Hiring Salespeople | The Basics

By Adam Robinson,
November 13, 2013

When it comes to hiring salespeople, you’re looking for someone to be the face of your company. They’re the ones who are interacting with potential and current customers all day long, and the last thing you need is to hire someone who is a poor reflection on your brand. But many hiring managers struggle with what to look for in new sales hires. So take a few minutes and keep reading. We’ll break it down to the basics and help you hire the best sales candidates.

1. Think about what resumes really are

Resumes are marketing collateral. That’s all they are. A sales pitch in the form of a one (or two, or three) page document. And while all those snazzy verbs make it sound like a candidate is the ultimate salesperson, it’s important that you take a step back and look through to the bones of the resume. Otherwise you’re going to find yourself distracted by all the listed accomplishments and completely disregard the possibility of any deficiencies or shortcomings. 

2. Productivity doesn’t happen overnight

Although you may have found that “perfect” candidate, you can’t expect them to really excel in the role for about six months. This sounds crazy, I know. But it’s the truth. While there are exceptions, it takes most salespeople six months to full develop and refine their approach. According to Hireology CEO Adam Robinson, “No matter the reason, what a duration of less than 6 months on a resume tells you is that the salesperson didn’t do enough fact-finding during the interview process to make a good decision, or that they’re not cutting it and are afraid for their job (or were fired).”

3. People are drawn to money

Whether you work to live or live to work, people are drawn to money. And if they’re making good money in a position, they’re probably not going to leave. In other words, great salespeople don’t leave great jobs. So if you want to build a strong sales team, you’re going to have to be extra weary of those who seem eager to leave their current company. While not always, it may be a sign that they aren’t hitting their goals or not getting along with their team.

So before you rush into a hiring decision, take a second look at the candidate’s credentials. You just may pick up on something you missed before.


About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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