So often companies generalize the hiring of sales people, when the role is highly complex... and not general at all!
So often company leadership generalize the role of sales – attempting to hire another “sales guy” – when there is no such thing. We find most the time... leadership doesn’t know or understand the complexities of a sales role... and really has no clue how to recruit and hire the “right” people.
It’s not their fault... a lot has changed.
Today, sales organizations are under extreme challenges... and the role of sales is increasingly more and more complex. Why... because technology advances and customer buying habits have shifted. As some products or services have become more of a commodity, the need to meet with a sales person to place an order isn’t needed... now we do this on-line. However, for companies in high-tech manufacturing or industries where a “solution” is required, the role of a sales professional has become less of a “seller” and more of a problem-solver, expert “engineer” and value-added resource.
This is why hiring any “sales guy” does not work. These sales roles require professionals who FIT the role, have the experience required and who can adapt. So how does leadership recruit, hire and develop the “right” professional VS a candidate whose best performance was the interview?
Here is what you should be doing to improve your sales selection success:
1. It starts with one basic premise... define top performance in the role for today and the future. Think about what your customers want and expect, what changes are coming, what is required of the sales professional, what are the performance metrics, and what skills, behaviors, attributes, motivation and experience are needed for top performance.
2. Build a targeted recruitment campaign that markets the role on the right employment sites (not all are created equal). Use targeted industry words based on the key skills and performance metrics defined in the top performance standard that align with candidate resumes, experience or credentials to attract top candidates to the job ad.
3. Establish a recruitment and interview methodology that mimics or “mirrors” the role requirements, requiring candidates to respond, react or be proactive in the interview process in the same way they would need to perform in the role. Follow a staged interview process specifically created to guide human resources and hiring managers through the steps to effectively qualify candidates (in or out) who meet the role criteria.
4. Utilize a pre-selection assessment tool to validate a person’s FIT to the defined top performance standard and review the results with a “sales-centric” pre-selection assessment partner to help you “see” the candidate to support effective hiring decisions.