How to Find and Hire the Right Salesperson for Your Company

The sales process begins with recruitment. While it is important to find the right person for every position in the organization, sales take precedence. From having a detailed knowledge of the product they are selling to understanding the organization and its culture, the sales process requires optimization, flexibility, and intuition. Faced with amateurs who think sales is nothing more than pushing the product on the face of the customer, it can be hard to find the perfect salesperson. So, how do you navigate through the seas of resumes to find your ideal candidate?

Define your ideal candidate: One of the things that you need to make your peace with is that you will have to scan hundreds of resumes. Research shows that a sales vacancy receives an average of 250 applications. The number might be even higher for a big organization or one in a densely populated area. Even if you have an army of recruiters, it will take them weeks to go through all the applications and narrow down the candidates. As you go through these resumes, it might be difficult to lose sight of what you want from the candidate. So, before you start drawing compromises, it’s a good idea to define the ideal sales candidate.

Customize your vacancy notice: Creativity attracts creativity. If you want creative people to apply for your sales opening, you need to call them creatively. Write an attractive and customized vacancy notice that accurately reflects what you want from the candidate. The best way to ensure this is by using keywords that will help the right candidates find your job posting.

Screening process: Now that you have defined what you are looking for and create an attractive vacancy notice, it’s time to start screening the candidates. This is where most organizations make a mistake by going through all the applications indiscriminately. Instead, create a set of standards that every candidate has to meet before proceeding to the next stage of the hiring process.

Create a scoring system: Once you have screened the candidates, it’s time to score them. This will help you compare different candidates objectively and choose the best one for the job. When creating the scoring system, include both hard and soft skills. While hard skills are important, soft skills will help you determine whether the candidate is a good fit for your organization.

Pick the right candidates to interview: After you have scored the candidates, it’s time to pick the ones you want to interview. This is where most organizations make another mistake by choosing too many or too few candidates. The ideal number of candidates to interview is between five and eight. This will give you a good mix of experience and skills while also allowing you to get to know each candidate better.

Conducting the Interview: The interviews are conducted to get a better understanding of the candidate’s qualifications, skills, and abilities. Furthermore, this step allows the interviewer(s) to assess whether the candidate would be a good fit for the company culture-wise. Different types of questions can be asked during an interview; some focus on getting to know the candidate’s qualifications while others focus on their personality.

Don’t use the interview as an excuse to decrease the number of probable candidates. An interview is a perfect opportunity to test the applicant and see if they are suited to the process. This also helps you get an idea of their work ethic. The questions you ask in the interview should be thought-provoking and relevant to the position they are applying for.

Be transparent in describing what you want from your candidate: When you’re looking for a specific type of candidate, it is important to be transparent about what you are looking for. This will help the candidates understand if they are a good fit for the job or not. It is also important to be clear about the expectations from the very beginning so that there are no misunderstandings later on.

Follow up with promising candidates quickly: Remember, yours is probably not the only job they are applying for. You don’t find many promising salespeople capable of delivering at the highest level. These people are snatched by organizations fairly quickly. So, if you do find someone that fits all your requirements and has what it takes to succeed within your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of landing the candidate.

Write a thank you mail to all interviewees: What do applicants hate? Not having closure to their interview. You are not here to burn bridges. Just because a candidate is not ideal for your sales team doesn’t mean they won’t ever be able to work for your organization. If you find someone with a ton of potential and would like to keep them within your circle, write a thank you email with closure. This will create a positive image of your organization in the applicant’s mind.

In many instances, you won’t find your ideal salesperson. In reality, such a person may never exist. The key is to find someone close to your perfect salesperson and develop them to meet your standards.

Ellen Hollington

Ellen Hollington is a freelance writer who offers to ghostwrite, copywriting, and blogging services. She works closely with B2C and B2B businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

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