Salespeople can be a blessing or a curse. A great salesperson can accelerate your business’ growth. One who underperforms can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost opportunities and overhead. Getting the right person is critical to your success. Continue reading to increase your odds!
10 steps to keeping your best salespeople:
- Determine goals and objectives.
Think it through. Why is this important to you now? What specific goals and objectives do they need to meet? Where will they work? What is their territory? How will you measure success?
- Define the skills required.
Do you need someone outgoing and assertive or a skilled listener who asks good questions? Do you need technical competencies and a quick learner or do you have time to train someone who needs longer?
- Determine the best recruiting method.
Once you know the kind of person you are looking for, where are they? How do most people get jobs in your industry? Referrals? LinkedIn? Job boards?
- Conduct a telephone interview.
Comb through resumes to identify your best candidates. Schedule an appointment for about a half hour and ask a series of written questions, including any that might eliminate them quickly. Make extensive notes. Be consistent so you can make an unbiased comparison.
- Plan the initial face-to-face interview.
Make sure that your office makes a good first impression. Let staff know you have a potential recruit and ask them to be welcoming. Not only does the candidate have to sell you on hiring them, you have to sell them on joining the company. Go through a consistent list of questions and make detailed notes.
- Job fit assessments are a must!
The candidates are on their best behaviour. So far you have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Job fit assessments during the hiring process are a proven strategy to increase success and retention because they reveal information and behaviour traits that you wouldn’t normally see until after the probation period, which may be too late.
- Conduct a second face-to-face interview.
Based on the report from the job fit assessment, you can now go deeper and ask more specific questions.
- Give the candidate(s) an assignment.
Ask the candidate to invest some time that confirms they have the necessary skills. For example have them prepare a sales presentation.
- Do background checks.
Most people lie or exaggerate on the resume. Call and drill down on specific questions that will confirm or deny any concerns. Be vigilant about ensuring referees are honest.
- Make the offer of employment.
Start over if you don’t get exactly what you’re looking for. But when you find the right person, be ready. Provide a clear, concise set of expectations in your offer and how you propose to pay them.
Hiring a salesperson is a big step. There’s little room for error. Make time to do it right.