How to Hire Top Salespeople Like a Boss
Salespeople are the lifeblood of all businesses, but they must deliver results. When hiring salespeople, you want to make sure you get top-performing ones. How do you do that? Here are tips on how to hire top salespeople.
All businesses need salespeople. Sales are the primary source of revenue of any company, no matter the industry or type.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of salespeople. As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar points out, “Maybe you don’t hold the title of salesperson, but if the business you are in requires you to deal with people, you, my friend, are in sales.”
Hiring salespeople is therefore not the problem. Place an ad for a sales position, and you will get a ton of applications. The real challenge is finding a salesperson that can deliver results for your business.
If you have ever hired or managed a sales team, you know that is easier said than done. In most cases, you have one or two people who do most of the work and produce the most revenue. The rest do the bare minimum to keep their jobs.
The problem with that setup is sustainability. You might be hitting your sales targets today, but what about tomorrow? What if even one of your top performers quits? You would be in trouble. You want all team members to perform well and with eyes on the prize.
So, how do you ensure that you are hiring the best salespeople?
Start with character
When recruiting for any position, you typically know the type of person you need to do the job. For example, if you are hiring for a sales manager position, you want to see leadership traits. There are specific characteristics you want when you set out to hire salespeople.
Sales Hacker lists 15 essential traits for highly successful salespeople, but they boil down to these four characteristics:
- Verbally perceptive– Communicates at the 11th and 13th grade level in the Flesch-Kincaid test
- Highly competitive and achievement-oriented – Has taken part in individual or team sports
- Relaxed dominant – Guides the interaction with customers with confidence
- Inwardly pessimistic – Asks tough questions to qualify a lead and looks to connect with decision-makers directly
How do you find out if a candidate has these traits? Fortunately, you don’t have to guess. You can have candidates take personality assessment tests specific to salespeople as a first step in applying. The results will help you shortlist applicants with the traits of a great salesperson.
Set minimum requirements for top salespeople
Character traits can determine if a person will do well in sales. However, you probably have a set of qualifications you want in your employees. Perhaps your products or services require your sales team to have special knowledge in the medical or technical fields. In some cases, you need salespeople who can speak in two or more languages. In others, prior experience in the area is necessary.
A top salesperson is only as good as the fit for a specific business. Before setting out to recruit salespeople for your business, set the minimum requirements for the job. Some qualifications might be more of a preference than a requirement. You might be able to massage them to accommodate a great salesperson. Others might be set in stone. Whatever the case, make sure you define what the job requires to cut candidates that do not qualify quickly.
Create excellent job ad copy to attract top salespeople
Job listings are like any content. You want the right people to respond to it, so you need an engaging copy for your job ad.
Pay special attention to the job title as this is the one that a search engine will index. Keep it straightforward but use keywords your ideal candidate might use. For example, if you are a software company looking for SaaS salespeople to work remotely, you want applicants that look for “SaaS” and “remote position.”
Your company summary should also be more than your boilerplate. Engage applicants with a sampling of your dynamic or fun corporate culture. Include your expectations of the day-to-day activities of the salesperson and the perks and benefits they get in return.
Finally, set out your minimum requirements for the role. Make sure the requirements are reasonable so that qualified candidates will have confidence in clicking that Apply button.
Use a positive but authoritative tone throughout your copy. You want applicants to be intrigued but have no question about the credibility of your business.
Choose active verbs such as “enable” and “empower” when outlining the job’s responsibilities. Emphasize the critical role they will play in the company’s success to get them excited about applying.
Look for the personal touch
Sales is a people business, so you want candidates that put their personality out there. Look through the resume and cover letter for signs of personalization. The cover letter, for instance, may include references to your business and the specific job listing. The resume might highlight the qualifications you listed in your job ad.
Many applicants send generic ones to cover all job ads, but you don’t want that approach to your salesperson. An applicant that takes the time to personalize their application documents deserves to be shortlisted.
Check for fit
In an ideal world, all your shortlisted candidates will be a good fit for the company. However, that is rarely the case, which is why interviews are essential. Interviews will help you see if the resume fits the candidate and if the candidate fits the company culture.
You can also use the interview to put applicants through the wringer. Doing so will give you a feel for the candidate. Ask challenging questions that will show you how they think and react to stress. If they respond well under pressure, you know you have a potential star performer.
Give points for initiative
Salespeople have a reputation for being pushy. The reality is people in sales must often take the initiative. However, the best ones do not cross the line too aggressively.
You want applicants with the initiative without being irritating. Candidates that reach out professionally before a scheduled interview shows ambition as well as confidence. Unless they come off as pushy or overly familiar, that drive is in their favor.
Engage the best candidates for top salespeople
Salespeople are a dime a dozen, but a top performer is worth their weight in gold. The best ones often field multiple applications, so they will not wait very long for a decision.
If you find candidates that check all the boxes in your wish list, make sure they don’t get away. Let them know you are impressed and go on to the next steps in the hiring process.
Stay in touch with your best candidates. Even if you cannot make a firm offer right away, you want the candidate to keep you on top of mind.
Get help with reaching your sales goals
You can see how much work it takes to hire top salespeople if you want the best. In many cases, putting in the work is not enough. You still end up with people who underperform.
Full Scale understands the importance of getting the right people in position. However, there is more than one way to achieve your objectives. Custom software can help you manage your sales team and achieve your targets.
Building teams quickly and affordably is our unique value proposition. We are experts at remote team management with a network of top-caliber developers to address your every need.
Can’t wait to get started? Contact us now!