Recruiting for open sales jobs is a challenge and making the wrong hire can result in significant lost revenue and re-hiring and re-training expense. The following are 3 tips to help recruit top sales reps:
1. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. Discuss every job, or at a minimum, the last three. Ask what the candidates liked about the jobs and what they didn’t like. Probe their relationships with their supervisors and others. Ask about successes and challenges and how they achieved the successes and overcame the challenges.
2. Deep dive on skills. Zero in on sales skills. If the job description includes lead generation, ask what methods candidates have used to prospect and what percentage of leads they obtained from each method. Discuss relationship building, obtaining requirements, matching requirements with solution strengths, overcoming objections, presentations, and closing. Ask for examples of candidates doing whatever it takes to make the sale.
3. Test the candidates. Ask candidates to “sell” you their current solution. Ask questions and raise objections. Grade candidates on a scale of 1-5 for communication skills, engagement, establishing trust, obtaining requirements, subject matter expertise, overcoming objections, confidence, and competence.