Best decision you’ll make when hiring…

When you hire the right salesperson, you can see immediately that results and remarkable things begin to happen.

By natural characteristics, great salespeople are networkers.  They have great respect for their contacts and connections and have worked hard over the years to build remarkable relationships.

You can study inconsequential things like their Linkedin connections, number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers, but that’s not the only place to look.  Talk with people within the community and you’ll find a common awareness…they’re known in your circles.

Great salespeople are everywhere

So, why is sales hiring so hard?

For most of us, hiring the right sales force can seem like an unnerving and overwhelming task, and it undoubtedly can be.  But it’s not if you know what to look for.

Look, employing new people can be seen as a somewhat of a gamble but, hire the right sales applicant and your life will be bliss.

The wonderful thing about considering sales performance is that all you have to do is look at the scoreboard…

Have they consistently made their numbers?  Don’t be taken by charming sales applicants who claim to have achieved impossible results. Check the numbers (and their prior 3 years’ W2s).

How do you know what skills and behavioral traits to look for in a candidate?

Here are some helpful recommendations you can follow to tip the odds in your favor…


  1. Know your candidate, know what you are looking for! Compile a breakdown of the job you’re trying to fill.  Outline the specific skills, experience and education that are the minimum requirements for the interview process.  Be strong when selecting candidates, if you can’t tick all the boxes they don’t progress.
  2. Resumes are advertising brochures… Handle resumes like you would any other piece of marketing material.
  3. Skill assessment…Stay conscientious and make the second interview a ‘show me’ conversation.  Ask the candidate to come to the interview ready to sell you something.
  4. Attention to Detail…Salespeople have a stereotype of being sloppy but, the great ones are NOT. Managing email, scheduling meetings, organizing follow-up tasks, delegating internally…these are all necessities. Look for an instinctive ability to excel at the little things.
  5. Final Test…For the third interview ask your final candidates to come with a detailed plan outlining how they will tackle their new territory. By doing this, you will see first-hand what your customers will experience.

There are some traits that I’ve found to be helpful in hiring salespeople, but it’s certainly not all-inclusive…

  • Integrity: this is the foundation.  Low integrity = no hire.
  • Assertiveness: Your sales people need to be in the forefront guiding your buyer towards a decision, not in the background hoping they discover the right choice.
  • Competitiveness: The best salespeople keep score…they want to be the best.
  • Team player: A skilled team player is a way more remarkable advantage then merely a skilled player!

Hiring is no easy task.  After spending a few short hours with a perspective applicant you must decide if they are going to be part of the family….

Enter into this mission prepared and you will make this uncertain process more reliable and successful!

How do you go about hiring outstanding sales people?


[themecolor]Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC.  We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition.  We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization.[/themecolor]

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