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Sandler Training | Phoenix, AZ

Susan Villamena

Within sales organizations, companies often perceive salespeople as a necessary evil, as opposed to an asset. If dollars and cents were attached to that asset, a company’s hiring practices may be taken more seriously and the loss of a salesperson may be seen as an expense.

If you’re not getting enough of the right candidates, then you must put the right behavior in place to source “passive” candidates. It’s not enough to just place a job ad and sit back. The fact that they are not explicitly seeking your opportunity presents a bit of a challenge; you have to approach them differently than you would an active candidate.

There are two ways to find great sales people—either they come to you (“active” candidates) or you approach them (“passive” candidates). In this article, we will first look at the process of responding to a candidate who comes to you. They are actively seeking your opportunity.

Anyone can become a salesperson. There’s no real barrier to entry and no barrier to continuing a career in sales. As with most professions, anyone can become a “subject matter expert,” but that does not automatically make that person a good salesperson.

Anyone can become a salesperson. There’s no real barrier to entry and no barrier to continuing a career in sales. As with most professions, anyone can become a “subject matter expert,” but that does not automatically make that person a good salesperson.

The road to a successful sales career is filled with disappointments, rejection and uncertainty. If all you have is the willingness to put up with those things then you’re 99.99% of the way there. So, what attributes does a person need to have to be successful? Here are the top 3 that I recommend you look for when interviewing someone for your business.

If you manage a sales group, own a company, or are in sales, you know this to be true: Behind every great salesperson (and sales team), is a great manager. Without strong leadership and a clear vision, even the best sales teams will not accomplish what they are capable of. If you're the manager tasked with hiring sales people and growing a team, ask yourself this, "Do I have the right practices in place to create our next superstar?"

Finding a super talented sales person will probably require you to not only shift your hiring criteria, but also to shift your thinking about the process. A good place to start? Stop depending on resumes. A resume is best used for understanding some of the facts: where they've worked; how long they worked there; and how they view their accomplishments. A resume will never tell you the real truth about how successful a candidate has been.

As you begin to look at the right criteria, you'll want to consider which is more important…industry experience or relevant sales experience. This is a tough one but I would encourage you to suspend your disbelief for the moment. Of course, in an ideal world, every qualified candidate would hit the bull's-eye. Their resume would run the gamut: proven sales background; a strong, well-developed sales skill set; and to top it all off, experience in your industry selling to the same customers as you. While it's not impossible to find this person, it can be time consuming and not always the answer to your prayers.

Like most business owners, you can probably tell at least one horror story about a sales hire. After a great interview, fabulous references, and excellent experience, you thought your new rep was the answer to your prayers. But six months down the road, you're still not seeing results. Before long, it's clear that the superstar you thought you hired is falling short of your expectations. What went wrong?