Are You Helping Your Sales Reps Reach Their Maximum Potential?

BY Kathy Crosett
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Hiring salespeople can be one of the most challenging tasks facing a manager. When you get it right, your new reps will exceed quota and keep long-​term clients happy. When you blow it, your new sales reps can make everyone miserable and productivity tanks.

Is there any way to screen candidates to make sure they’re a good fit for your organization? Absolutely. The first thing you need to do is define what makes your sales team unique, especially in terms of culture. Michael Hines, writing for BuiltinChicago, recently interviewed eight sales leaders  who want to optimize their teams. As managers at high-​tech companies, these individuals reflected on what their sales culture is like. Some emphasize a collaborative work environment. Other sales managers believe ongoing rewards provide an important incentive. As sales reps continue to make quota, managers offer promotions and pay increases.

Once you define how your organization is unique, you’ll know what to tell candidates. But, how will you know if a candidate will appreciate what’s special about your sales culture? You can always ask. The flaw with that strategy is candidates often say what they think a hiring manager wants to hear. A better way to get at what truly motivates a candidate is to use a standardized assessment.

These assessments give you insight into how candidates generally behave in certain situations. You’ll also learn how to communicate with them, and, mostly importantly, what motivates them. Few candidates will perfectly match your hiring profile. However, when you possess information about how a candidate prefers to work, you can decide if they’ll fit in your organization. 

If you hire them, you can help them hone the skills they’ll need to succeed. You may already be giving your reps regular training on understanding key upgrades to your products. And, your training may include sessions on how your product features stack up against the competition. In most organizations, this kind of training isn’t enough to allow your new reps, or the other reps on your staff, to reach their full potential. If you know a rep is struggling with the closing process, think about customizing your training. With a tool like SalesFuel COACH, you can save time and money by working with reps on the specific skills that will turn them into a rock star.