Can you distinguish a sales candidate who will serve you well?

Finding the right sales recruit for your business:

While the modern world of business provides many new ways of doing business, most companies are still dependent upon “sales people” when it comes to engaging directly with customers to sell what you do or make.  Times may have moved on but the principles and practice of selling remain the same.  The most important elements of a successful selling operation are still the people who perform the roles such as; lead generation, new business selling, account farming, management and leadership.

At one time, many large and medium companies such as; Olivetti, Xerox, IBM, Burroughs, NCR, Siemens, and Mars, would take, train and develop many hundreds of new sales people every year and when these people moved on, they created an ever growing pool of well trained sales people and sales managers.  Most companies ceased this practice during the 1980s and the supply of those experienced sales people is shrinking.

If sales isn’t your primary strength,  the minefield of identifying the underlying qualities of a salesman and recognising the ones who will succeed in your business can be daunting.  Use the assistance of a qualified third party to provide an unbiased perspective on what’s needed and who fits the bill.  Third parties may charge based on a percentage of recruit’s salary or for time & materials, so you need to decide which approach is most likely to deliver the most accurate result and then select accordingly.

Each recruitment challenge is different, there is no “one size fits all solution”, but key steps include:

  • Ensure any “agent” thoroughly understands your company.
  • Fully understand the job itself and where it fits in the context of the wider organisation; create a job specification and candidate profile.
  • Choose the candidate generation process e.g. on-line recruitment, print media advertising, head-hunting, then create the appropriate “advert”.
  • Initiate the search and identify a quality shortlist based on your ideal profile.
  • Ask probing questions in the interview process, perhaps aided by tools which gauge the candidate’s  “fit”.
  • In the final selection process draw out their abilities and attitudes, e.g. through some sort of practical selling activity including a presentation against a challenging brief.  The nature of a sales person makes it more challenging to uncover the real person because of course they can “tell a good story”, and past performance is not necessarily a reliable indicator of how well they will succeed for you.
  • If you can only find the “best of the bunch”, think hard about whether it is better continue to search for a true match.
  • Once you have found your potential future employee(s) you still need to take up references, make job offers, design the employment contract and commission plan.
  • Prepare a thorough induction programme to ensure they truly become your employee working your way to achieve your aims.

We have successfully helped others, why not let us help you?

“Having Performative involved in crucial sales appointments gave me peace of mind to leave the UK and build our US operation.”