Hiring Sales Staff – How to find the person you need and get them working effectively
The new year is often a time to think about hiring new staff. Plenty of time over the holidays for crunching the numbers and producing a good final quarter before the new financial year starts.
Start by identifying that you do actually need new sales people. Make absolutely sure that you’ve exhausted your internal skillsets before starting on the expensive journey of hiring, have you considered all the options?
- Additional Sales Training
- Clearly communicated Sales and Marketing Plan
- Individual and Team goals aligned to your company vision
- KPIs that encourage the sales behaviour you want to see
- Getting an external eye to evaluate the team
Before you pick up the phone to the recruiter, set up a role/responsibility matrix; the who does what in your current sales set up and get down to the granular level to clarify the strengths and weaknesses in your sales process.
It you’ve made the decision to hire new people, it’s vital to be clear about the role you’re offering. Sales roles are notoriously varied and without clarity about what you need, candidates will be able to fudge their way into a role that might be unsuited to their training and experience. There is a world of difference between building leads and managing/upselling existing customers.
Be clear about why someone would want to work for you – remember that competition for good sales people is fierce and hiring is a two-way street, they choose you as much as you choose them.
Create a job description that clearly outlines the role being offered, and spells out the essential skills and training you expect candidates to have as a minimum. It is unlikely that a candidate will be an exact fit, so it’s prudent to review their current skillset and assess if the training you’ll need to provide will get them up to speed.
To help you construct a job description to attract the right sales person for your company, examine your sales staff, assess them objectively and think about who has the best track record and the most consistent selling ability and why. When creating your job description consider:
- What specific skills and training does a candidate need to have as a minimum?
- What personality characteristics will help them achieve results?
- What style of sales do your customers respond to?
- Check the sales environment – is a different style required to meet current expectations?
- Think about whether you want to replicate the type of sales people you already have
- Do you want to add a different style of person to your team to appeal to different customers?
Think outside the box, there has been significant movement in workforce patterns towards agile and flexible working methods. Perhaps your ‘role’ could be filled by one or more part time people. And don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re not just advertising a position you’re looking for a solution to achieve your sales objectives.