enough today!
Consider a Broader Picture.
When you hire, do you take into account how an individual will impact the team? Even if your sales agents primarily work independently, company cultural gaps can harm morale and drive down profits. Your sales hiring process needs to consider these ‘soft’ factors, or you’ll end up with higher turnover, reduced efficiency, and any number of other problems. Sometimes a genius sales person coming from a nationally recognized company can be a boon—but in the wrong company, he or she will fit like a shoe three sizes too small. Your sales hiring process needs to consider this!
One place an overwhelming majority of companies get wrong, the incentive. Incentives, handled properly, get you the best talent, keep that talent pushing their limits, and keep them from dropping your company for the next rung in the ladder at the first opportunity. Cash is no good—it’s an easy-to-understand figure, yes, and you should be paying an appropriate salary for your industry/expectations/etc., but you also need to realize that if you pay a cash bonus for something your hires aren’t going to ‘remember’ where it came from when they spend it—they will with their head, but not where it counts. Benefits programs, use of corporate assets, vacation time, these are the incentives that grab you the best talent and keep the best talent around. Your sales hiring process needs to pre-empt turnover, or you’ll regret it.