In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the traits of sales superstars. While all salespeople can try to copy those traits to improve their performance, sales managers are in a different position. They must try to hire salespeople who will turn into stars. Alice Heiman has some tips on how to achieve this goal. The first step managers need to take is to look beyond folks who are already in a sales job.
Heiman points out that finding good sales candidates starts before you post the position. Think about the kind of person who will fit into your organization. Ask the team members in your department about the traits and skills that have helped them succeed in their jobs. You might want to touch base with key clients to find out what they like about your sales team. Use this feedback to design a job description that accurately portrays the position and your company.
Think about where to post your position. Maybe LinkedIn isn’t the best option. Your goal is to find candidates who match your needs, not to copy what everyone else is doing. Popular sites like LinkedIn might be an easy way to recruit, but they are not always effective. Heiman recommends doing a little research to see where other companies, especially your competitors, are advertising.
As you screen applicants, don’t be too quick to click past resumes from people who are just exiting military service or those who’ve been working as waiters in favor of those who are already in sales. Look for specific traits that make great salespeople. These folks need to be conscientious, persistent and competitive. Remember that you want someone who is also optimistic and doesn’t let a rejection or two keep her down.
The best way to determine whether your candidates possess some of these characteristics is to have them take a personality test. This strategy will help you find a superstar who might not even suspect she has the right stuff to help you achieve your goals.