Hiring Good Sales People

Thinking of Hiring a Sales Person?

Feeling Concerned?

Or I could ask “What is stopping you hiring sales people?”

Some Tips that May Help You Get Over Those Reservations.

Many small business owners I speak to are shying away from hiring sales people in their businesses.

They have reservations about employing sales people because they are not sure they are going to get value for money. They feel that they will have the wool pulled over their eyes by a sales person “ doing a sales number on them” and that they will be convinced to hire someone who does not really have the ability and previous success levels that they claim. They sometimes  worry that a “sales person” is an “aggressive smooth talking beast that they will not be able to manage/control!

It is natural to have these concerns, but like any recruitment process, it simply requires methodical planning, research, and preparation of a list of relevant Sales Interview Questions to establish if they are the right sales person for your business. Better People Ltd have experience of recruiting sales people and have a Free Download on our website Sales Interview Questions.

What are they really like? How to find out.

As well as evidence of their success in other roles, which you can learn through effective questioning, you also need to establish if this individual is the kind of person you want representing your business.  Think about the person you are interviewing as an ambassador for your business.

Do they seem like the kind of person your existing clients will like?

Do they express themselves in a way that you find acceptable?

How do they describe their previous clients and customers?

Does this reflect your customer values?

What answers do they give to questions about “Customer Care” and “After Sales”?

Ask them for examples where their Customer Care skills have resulted in repeat business? Resulted in enhanced sales?  Who were their competitors? Why did people buy from them instead of you?

What were their targets? How often did they miss those targets? What was their commission? How did they earn it? How much did they earn in a year? What was the value of the average sale? How long was the sales pipeline?

Questions You Need to Answer for Yourself Before You Start recruiting

What is the market rate for a basic salary for a sales person doing a similar job in your area?

How much business will they have to bring in to cover their salary? Do you know your “ cost of sales” figures?

What are you going to pay them in commission? You really will have to have these figures ready as any sales person will want to know how they can increase their earnings with commission and if they don’t , I think you should be asking what kind of sales person they really are…

What do they have to sell?  What specialist knowledge do they have to have? Is this an absolute MUST or could someone with the right attitude and sales experience/ability learn to sell your product?

Who are they selling it to? B2C? B2B? Is experience in that sector essential or desirable? What other areas of experience might be relevant or useful?

Where will they get leads from? Does your business already generate these leads or do they have to do that themselves? Where would you go for these leads if you had to find them?

What is the average value of a sale in your business?

How quickly can they bring in business? How long is the “cold call to invoice” cycle typically?

How will you handle “up sales” to existing clients? Will they be paid commission at the same level  for sales to existing clients, as for self generated leads and new business? Will they be account managing existing clients?

Are they restricted by geographical area?

What admin and IT skills do they need? Do they need to do their own quotes or orders? Invoices etc? Do they need to use a CRM system?

Do they need to drive as part of this sales job? Will you be providing a car? Will they be taking that  car home with them? Or  will you be paying them mileage on their own vehicle?

How will success be measured? How will you know if this is working? You should make your measure and analysis process/metrics available to the sales person so that they can see exactly what they need to do to keep their job. Will you be talking through their sales figures with them on a weekly/ monthly quarterly basis?

Experienced sales people know that to keep their jobs, they need to meet their targets. This culture of expectation of achievement needs to be established from your very first interaction with the individual, should be tested and examined with your Interview Questions. The targets and KPIs will be written in their Offer Letter and that information will be included for discussion and review during their probation and in each quarterly performance review.

Are there any other activities that you will need them to be part of? Exhibitions, fairs, video demonstrations etc? Make sure that you cover this in the interview and JOB DESCRIPTION of course.

Will you be expecting them to meet prospective clients? Or just speak to them on the phone?

As well as evidence of their success in other roles, which you can learn through effective questioning, you also need to establish if this individual is the kind of person you want representing your business.

Think about the person you are interviewing as an ambassador for your business. Do they seem like the kind of person you would want to represent your business? Who your existing clients will like? Do they express themselves in a way that you find acceptable? How do they describe their customers? Does that reflect your customer values?  What answers do they give to questions about “Customer Care” and “After Sales”? Ask them for examples where their Customer Care skills have resulted in repeat business? Resulted in enhanced sales? If you just want someone who “closes” and moves on without building relationships but just gets the deal, look for that and hire that type of person.

I hope that this helps any of you who are thinking of recruiting a sales person. I hope it illustrates how to recruit the right sales person. It should also highlight that ongoing performance management and open communication is what will keep that Sales Person selling, representing your business well and bringing increased profit to your bottom line.

If you would like to discuss recruitment of sales professionals or any other aspect of recruitment, please call on 01491 836632.

Jayne and the Better People Team offer a flexible recruitment service based on the needs of our individual clients. www.betterpeopleltd.co.uk However you want to manage your recruitment process – we can help – with information downloads, insights, advertising, in person consultation, head hunting or full outsourcing, on site interviewing with clients – we are doing it all now for a wide range of businesses. Better People Ltd-  Better Solutions to secure the Best  People for your business.

2 COMMENTS
  • S Garrett
    Reply

    Excellent article, very well written and too the point!

    1. Jayne Johnson
      Reply

      Thank you S Garrett!

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