Ten most common mistakes made when hiring salespeople
Hiring superstar sales talent is easy - as long as you don't use the same process as you use to recruit your other staff! Selecting successful sales staff who will deliver results requires a completely different process. Here are the ten most common sales people hiring mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not making the recruitment and retention of great sales talent our number one business priority.
Solution? Make this a significant goal for all your managers, and link their performance bonus to the goal.
Mistake #2: Lacking a system to recruit top talent from outside your industry.
Solution: Create a hiring process to identify top talent from industries with similar sales environments. People who have sold conceptual services can ramp up to sell other conceptual services, like advertising or consulting.
Mistake #3: Hiring salespeople who can sell instead of those who will sell.
Solution? The criteria for selection needs to be ‘will they sell?’ not ‘can they sell?’ Sales teams are full of people who know how to sell, but won’t.
Mistake #4: Not knowing how to identify superstar sales candidates.
Solution? Pick the best sales people in your business or your industry and analyse the behaviours, attitudes, and skills that make them the best.
Mistake#5: Not asking the right questions at interview
Solution? Conduct role plays at interviews which simulate the tough environment to which a potential client would subject them.
Mistake #6: Hiring to availability instead of to excellence.
Solution? Keep your eyes open for good people at all times or use a trusted recruitment partner to tip you off when great people are ready to make a career move.
Mistake #7: Hiring people based on “impressions” instead of hiring those they know will sell. Solution? Change your recruitment criteria.
Mistake #8: Failing to learn the five hidden weaknesses that neutralize selling skills. Solution? Learn all five and how to spot them. They include a need for approval; emotional involvement; uncomfortable talking about money, indecision when buying (and so are vulnerable to prospects who want to do the same) and self limiting beliefs – if they don’t believe it, they can’t achieve it.
Mistake #9: Not having a great employee referral scheme
Solution? Create generous incentives for employees who refer people you hire. Pay them half on the hire, and half 6 months later.
Mistake #10: Advertising for positions, instead of for people.
Solution: Write recruitment adverts that describe your superstar so that when they read them they think “that’s me!”