How to Make Better Sales Hires and Increase Sales

‘Hiring Cures All’

Every sales leader knows that top people bring in the lion’s share of business while building excellent customer relationships. The key to increasing sales is to fill your organization with stars.

However uncovering stars can be a challenge because candidates are more interview savvy than in past! Here’s how you can identify the true sales stars.

Understand that applicants are more interview savvy!

Ask professional recruiters and they will tell you that when compared to other employee groups, sales professionals have always been challenging to hire. This is because most sales professionals have above average interpersonal skills that usually help them present the positives while deflecting their weak areas.

In recent years, sales professionals have become even more difficult to hire because of the Internet. An applicant can search and find hundreds of thousands of links providing answers to the most challenging sales interview questions. The answers can be found for most industries as well as specific sales roles. You can even find scripted answers for classic sales interview scenarios such as “sell me this pencil”.

Even when you find a sales star from another company, that person may not be successful in your company due to differences in management style, sales strategy and company culture.

Here are some steps you can follow in order to target and hire top producers:

Identify the key success factors needed to win. Top sales professionals are similar to elite athletes. They possess inner characteristics that separate them from average players. To ignite your sales strategy, you need to go deeper than finding those with appropriate sales skills and competencies. You need to identify those vital inner characteristics the sales stars will bring to your company. As some examples, high scorers often have exceptional self-motivation, an ability to anticipate the play and an incredible drive for winning.

Customize and update your selection criteria to align hiring with your unique selling strategies. Many sales executives put tremendous effort into developing great strategies and then forget to upgrade their hiring methods in order to hire those who fit the plan. Without this upgrade, hiring managers continue to hire more of the same and your strategies can flounder. You’ve seen it, one region excels while others struggle with internal resistance. Instead, give your sales managers the selection criteria aligned with your company’s sales strategies.

Implement state-of-the-art interviewing methods. A great deal has changed since traditional interviewing techniques were developed more than forty years ago. There are much better ways to identify the authentic person as well as the special characteristics that separate an elite player from all the others in the league. If you haven’t updated your recruiting tools, we recommend you do this before your competitors do.
Competition isn’t getting any easier and to stay in the game you need to field your best team. Times have changed and so have applicants. In response, sales leaders need the very best methods for defining high performance and identifying top producers. Providing your sales managers with the latest tools needed to hire top producers more consistently can significantly improve sales performance.

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