How To Hire The Right Salesperson The First Time (Even If You Have Never Hired A Winner In Your Life)
It’s every business owners dream…
Imagine having a salesperson that consistently brings in new accounts, day in and day out.
Imagine having someone you trust to grow your sales for you so you can get back to running the business.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you were freed up to go after the big sales while someone else managed the bread and butter clients for you.
That’s the power of the right salesperson.
Sadly, though, many people who call themselves salespeople are just fakers, wannabes or plain old duds.
They drift from company to company, chasing bigger salaries and hoping to hide their inability to sell.
Oh sure, they sound great in the interview. They can sell themselves – they just can’t or won’t sell you products.
So how to do you find the right salesperson for your company? One that you can afford, who is committed to you and who can actually do what he thinks in can in the field?
Like anything else in your business it comes down to having a simple system for hiring and a plan to execute it.
Here are the steps we recommend to identify great candidates, weed out the losers in minimal time and get the right salesperson cranking out cash for you.
Discover What You Want And What You Can Pay
Background work. You are going to hate me for telling you to do it but you are going to love me when you see how well it works.
Before you even think about running an ad or promoting your sales position, you need to get crystal clear on what you are looking for.
Prepare these documents so you can get a firm understanding of what you want, what you expect and what you are willing to pay to get it.
Real-Life Job Description
A detailed description of what the position really entails. Includes all behavior expectations (prospecting, reporting, travel, research, negotiating, etc.), support offered, best and worst parts of the job and typical day outline.
A detailed description of what your best-, average- and worst-case weekly expectations are for sales and activities. Always start with activities and give new salespeople time to build their pipeline and close deals. The longer your sales cycle, the longer you measure activity instead of results.
A monthly projection of best-, average- and worst-case scenarios for your new salesperson. Make sure you know your breakeven point and how long you will carry a new salesperson before they hit breakeven. You can use a point system to pay for activity before they start producing real sales income
Ideal Salesperson Profile
A list of the personality traits you are looking for and how you might measure/interview for them. This is a good time to think about assessments you might use in your hiring process to uncover the personality traits you want as well as those you want to avoid hiring.
Screening Tools To Weed Out Losers
Now that you are clear about what you want, you need some tools you can use to sort through the deluge of crappy applicants and find the ones that will be a perfect fit for you and your budget.
Hiring Process Outline
Lay out what steps your candidates will go through to get hired and how they will be graded to process to the next step. More steps mean a better system for finding great salespeople. Don’t skimp on steps to save time. Slow to hire, quick to fire is the way to profitable sales teams. We recommend an application, interview #1, interview #2, assessment and interview #3 as the key steps in a good hiring process.
Use a multi-page application to learn about background to weed out unfit candidates before an interview (no experience, felony convictions, etc.). People omit on resumes but can’t on applications without triggering a red flag. Put your application on the website and make them download it.
Plan your questions for every step of the hiring process. You have a good start with the 10 you already have. Make sure you know the illegal questions you cannot ask. Also make sure you know the right way to ask follow up questions. In addition, plan your questions you will ask their references.
Assessments allow you to ‘look under the hood’ and learn things you can never uncover via interview. Not all assessments are legal for hiring so check to make sure the one you want to use is validated for hiring. You can find great assessments online or use a service like AssessmentPros.com.
List Of Places To Find Candidates
Do a little research to find the best place to list your job ad and description online and offline. Don’t forget to think about where you can get referrals. Of course, put it on your own website as well. Always be looking for great candidates!
How To Make A Salesperson Loyal To You
One huge mistake I see with companies hiring salespeople is the way they treat them once they are hired. Often a new salesperson gets thrown to the wolves with a “here’s your phone, start making calls” introduction to the company.
If you’re going to invest time in hiring and you want a salesperson to deeply care about the results they get for you (not just their commission checks), it makes sense to invest just a little bit more and wow them when they start work.
These three plans will get your employee off to a fantastic start and get them producing profit for you for a long, long time.
How are you going to introduce your new hire to the company? Make a list of everything you are going to do and when to make your salesperson feel like part of the team and company. Plan lunches with them for the first week. Have business cards and passwords ready, etc.
No matter how experienced your salesperson is, s/he doesn’t know how to sell in your company to your prospects. Take time to write out a detailed sales training plan so you guarantee your new hire the highest likelihood of success. This step has made me hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
In the first sixty days you will know whether you have a winner or a dud. If you follow the steps above you have a super high likelihood of getting a winner. At sixty days, double check to make sure they are on track for expected activities/sales. If not, cut them loose then review your hiring process to see where you have a gap in the filter.
Seriously, It Works
By now you might be thinking, “Holy crap, that is a lot of work just to hire one person!”
And, yes, you do need to invest some time preparation for hiring if you want to hire a winner.
But think about this…
Let’s say you spend a whopping five hours preparing (and you only have to do it once no matter how many salespeople you hire).
A good salesperson should be able to add several hundred thousand dollars to your top line.
If they earn you just $200,000 in their first year and you invest five hours that is a $40,000/hour return on your investment.
Still think it is too much work to prepare to hire the right salesperson the first time?
If you’d like to download a complete set of training videos, templates, worksheets and samples of a complete hiring process, you can get it here:Download The Hiring System