A strong sales team is vital for any business wanting to expand its client base. Sales experts are the gift that keeps on giving: a good salesperson will increase revenue, maintain crucial client relations, and source new business leads. When it comes to recruiting new members to a sales team, it pays to invest in the best.
In an age of advancing technology, some sceptics have doubted the need for salespeople as more workplaces embrace automation. However, those who have witnessed a skilled salesperson in action can attest to the many unexpected benefits they can bring to a company.
How great salespeople help your brand
Hiring managers know that their in-house sales team acts as their company’s direct link to clients. Clients’ impressions of an organisation are largely based on their relationship with your sales team. So it’s important to hire personable, empathetic, and accommodating salespeople who can boost your employer brand and keep clients interested.
Plus, your sales team is your frontline that informs the actions of the rest of your company. They can let you know about issues they hear from prospective clients about your business, your offerings, and the general market situation. Often, salespeople are your business’s best asset for innovating and refining your approach to clients.
Recruiting salespeople: tips and best practices
So it’s clear a great sales team is essential, but how do you build a high-performing sales team? The answer lies in developing a top-notch sales recruitment strategy.
Every open sales position will require different skills, so make a list of the specific qualities you’re looking for in a new hire. This will help you when you start to sort through applications, but more importantly, it will help you craft a great job description.
And creating a loose profile of the type of person you’re looking for is especially important in sales. Some sales professionals will be dynamic go-getters who approach every potential sale with gusto, while others will take a more relaxed approach. It’s important to know what kind of salesperson you need. And you need to find someone who will best compliment your existing team. You don’t want an entire team full of hard-ball salespeople — instead, look for a mix of approaches and personalities so you can appeal to all kinds of clients.
While you’re putting together your job description, make sure you leave time for the basics — a concise overview of your company and the role itself.
And don’t be scared to consult with existing members of your sales force. They will be working closely with any new hires and will know what type of person will fit well with the team and what kind of skills they need right now.
Remember, top-level candidates are used to being head-hunted, so it is essential to highlight what you can offer them as well as what they can offer you.
Where to find the best salespeople
You can advertise your sales positions just like you would any other open positions. Uploading your job description to online job boards is a great place to start. Try to target your listings with as many keywords and relevant tags as possible to make sure they’re seen by the right people. You can also post your open jobs on sales-specific job boards like Simply Sales Jobs, SalesJobs, and SalesRoles.
If you’re looking to recruit passive candidates or need someone with specific experience, try headhunting. You can do an initial LinkedIn search for potential candidates and narrow things down. You can also use recruiting tech tools like crooton’s employer fencing to show job adverts to people in a specific location — like your competitor’s offices.
Sales takes a special talent, and pinpointing the right person for the job is tricky, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Beyond traditional recruitment methods, you could try heading to university job fairs, putting a call out to your professional network, or even asking your existing customers if they know anybody who would be interested.
The interview process
Once you have narrowed down your candidates and sent them your responses, it’s time for interviews! While it is important to have some general questions prepared, the interview is where you’ll really get to know your sales candidates, so make sure you’re asking questions that help bring out their salesperson side. Here are a few good sales candidate interview questions you could try:
‘Explain something to me.’
Okay, so this isn’t a question, but it’s a great way to gauge how well your candidates can explain complex concepts to people who aren’t familiar with them — an essential task in sales roles.
‘How comfortable are you with cold calls?’
Even if you’re not looking to hire someone to spend all day cold calling potential customers, it is a major part of the job, so this is a great question to see if they’re up to the challenge. In their answers, look for how comfortable they are starting conversations and if they can provide examples from their experience.
‘What are your favourite questions for prospective customers?’
While you’ll be training your new salespeople to help them join your organisation, hiring people who can hit the ground running is also important. This question gives you insight into what kind of approach they like to take. And the best salespeople know how to ask open-ended questions that get prospects talking about their needs, so look out for those!
‘Sell me something.’
A classic for a reason, the ‘Sell me this pen/folder/bottle of water’ question is a great way to get an idea of a candidate’s pitch approach. Pro tip: this still works if you’re holding a remote interview. Just ask them to sell you something in the room they’re in — or even their computer.
‘How did you land your biggest sale?’
This question is a great way to hear more about a candidate’s thought process when approaching a sale. And hearing about a real-world example they’re proud of is the perfect way to draw out their personality.
Making a Decision
Once you’ve found a handful of great candidates, it’s time to make some tough decisions. Should you go for the polished sales expert at the top of their game? Or opt for a candidate with less experience but who could end up being a diamond in the rough? Ultimately, you want to choose the candidate (or candidates) who is best for your business right now. And if you’ve been purposeful with your recruitment messaging, you can always reach out to unsuccessful candidates again in the future.
For any unsuccessful candidates, be sure to take the time to reply to them thoughtfully. And for your top pick, let them know that they’ve got the job, send them details of your offer, and give them the chance to ask any questions they may have.
Find expert salespeople by working with expert recruiters
If you need some help building the best sales team, crooton can help. We always keep an eye on the latest sales recruiting trends and have experience finding candidates in all sales areas. Plus, our fixed-price recruitment makes it easy for you to fill multiple sales positions at once, all for a single fee.
To learn more about how we can help, get in touch with the crooton team today.