Today, Human Resource Departments are under attack to be highly strategic in recruiting, selecting, retaining and developing top performing sales professionals. This is in addition to their responsibilities for overall company hiring and retention, as well as the administration, dissemination, and education of operational information and company benefits programs.
However, as the role of sales has increased in complexity, so has the complexity of attracting and hiring sales professionals who can be successful at your company. Changes in customer expectations, buying decisions, e-commerce, and technological advances have changed the role of sales for today and the future. And often-times, even sales leadership is unsure how to define the role and what is required for top performance. Consequently, sales leaders are unsure how to guide human resources to effectively recruit the “right” sales professionals, so they can spend their time interviewing better qualified candidates.
Adding to the challenges sales leaders face is the pressure to just hire someone, “a warm body,” which outweighs taking the time to establish a strategic recruitment, interviewing and hiring process. While there is no silver bullet, following are 4 things you can do to more effectively recruit, interview, and select the right top performers who fit the role of sales at your company.
- Start with defining the standard or metrics of TOP Performance in sales for your company. This is a company-specific, accurate “picture” of top performance in sales that defines the skills, behaviors, attributes, motivation and experience required for top performance.
- Utilize specific information from the benchmark about the role and requirements to create a targeted, compelling job advertisement to market the role and attract the “right” sales professionals.
- Develop a strategic interview process that links role-specific, measurable questions to guide hiring managers to ask targeted questions and listen to the responses in order to hire only the best sales talent. Having a consistent, defined process will alleviate the tendency for hiring managers to be unprepared or be swayed by a candidate’s friendliness, industry experience, book of business, etc.
- Utilize a pre-selection assessment tool to validate a person’s FIT to the established benchmark or top performance standard for the role. The most effective selection assessment tool is one that is BOTH a pre-selection and a post-hire developmental tool to help a manager select, lead, manage and develop a new employee. This provides the employee and manager with information to define strengths and areas of challenges to support performance, and retention after the hire.
Top performing organizations integrate human resources with sales leadership to facilitate recruitment, selection, development and retention of the “right” sales team members.
Commit to hiring the best…Effective employee selection is no longer a human resources issue… it is a strategic leadership challenge that impacts the bottom-line. Poor hires impact a company’s sales, profitability, shareholder value, and customer retention. As companies today struggle to compete in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace, knowing you have a team of people who exhibit the rights skills, characteristics and abilities is crucial for success.
At Growth Dynamics, our research has proven that sales professionals who “fit” the role, “fit” your company, and “fit” the customer, will stay longer, be more effective and offer a sustained competitive advantage to your company and your customers.