Every step of our data-based sales hiring process is there for a reason, we promise!
Do you want the right people on your sales team?
There’s an easy way to find them…and avoid wasting your time hiring and onboarding the wrong types of salespeople.
If you’re on the hunt for top salespeople, you can’t simply use the same hiring process and criteria for your sales team as you would for other positions.
You need a dedicated, proven sales hiring process that works!
Our data-driven, metrics-based hiring approach may be slightly different than what you’re used to, but when the following steps are done in order, they practically guarantee you will hire and onboard a new Sales Superstar.
Our sales hiring process isn’t something you should just try pieces and parts of as it suits your whims. You should know what it’s made of, why it exists, and how to use it in your sales and marketing department.
Read on to discover how our eight-step sales hiring process works…
What are the steps in our sales hiring process?
In the next sections, we’ll talk about what each step is, and why it’s important. You must follow these steps in order to achieve the best results from your sales recruitment process.
Each step builds on the one before it and is scientifically designed to manage the flow of non-ideal candidates out of your sales hiring funnel…but only if the steps are completed in the right order.
Create a well-crafted job ad to attract the right candidate and repel the wrong ones.
To get the best possible match, you need to target the specific skills and requirements necessary for your specific sales job opening. This is the first step in finding exactly the right person for your team.
Above all, be sure you know the difference between a job description and a job ad. Be certain your ad speaks to both what you’re looking for in a candidate, and sends the message that non-ideal applicants should not apply.
Problems we see at this point in the sales recruitment process: Attracting the wrong type of applicants, and not attracting the right type. If you never get the best candidates into your hiring funnel, nothing else matters.
Review resumes with an eye towards objectivity – not “experience.”
Now that you have a big stack of resumes, it’s time to take a look! You want someone who can adapt and excel in a variety of environments and situations. Most of all, you need to hire someone who will be an asset to your business…someone who knows how to sell!
There is no single “magic resume bullet point” that can tell you who to hire. We suggest you look for candidates who possess certain skills (such as problem-solving, leadership, and communication) rather than who have the “right” experience or background.
Problems we see at this point in the sales selection and recruitment process: Businesses focusing on “industry experience” or “sales experience.” Discounting potentially great salespeople because their education or experience doesn’t line up with what the business “thinks” they need. And there’s always the problem of relying on the applicant’s personality which can derail the process at any point from here on out!
Schedule the top candidates for a sales assessment test.
Sales assessment tests help determine whether a candidate can sell…or not! They’re a useful tool to assess the qualifications of an applicant in a short amount of time.
They’re a vital part of our sales hiring process! The results will give you the information you need about your candidate’s inner motivations and abilities, and will reveal key factors that influence their ability to succeed in sales.
Problems we see at this point in the sales selection process: Not doing one, or not trusting the data. Using an appropriate sales assessment tool is at the heart of our data-driven sales hiring process…this is a very important step!
Schedule phone interviews with those that score well on the sales assessment tool.
Now that you know who has the Sales DNA to be an effective member of your sales team, you have to get to know them a bit better…but it’s not time for an in-in person interview just yet!
Schedule your top remaining candidates for a phone interview. Run it much like you would expect your candidate to run a sales call…they need to sell you on the prospect of hiring them. Make it a quick 15 minute phone call.
Problems we see at this point in the sales selection process: Bringing someone in for a face-to-face interview too soon. It raises the risk of falling “in love” with a candidate’s personality and losing objectivity. Not allowing them to sell you on why you should hire them, and running this interview as a “standard” getting-to-know-each-other meeting.
Schedule a first in-person interview with the top candidates from the phone interview.
Now that you know they can maintain an appropriate conversation on the phone, time to check their body language and in-person skills.
At this interview, you will again want to run it like a sales call…the candidate is still selling you on why they are the right choice. Schedule it for an hour, and don’t be afraid to ask them difficult or challenging questions.
Problems we see here in the sales interview process: Allowing the interview to turn into an infomercial about how great it is to work for your company…we’ll get there, but not today! Asking the wrong types of interview questions. Not asking sales-specific questions early in the process. And, as always – but especially since now you’ve finally met them in person – getting distracted by the candidates’ personalities and losing your objectivity.
Schedule a second in-person interview for the remaining candidates.
Now it’s time to sell them on working for you. This is the interview where you’re free to open up and let the remaining candidates know about your business and why they should come work for you!
Give them an honest and accurate example of what their days will be like, what their earning potential will be, and let them know what your expectations are for them.
Problems we see here in the sales interview process: Not being clear on expectations and/or giving people an inaccurate idea of what life will be like if they work there. You don’t want to get an ideal candidate this far down the process, and mislead them, only to have them be unhappy and leave after a short time.
Make your offer.
Since you’ve made your sales hiring decision, now it’s time to make an offer to your top candidate. With the offer, make sure your expectations are clearly defined, their training is properly described, and your (almost) new hire knows what to expect.
Problems we see here in the sales selection process: Having an inconsistent or non-competitive compensation strategy. At this point in the process, you must exercise some flexibility to make sure you can onboard the top candidate.
Onboard them appropriately.
All those things you told them about when you made the offer?
Now go do them!
Have a system in place for properly onboarding your new hire. Have clear expectations, and consistently apply them. Keep the rest of your team involved in helping your new sales hire succeed, and check in with them at predefined times to ensure they’re on track for success.
Problems we see here in the sales selection process: Inconsistent or non-existent onboarding processes. Letting new sales hires “figure it out” on their own.
How long does the sales hiring process normally take?
This is a challenging question to answer since the process depends on a number of factors. Plan for it to take anywhere from 30 days for an established company that has hiring practices in place (job description, compensation plan, etc.), to 90 days for more fluid situations.
No matter how long it takes, hiring the right salesperson the first time has an outsized impact on your business and is the key action that will set your business up for success.
Every step in our sales hiring process is designed to screen undesirable applicants out. We know the process works (and have the case studies to prove it), but it only works when you do it in its entirety…
We’ve made a commitment to hiring only the best candidates for our clients, and that’s why we are so adamant about following this process!
If you’re ready to give our data-based metrics-driven sales hiring process a try, there are two ways you can work with us…
We offer an easy-to-follow, simple-to-understand, difficult-to-goof-up self-paced option that guarantees you’ll find your own Sales Superstar (and gives you the sales hiring process know-how to help you easily scale your team when the time comes).
Or, if you’d like some one-to-one support, you can contact us here and schedule your FREE 30-minute hiring analysis to determine how Improve Growth can help you hire the type of Sales Superstar who will have a massive impact on your revenue growth.
While the sales recruitment and hiring process can seem overwhelming, when done the right way, it is straightforward, rewarding, and profitable. There is a better way to do sales hiring, and our data-driven process is it.