Hiring a Sales Team? The Dos and Don’ts of Finding the Right Candidates

Sales success begins with successful salespeople – usually a team of high-quality, skilled sales performers. What’s the best way to build such a team? Probably not the way you might imagine. Let’s explore one wrong way to build a top-quality sales team and two better ways:

The Wrong Way to Find High-Quality Sales Candidates

Before you fill an open sales position, you first need a good slate of sales candidates. Typically, you might post the position on Web job boards or even run an ad in the newspaper – both print and online. It might even seem as if the postings work because you receive a flood of resumes. Surely somewhere in this slush pile, your ideal salesperson is waiting, right? Well, let’s just say it’s called a slush pile for a reason.

Nonetheless, you forge ahead and identify a handful of potentially good prospects. Hopes are high as you begin interviewing. Then reality hits. One after another, you realize these sales candidates all miss the mark. Some come close, but still, you were hoping for better, weren’t you?

What happened? What went wrong. Why was your approach to filling an open sales position off target?

Simply put, your aim was bad. You may have prepared well – you probably compared base pay against your competitors and maybe you even fine-tuned your company’s sales compensation plan, including commissions and sales incentives. Ultimately, you hyper-focused on quantifiable experience and definable skills. You depended on bullet points and numbers to make your decision for you. But in the end, your top candidates are marginal at best.

Why? Because you ignored the one thing that can make or break a successful sales culture: team chemistry.

Better Sales Recruiting Through a Better Culture Fit

How do you factor sales team chemistry into your sales talent acquisition process? First, go beyond functional basics. Be aware of the interpersonal dynamics of your overall corporate culture and the organizational personality of your team. But don’t stop there. Consider also the buying characteristics and personas of your customers. After all, your ideal salesperson must operate in both internal and external environments.

Once you shift your focus toward how your people should interact and engage, you can finally picture your ideal salesperson in terms of personality, behavioral style and professional demeanor.

Start with this question: “What kind of person – what kind of personality – will succeed as a key contributor to our sales team AND as a trusted sales resource in our industry and markets?” Use that answer, that mental image, to refine your recruiting methods and materials – especially your interview questions. Then, use the interview session less as a means of validating qualifications and more as a method to determine whether the sales candidate will be a good fit in anticipated interpersonal relationships.

Better Sales Recruiting Through Outsourcing

Another way to improve your sales recruiting and find more high-quality sales candidates is by outsourcing the recruiting function. Why outsource sales recruiting? Dedicated sales recruiting professionals can make the process easier, faster, and less time-consuming. They can save time not only during the sales recruiting process itself, but during the sales candidate selection phase, too. Better yet, a dedicated sales recruiting consultant can help minimize bad hires and time wasted in onboarding the wrong employees.

At Breakaway Sales Recruiting, for example, we place sales candidates that deliver revenue results. Guaranteed.

Your Breakaway talent manager works with your Outsourced VP of Sales to guide you in determining what type of individual will benefit your organization. What’s the guarantee? Simply this: We guarantee you will make a hire and if, for any reason, that hire is not still with your organization in 90 days, the candidate is replaced for free.

Why the guarantee? Why the confidence? Because Breakaway utilizes an in-depth process and provides each client with a dedicated talent manager. That manager works with your organization and your Outsourced VP of Sales to create the ideal candidate profile. The talent manager will also interview top sales performers within your organization to create a baseline for finding similar candidates.

Your dedicated talent resource will spend up to 2 hours with each candidate conducting a customized behavioral assessment to reveal both their behavioral profile and sales skillset, including simulation evaluations of key components of the position. Additionally, Breakaway provides three qualified candidates per position and does so within a few weeks of receiving the request.

What’s more, we go beyond the pool of candidates actively pursuing open positions; our focus is to seek out top sales talent currently employed. This is likely sales talent you were not able to tap into using your normal internal recruiting efforts. In other words, Breakaway Sales Recruiting goes deeper than standard sales recruiting. We factor in experience, qualifications, team chemistry and many other critical factors – all while taking the burden of recruiting off you and your team.

To learn more about Breakaway Sales Recruiting, contact us today at 844.874.7253.

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