Tips on Establishing Your Own Sales Hiring Process

Jun 17, 2021

sales hiring process tips

Whether it be deciding on the right time to hire salespeople or identifying potential candidates, developing a sales hiring process will certainly help streamline recruitment decisions. A clear and comprehensive sales hiring process can save resources, reduce turnover, and produce an efficient sales team.

Devising a thorough process in objective sales hiring is a critical component of sales management success. To simply put it, you need to build and manage a team that will get you to your numbers and delivers profitable revenue. 

For your business to hit its target sales and revenue, it’s extremely essential to hire the right people. That’s why Elias Diaz, our Director of Sales here at Virtudesk shares some fool-proof tips in establishing your own sales hiring process. 

Best Practices In Hiring for Your Sales Team

Sometimes, all it takes is knowing the first step. In hiring a salesperson, the first step is obvious. Identifying your needs and requirements should come as a priority. 

Elias highlights, “ I always make sure I have a clear outline of the company and team goals so that I’m able to identify the skill sets of potential candidates. If their skill sets align with the company’s goals and my idea of a good work ethic, then I hire them for my team.” 

However, there would be cases when you simply can’t tell whether the candidate is right for your team. So, how do you solve this problem? Well, it might be easier than you think. You need to simply consult others. Elias even emphasized that “Another best practice I use is consulting with my previous supervisors in my career. I will get advice and seek counsel from my previous advisors if they think it would be a good fit, as they are more experienced than me.” 

Skills and Competencies: What to Look For in A Candidate? 

Many business owners don’t realize that it’s incredibly important to have an outline of the skills they want in every candidate. Clearly, this is also an important task you need to do. When it comes to hiring salespeople, you’ll probably sift through dozens of applicants. The best way to find the right match is to know what you’re looking for. 

Start by listing all the skills and competencies you need in your candidate. What Elias looks for in a candidate is their organizational skills, self-driven attitude, and integrity. He also says, “I want them to dance with their words, but at the same time be respectful and honest. Communication is very important, as well as follow-up skills because the money is in the follow-up.” 

Aside from that, he also seeks someone accountable. He adds, “If one of my team members doesn’t show up for a meeting, or skips out on a scheduled call with a lead, they need to own up. They need to apologize for not following through and promise through action they won’t do it again. Don’t blame others, use excuses, or blow it off. Own up and move on.” 

Screening and Assessments: Do They Always Work? 

Pre-employment testing can help in making good hiring decisions. However, it should not be the sole basis for considering a candidate. According to Elias, “I don’t like using any assessments. Sales are the ability to mirror the individual you are speaking with. Sales and speaking with clients is not a one-size-fits-all or cookie-cutter process.

Assessments are based on one way of selling. If someone passes an assessment with flying colors, then great, but it doesn’t show me how the potential candidate could deal with multiple different situations, personalities, and curveballs coming from the lead. Yes, there’s definitely a method and formula, but it all comes down to the individual you are speaking to.” 

When asked whether he uses behavioral assessments, aptitude, or personality tests, Elias answers, “I also don’t care about behavioral assessments. I’ve hired both quiet and loud people, and they have both gotten sales. Of course, those skills, like organization, integrity, and ambition are important, but some behavioral traits haven’t contributed to major differences in performance in my experience.”

What he does instead is to ask them what their ideal workweek looks like. He then assesses how they block their time and manage the important sales activities such as prospecting, scheduling meetings, follow-ups, admin tasks, and more.

Here’s the formula he swears by: 

Monday - prospecting, setting up meetings for the following week. Admin tasks, follow-ups, and meeting prior engagements

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - meetings scheduled from the previous week and follow-ups

Friday - following up with agreements sent. Set up meetings and call back for the next week

Key Takeaway: The Mantra of Selling 

Everyone sells, you’re selling every day of your life. You’re selling in your relationship, your job interview, in your overall public appearance - you’re always trying to sell yourself. It’s just that some people have this skill naturally. You can teach the processes, but you can’t teach the skill set that comes naturally. 

According to Elias, “When I was young, I couldn't even ask for a glass of water at a restaurant. But now, I can go talk to any random person on the street and start a conversation out of thin air. But that all comes from self-growth. I had to constantly put myself in these extremely uncomfortable situations in order to get better. Every day I’m practicing by talking to people in public. Even if it means small talk. Now, people can’t get me to shut up.” So, all it takes is to be goal-oriented and step outside of your comfort zone to be good at selling something. 

This only means that when you’re looking for someone to be part of your sales team, you should always be open to someone’s potential and ability to learn and cope. While not everyone is born with the skill set, you can find someone who’s willing to go the extra mile and is driven to learn from you.  

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