It's no secret that the best thing you can do for your sales team is to hire the best people.
If only it were that easy. We all have been duped by that person that fits all descriptors, only to later discover the only thing they CAN sell is themselves... for the job.
We also struggle with what recruiting sends us and we feel like we get garbage candidates time and time again.
These tips will help you bring in the best candidates and how to filter out the rest.
Make sure your company is competitive - Even if your hiring skills are top notch you won't pull in quality applicants and you'll never have the best salespeople if you don't offer competitive pay and benefits. One of the companies I worked for in the past only paid their salespeople the bare minimum to survive and therefore they only attracted new college graduates with zero sales experience. If you have a stellar training program and can afford the churn and the ramp time, it can work. However, if you want people to hit the ground running, producing revenue at high levels you have to be willing to invest in that talent.
Work closely with your recruiting team - We expect our recruiting teams to be clairvoyant to our wants and needs when it comes to bringing in candidates, then we get upset when we sit through another pointless interview. If your recruiting team is handing you garbage you can only blame yourself. Have them sit in interviews, show them what you look for on resumes, have them shadow your sales teams. When you receive a bad candidate, walk your recruiting team through the "why." Recruiters want you to be happy and they want to bring in the best people. DO NOT blame your recruiting team if you haven't done your part to help them improve.
Have a solid internal referral program - Nobody knows the role better than people in the role. Incentivize your people to bring in like minded individuals. In my experience the candidates we receive from referrals are always a higher caliper then the ones we source. Put a solid incentive program in place to encourage people to tap into their networks and encourage them to send out consistent reminders. Make it easy for them to post on social media by sending out templates they can simply copy and paste.
Ask SPECIFIC questions and then ask again - Figure out what you want in a candidate. I personally love GRIT and its my main qualifier. I ask specific questions around it. Not just "tell me about a time you pushed through a challenge" Ask them "Tell me about the past year of your career. What did you accomplish?" Dig in and ask for specifics "You said you got promoted, what did you specifically do that set you apart?" Then ask again "What did you do daily that set you up for that success?" They will stumble if they did not have a plan. People with grit will tell you exactly what they did every single day and how stressed they were but persevered. Don't take any question for face value, everyone knows the scripted answers...ask for the details and then ask again.
Listen for RED FLAGS and call them out - My favorite thing to do in interviews is to call people out on their BS. If someone is late, even by a minute I ask them why. Then I gauge their answer...parking? Why wouldn't you show up early and scope out the parking ahead of time? If someone tells me they left their last position because they wanted the "Opportunity for growth" I ask them why they did not have the opportunity at their last position and then I ask them "Why are people promoted" and see if they know that promotions are taken not given. Don't ignore red flags they only come back to haunt you.
Don't forget the little things - I have seen my managers hire people who fit the bill on paper but completely missed the boat in other ways. Example: someone with a solid sales background and great numerical results but their communication style is horrible. If they are applying for a phone sales position and their success was only in person sales why would you hire someone who cannot speak clearly? Pay attention to the way they carry themselves, the way they speak, how they make you feel. Are they arrogant etc... I wish I had a dollar for every time one of my managers said "I had a feeling....BUT their role play was so good!" TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
The worst thing you can ever do is talk yourself into a candidate. If they aren't what you are looking for, move on. Don't be impatient, you will regret it. Take the future of your sales team into your own hands and save yourself months, if not years of headache,