How to Hire a Salesperson
A question that I get asked frequently by sales managers and business owners is,
How do I hire a great salesperson?
The most important step in hiring the right salesperson is knowing what type of salesperson you need.
There are 4 Stages of Selling:
- Follow up
Based on the product or service you sell, you may need a salesperson that is good at all 4 stages. If you provide leads and follow up, you are really looking for a salesperson that is great at presenting and closing.
Once you determine what area/areas your salesperson needs to be strong in you can start the interview process.
One of the keys that helps The Novak Group be successful when hiring sales professionals for our clients, that you can do yourself when you are interviewing is, set up a certain scenario and see how they perform. Sometime during the interview I might tell the person I’m interviewing that the phone is going to ring and give them a scenario to act out and see how they perform in a spontaneous situation. If I am looking for a salesperson to be a good at presenting I will ask them in the interview to give me a 5-10 minute presentation on the last product or service they sold, and see how they present to me. If they are going to be doing a lot of selling over the phone I will interview them over the phone more than I will in person.
One of the services The Novak Group provides as sales experts is finding the right salesperson for companies. First, we will interview the sales manager or owner on what they are looking for in a salesperson, and then within 30-60 days from the time they hire us we are in their office with the top 3 qualified candidates for them to choose from.
Do not let urgency rush you into hiring the wrong person. One key thing I always tell myself when conducting an interview is, this is probably going to be their best performance so if you have any doubt or not quite sure you need to just trust your instincts and do not hire them.
Another key is to make sure you do a minimum of 3 interviews with prospects. For our clients we conduct up to 5 interviews before we make a decision. Anyone can put on an act once or twice so the more you interact with them the more of an opportunity you can see how they really perform.
I like to schedule the first interview over Zoom Video Conference. This is helpful to see how comfortable applicants are with technology and this also helps me eliminate candidates before interviewing in person.