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Find Your Perfect Fit: Criteria for Hiring Sales People

02.21.12   |   Sales Recruiting   |   Christopher Simone, Vice President at Treeline Incorporated

Best Practices for Hiring Sales People


Finding your perfect fit begins with defining your perfect fit. By this, we are really talking about defining the Sales characteristics which are more relevant for your particular open role.

The language companies often use to reflect and express criteria when communicating with the marketplace about their open roles is truly interesting. This is so curious because job posts often express that the company is looking for a person who is a "self starter," "good listener," "team player," "motivated," "organized," "strong communicator," etc., etc. These terms come from the sales archive and seem to be immortal. As a result, Sales people learn to speak in these same terms in sales interviews. The Sales person and Sales Hiring Manager might find themselves on the same page, but unfortunately it is often the wrong page, and wrong fit, for both.

So, what is the solution? Do we need to resort to complex profiles and personality indices to understand the inner workings of each Sales professional with scientific precision?

While some of these tools are effective, they can be time consuming, confusing, overly complex, and expensive. Even when these tools are used, finding the perfect fit is not always the outcome. While you might understand the candidate's characteristics that insight is mostly useless if you do not also understand the characteristics of your particular role, offering, and company.

Defining your perfect fit begins with defining the Sales person characteristics which are most relevant for your particular open sales position.

Here is an overview of the key characteristics that, together define what matters when hiring a sales professional:

 

 

Inspiration: Value versus Volume
Defined by the conditions that enable productivity and performance; i.e. the things on which your Sales team thrives and focuses.
Sale Type: Transactional versus Strategic
Defined by the degree of complexion in terms of buyers and buyer influences, process duration, decision process, resource investment and collaboration, and contract value.
Degree of Need: Unrecognized versus Recognized
Defined by the degree to which the buyer or buyers of your solution recognize the need for your product or service prior to actively engaging with your Sales representatives.
Sales Approach: Hunter versus Farmer
Defined by the degree to which your Sales representatives are calling on prospects with whom your company is not doing business.
Drive: Assertive versus Passive
Defined by the degree to which your sales representatives will advocate, evangelize, and enlist prospects in the value of his/her ideas, perspectives, and proposals.
Audience: General Decision Maker versus C-Level Executive
Defined by the organizational level at which your Sales representative are comfortable communicating.
Inside/Outside: Inside versus Outside
Defined by the degree to which your sales force engages and interacts with prospects beyond the phone and Internet.
Average Sales Size: Contract/Transaction Value
Defined by the typical value of each contract closed.
Sales Cycle: Short versus Long
Defined by the average sales process duration from the point of active engagement to close.
Quota: Quantifiable Accountability
Defined by the quantifiable metrics (including revenue) on which each Sales representative is measured.

 

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