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Sales Hiring: How to Hire Sales People Who Were Born to Sell

Jun 11, 2008
Does your organization struggle with hiring great sales people? Does your sales department suffer low productivity or high turnover? This article is designed to provide you with some useful tips for hiring sales people. Specific job requirements may vary; however, the following information includes helpful and important guidelines from which every sales organization can benefit.

There are few organizational challenges that compare to the difficulty of recruiting and hiring a successful sales force. Sales people have the greatest impact on your bottom line and when they don't perform, your business suffers. That's why effective sales hiring is so critical.

Have you ever wondered why it's so difficult to hire people that can sell consistently, year after year?

The short answer is this: the selling profession requires qualities and skills that not everyone possesses. All too often, previous experience, a clean resume and camaraderie in an interview are the primary predictors of success, which often leads to sales hiring mistakes that can cause high turnover and ineffectiveness in sales teams.

When a sales force fails to meet their goals, most companies react by implementing sales training programs or by replacing the employees who display the lowest level of performance. This can be a never-ending cycle if your sales hiring and selection process is based on instinct and a good resume alone.

So how do you rank your sales team? Do you believe you've hired the best sales people for your organization? Here are some things to consider:

- 54% of sales managers believe they have the right people in their sales teams
- 56% of sales managers believe the people in their sales teams are in the right positions
- 54% of sales managers recognize the need to improve their process for leveraging the potential of strong performers
- 29% of sales managers admit that the talent in their sales force isn't being fully utilized

A little more than half! That's it?! A little more than half of sales managers believe they're hired the right person for the right job. Wouldn't you like to make that number closer to 100%? Wouldn't it be great to say that almost every person in your sales team is a top performer who belongs in their respective position? You're probably already familiar with the "80-20" rule in sales, in which 20 percent of the sales people make 80 percent of the sales. What if you could take that 20 percent of your top-performing sales team and hire more people that have the same skills and characteristics that make them successful? The good news is that it's possible with the right sales hiring tools.

Sales Hiring: Job Fit

There is no greater tragedy in business than putting competent employees into jobs in which they are destined to fail. When this happens, their potential is wasted. The classic example of a poor job fit is when a company picks its best salesperson to be a sales manager and then finds that he or she is unsuccessful, unhappy or unproductive in the new position. The qualities that make for a great sales person are different from those of a great sales manager. It is extremely rare that an individual can do both well.

Job Fit is the single most important factor in sales hiring success.

To download the rest of this guide, visit our site listed below.
About the Author
Nancy Ness is Vice President of Profiles Incorporated, authorized dealer for Profiles International assessments. Profiles is the world's leader and innovator in designing human resource management tools for selecting and developing high-performance workforces. Visit us online at Sales Hiring Strategies.
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