Simple Strategies for Better Sales Hires

Steve Lowisz
Great sales candidates can be incredibly hard to find.

Making things even more difficult for recruiters is that sales is one of the hardest skills to evaluate in the hiring process.

It’s extremely challenging to predict which candidates will perform on your team, but there are ways to improve your odds of success.

Here are three proven strategies for better sales hires:

Look for Experience in a Similar Sales Environment 

It goes without saying that a candidate with a strong sales record is ideal.

But you also have to consider the environment they were selling in.

Cold prospecting via phone or email is a lot different than selling in a retail environment, for example.

Focus on the results that a candidate has delivered but remember that you might have the best odds with someone who has succeeded in an environment like yours.

Ask Them to Role Play

One of the best ways to evaluate a sales professional is to watch them in action.

A lot of people know to ask a salesperson to role play by selling something, but it helps if you don’t ask them to perform cold.

Instead, help the candidate get in the right mindset by asking a few questions about their process. Ask how they generally cold prospect, or how they find leads, etc.

Then you can lead into a role play scenario since they are already thinking about their usual approach.

This helps ease the jitters and gives you a more accurate look at their abilities.

Use a Standardized Interview Process Focused on Results

Sales is all about soft skills – not college degrees or certifications.

You can measure how much revenue someone has delivered, but other than that it’s all about assessing someone’s soft skills.

Interviews are valuable for evaluating soft skills – but only if you use a standardized process! You have to ask everyone the same questions and evaluate them on the same scale.

Salespeople are naturally good at selling themselves. They may easily wow you by overselling their abilities.

By using the same interview questions for every candidate, you can better compare candidates to pick the best ones.

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