There are currently about 7.6 million employer firms in the United States. While only about 11 percent of these firms have over 20 employees, most companies have a sales team.
The importance of an effective sales department cannot be overemphasized. Poor sales are one of the reasons that about 50 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years. Any business that wants to thrive in today’s competitive economic environment must master the sales game.
At the helm of a successful sales team is a great sales manager. They design and implement a strategic sales plan to increase sales and expand and retain your customer base.
So, how do you hire a great sales manager? Do you promote your best sales rep or look for a sales management candidate outside your company? What should you look for?
Here’s a detailed guide.
1. Create a Captivating Job Description
You are looking to engage with the best talent for your sales management position. The best way to do so is by writing an attention-grabbing job description for the vacancy. Make sure that the description is thorough.
Provide a specific job title. Don’t say you’re looking for a revenue booster. Instead, provide an accurate, relevant title that attracts qualified candidates.
Include a captivating summary that provides your company’s overview. You want to get potential sales managers excited about the role they’ll play in your company.
Don’t forget to include specific essentials such as the sales manager’s core responsibilities, the desired hard and soft skills, and the value of their position to your company.
Be careful to write a concise job description. Generally, job descriptions between 700 and 2,000 characters receive considerably more applicants.
2. Verify Qualifications
Once you invite candidates for interviews, one of the things you’ll need to do is verify their qualifications. Their resume alone can’t do that. You’ll need to dig deeper to get a clearer picture of your potential sales managers.
Some of the ways you can do so include:
Getting Something Quantifiable
A list of skills on a candidate’s resume may look nice, but it can’t help you evaluate what the candidate brings to your team. The candidate should provide real, quantifiable proof. They need to provide metrics, including the number of sales won, the specific increase in revenue, the percentage of growth they achieved in previous companies, and so on.
Check References, Reviews, and Endorsements
Sure, a candidate may have glowing reviews and endorsements, but who is behind them? Is it friends, former colleagues, or subordinates? If so, dig deeper.
Ask whether the candidate can provide a list of references they’ve worked for, not alongside. The right references give you a better picture of what to expect.
Check Their Social Media Profile
A candidate’s social media profile can say a lot about them. Generally, the best sales managers use social networks for professional gain.
Look up your candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn. If they have noteworthy endorsements, that’s a good start.
Next, check their profiles on other social media channels to check how they conduct themselves. If they conduct themselves professionally, then you have a good idea of their decision-making skills.
3. Look for the Right Traits
This is an essential step in the sales hiring process. The sales manager role has many different facets that require certain essential traits. Ultimately, you want a candidate with traits that fit your organization’s culture and the type of sales you’re looking to make.
Below is a list of the basics you should look for:
The sales manager role isn’t an easy one. It requires someone who is passionate about the industry. So how can you tell that your prospective sales manager is dedicated?
The best way is to have a good conversation with them during which you ask lots of questions. The idea is to reveal the kind of sales experience they have, not how long they have been operating in sales. Observe their emotions, tone of voice, consistency in performance, and so on.
If a candidate has a passion for the industry that’s beyond their salary expectations, chances are they’ll be an excellent hire.
Before you hire a sales manager, you need to know what drives them. Are they interested in seeing your company evolve? The best sales managers have a strong urge to help both the company and themselves grow.
Everyone makes mistakes. Top sales managers realize this and take responsibility for their mistakes instead of blaming others in their team. When leaders start to blame others for their mistakes, it contaminates an otherwise healthy organizational culture.
Take the time to assess the value that a prospective sales manager will bring to your company. You want to get the most talent for your money.
Don’t hire a top sales manager on the cheap just because they’re looking for a job. Chances are they’ll leave your company once a better offer comes along. Be willing to pay them their job’s worth.
If a candidate does not have a lot of experience, but it’s obvious they have a lot of potential and networking skills, consider investing in them to grow into the sales manager you desire.
Hire the Right Sales Manager for Your Team
Hiring the ideal sales manager for your company can significantly boost your turnover and propel your business to the next level. By crafting a great job description, verifying your candidates’ qualifications, and looking for the right traits, you can fill your sales management vacancy with the right professional for the job.
Would you like to read more great content on how to fill sales department positions in your company? Keep tabs on our blog.