Salespeople are some of the most essential pieces to a successful business, so it’s crucial to understand how to choose the right people. When it comes to hiring the perfect salesperson for your team, there is no “right way”. But there are steps you can take to make the process easier.
Hiring the perfect salesperson has a few requirements:
- A trained interviewer
- Plenty of time and support
- A deep understanding of what your company is trying to accomplish
Luckily, we’ve done the research, and we want to let you in on the top 6 secrets to hiring a rockstar salesperson for your company.
1. Understand What You’re Hiring For
Look beyond general motivation. Sure, motivation is important, but there are many more qualities you should consider when looking to hire the perfect sales candidate.
Important traits to consider are their emotional intelligence (EI), composure, persistence, coachability, and efficiency.
Great salespeople build relationships with their prospects and relate to their problems. They know how to initiate a conversation, get to the root of the problem, and keep the conversation moving toward a solution. One way to test a salesperson’s EI is to challenge them to an EI test.
A surprising study regarding EI in employees found those who scored higher on EI tests performed better. Those with high scores had a 63% less turnover rate with potential clients. They also sold significantly more on an annual basis. That means they know two things: how to get your customers buying, and how to keep them coming back for more.
However, you have to understand that you won’t always hear a ‘yes’ immediately; being realistic is extremely important. Search for the candidate that is poised with generous amounts of self-control even in the face of rejection.
Staying under control in all circumstances is a crucial part of being adept at sales. Staying grounded regardless of the outcome will help a salesperson succeed in the long run.
2. Hire Those With Recruiting Experience
Recruitment is all about people and connections. In sales, you work with a variety of people across many different departments. Having this amount of diversity allows a salesperson to build rapport quickly. That hard work will result in more meaningful conversations with clients.
Recruiting can be a great area to kickstart to any person’s sales career even without a college degree. Recruiting is often:
- Helpful in building highly applicable skills
- Highly rewarding
- An excellent tool for building communication skills
- A valuable experience that gives you exposure to a variety of prospects
During the hiring process, recruiting and sales are interchangeable. It’s your job to sell the benefit of working with your company, the position, and what your company has to offer.
Recruiting, like sales, doesn’t always come easy; both can be unpredictable and difficult. But starting in recruitment can help you learn how to adapt to new scenarios and build on problem-solving.
3. Uncover What They Want In A Career
Like with any customer, your potential hire also has goals and desires that must be met. Understanding what they value and need to succeed in their next role is an important step that should never be overlooked.
Ultimately you want a new hire to be happy with the work they’re doing and also be a good fit for the company. You need to dive deep into what makes the potential hire tick, what motivates them, and what their end goal is.
By asking the right questions, and expecting them in return. A potential hire’s ability to ask tough and thought-provoking questions showcase their skills within discovery and preparation. These skills will benefit their department and the overall performance of the company.
Your ideal hire should be someone who aligns with your long-term goals as a company.
4. Hire A Salesperson That Fits With The Company Culture
A good cultural fit is defined by an employee’s natural beliefs and behaviors aligning perfectly with those of the company. When someone can be themselves at work, wholeheartedly, no exceptions. When a salesperson fits with the culture, you’re bound to see an increase in sales.
Finding a salesperson that fits with the culture leads to:
- Lower turnover rates
- Higher productivity
- Happier employees
- An increase in sales
Happy employees come to work and enjoy representing their company. This environment and attitude will eventually translate into more sales, increasing overall revenue.
While it’s important to hire salespeople that align with your goals and culture, you must also be sure to diversify the needs and experiences of your employees. The more diverse your staff in experience and background, the more people your product can reach.
Keeping this in mind will help you stay objective and keep the company’s goal at the forefront of the hiring process. Train your interviewers to look for certain indicators and even show them what a perfect candidate would look like. Screening for a cultural fit will never be perfect, however, aligning the goals of the company with new hires is a step in the right direction.
5. Compensation Focused On Commission
If you’re looking to hire extremely motivated salespeople, your salary to commission ratio can play a massive role in this. It’s not uncommon to see an uneven or unfair sales compensation plan. But this can lead to a failing or underperforming sales team. Take time to evaluate your plans for:
- Quotas set too high
- Territory way too narrow
- Complaints regarding your internal sales team
- Unfair/Unequal compensation pyramids
While the best ratio is still up for discussion, generally speaking, a ratio of 60/40 or 80/20 of commission to salary is acceptable. Focusing too heavily on either side can deter even the most dependable and motivated salesperson.
The key is to understand what you’re selling, the price of your items or services, and the frequency of each sale. Using this information to structure your commission ratios will likely lead to more consistently motivated salespeople.
6. Don’t Hire From Your Gut
A recent study by Checkster revealed a shocking 78% of applicants lied or misrepresented themselves on their resumes. Walter Crosby of Helix SalesDevelopment responds to that statistic. Crosby provides sales hiring and sales manager coaching expertise to firms across the United States. He often urges hiring managers to resist choosing a salesperson based on their gut instinct. Here is what he says:
These lies are tricky to spot and challenge because they focus on misuse of data and read, “top sales performer in the Midwest for 5 years.” The reality: they are the only salesperson in the Midwest. What you need are the right questions to root this type of resume bullshit out.
79% of hiring decisions are made from the gut and you only get it right 14% of the time. No wonder there is so much frustration and hesitation about hiring sales staff. Gut feel is still important, but you need good guard rails to be working within to make sure the candidate gets through a screening process that eliminates those wrong for the sales role you need to fill.
Helix Sales Development has a well-hidden secret. Luckily, they are letting us in on that with their free sales tools. These free tools allow hiring managers to look past their gut, and make hiring decisions that can predict with 91% accuracy which salesperson will exceed and perform better than the company’s existing median salespeople.
The right salesperson can make or break a company, and it can certainly be a process. Avoid the overwhelming task of hiring the right person and contact a professional today.
You owe it to yourself and your sales team to ensure they’re equipped with all the tools they need to be successful. Make the first step to ensuring success within your business by calling an experienced team near you.