How to Hire a High Sales Performer

BY Kathy Crosett
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Are you ready to hire a high sales performer? Maybe you’re asking around to see how other sales managers have been able to bring a high sales performer into their organization. Some of your counterparts may tell you they’ve simply been lucky. Years ago, hiring great people to work in any department involved an element of luck. You don’t have to roll the dice these days. You just need to use a good sales hiring intelligence platform.

The Candidate With Potential

The job market for good sales reps is tighter than many sales managers realize. Your organization may not be able to pay enough to lure an A‑level player from the competition. But you can do the next best thing. Prospect for and hire candidates with potential. I’m talking about a B‑level sales rep who is ready to take their career and your company to the next level. These individuals share specific characteristics which are highlighted in the results of the sales acumen and psychometric assessments you ask them to take.

The Right Sales Skills

We all know that the sale doesn’t count until the contract is signed. A high sales performer will possess the drive to convince prospects to agree to the proposal they made. And because prospects always have questions and bring up concerns at the last minute, your rep needs stellar problem-​solving skills. First, they must realize that objections from the prospect don’t mean the deal is lost. Objections serve as an opportunity for your reps to continue to educate the prospect about the value of the solution they’re proposing. Instead of shutting down, they’ll use their problem-​solving skills to ask questions and get to the bottom of what’s troubling the prospect. And then, they’ll position their response in a way that educates the prospect.

Solid Work Tendencies

High sales performers share specific work tendencies. These individuals are naturally empathetic. When a prospect describes how their business has been disintermediated because of new technology, your rep will take notes. Their voice and their physical behavior will relay concern for and understanding of the prospect’s challenging business situation. They will take the necessary time to analyze how the solution they’re selling will work for the prospect.

And while these reps are efficient about getting a deal done, they won’t rush or pressure a prospect. Our research shows that 30% of SMB buyers are turned off by sales reps who repeatedly push them to make a purchase before they are ready.

A candidate who shows a high level of accountability is always worth a second look. That’s because reps who accept accountability are also the people who get the job done. They won’t point fingers or allow the sales process to stall because they don't leave the work for someone else to do.

Good Motivation

Many sales reps describing the profession as challenging and stressful. They are at the mercy of decision-​makers on one side and the need to make their bosses happy and meet quota on the other side. They often complain of having a poor work-​life balance.

A person who is motivated by the ability to earn money and to win deals can become your high performer. Reps who love to help others can be great performers, too, as long as they don’t have the tendency to give too much away during the course of negotiating the deal.

Your High Sales Performer

Finding a high sales performer isn’t easy. But you can improve your recruiting process by asking candidates to take a sales acumen and psychometric assessment. Then use the results of those assessments to find candidates with profiles that contain the characteristics of top-​level sales stars.