Your company’s sales team is the backbone of your business. Without them, anything you build, manage, or provide, doesn’t generate your company money. Hiring the best people that you can find is one of the most important priorities for any business owner, as the sales team will grow and maintain your companies profitability.
Hiring only the most skilled and qualified individuals can be a monumental task, and in today’s world of corporate culture, it can be almost impossible to find a skilled salesperson who has the right personality. Hiring the most ambitious and aggressive sales representative you can find doesn’t help your company if that representative doesn’t conform to business rules and norms.
Finding the Right Fit
The best way to find a new hire for your sales team is to think of your employees not as human resources, but investments in human capital. Any person that you take on, train, and manage requires a substantial investment of time from your company. For the first few weeks of employment, that sales team member may not perform at the same level of existing members. You must be ready to accept that hiring a new sales representative requires you to take a chance, regardless of the applicants skill.
When looking for a new team member to hire, be sure that you know which applicants are going to be able to stick through training and the hard first few weeks. Be sure that each applicant is screened for employment history, and ensure that your chosen applicant has a proven track record of not giving up at the first sign of struggle. If a new hire is terminated or quits within the first few months of their employment, your company has only lost money in the long run. A great way to avoid this happening to your company is with internal recruitment. By hiring from the inside, you can verify your applicants enthusiasm for success.
A new hire should be seen as a profitable investment, if they are managed correctly. During the first interview with a prospective new hire, probe beyond the standard interview questions. Find out what kind of learning style they have, what their preferred sales strategies are, and what personality type the applicant has. If the first interview goes well, during the second interview you should test the applicant’s ability to adapt to your company’s culture and values. Have them sit down and chat with a few of your team members. Chemistry is an important part of working with a team.
By finding out these important traits, you can better gauge the risk of hiring that particular applicant. If they have the skills but not the attitude to succeed, you may want to steer clear of them. Be sure that the prospective member of your team will stay with you for years to come. Your new hire investment should be a safe bet. Ensure that you have the right person for the job before they begin. If an applicant shows that they are not the perfect person for your team, move on.
Once you have found the right person for your team, whether they were brought in from an outside company or hired from within, it is imperative that you begin training them immediately. Your company should have a standardized training program, one that is rigorous and comprehensive. One of the main reasons that employees give for their inability to complete a task is because of sub-par, or a complete lack of, training.
When the new hire has begun the training process, clearly define their job title, role, and responsibilities. Let them know that they play a vital role to the companies survival, and ensure that they understand what is required of them. Their success defines how well your business will perform, and having a vague job description and an ever changing amount of responsibilities hiders your new hires probability of success.
After the training process is completed, and your new hire knows your business rules and the responsibilities of their new position, pair them with an experienced member of your team. Have the more experienced members show the new hire how the job is done, and how to do the job correctly. Let them watch someone else complete the same tasks that they will be completing. This builds their confidence and allows them to see their job demonstrated for them.
While bringing in a new hire to your sales team can be challenging, with the right mindset you can bring a rising all star to your company. But, by training them correctly and using proper screening techniques during the application process, you can help them stay.