Strong Sales Start With Strong Hires
March 10th, 2017
Their Theme Song: “I Live to Sell”
You can coach salespeople — train, motivate and support them — in an effort to boost their productivity and your company’s revenue stream. But you probably cannot train your way out of bad hiring decisions.
What you want is a team of high flyers and you know them when you see them: They are eager to fill out call reports, excited about quotas, have excellent rapport with clients, and rarely ask for company generated leads. On top of that, they are professionally dressed, magnets for new accounts and they believe in your company.
A lot of people think they want to be in sales, but a relatively small number are really good at it. If you want a champion on your team look for these top characteristics and personality traits during the interview process:
Focus. Top performers set goals that challenge them to grow. They are persistent in their drive to achieve, beat their personal best and don’t quit easily. In fact, they may only be good at sales but that’s what you want.
Drive and energy. Superior salespeople need to succeed, overcome challenges and know that win/win relationships are the key to profits. They don’t like being inactive, stay in excellent physical condition, have high self-esteem and are independent. Micromanaging is generally not a good idea: These people function best when left alone to mark their territory, work it, make calls and close deals.
Optimism. Outstanding producers anticipate success and avoid negative thinking and cynicism. Positive expectations enable them to overcome obstacles and they are comfortable with the idea that they create their own success.
Honesty. The best salespeople know themselves, focus on their strengths and identify their weaknesses. This helps them remain realistic about their expectations of success.
They also believe in what they sell and know that being persuasive means putting together a presentation in a convincing way with a persuasive tone. They know that doubt or hesitation may cost them the sale.
Pride. Premier salespeople live to sell and they see themselves as professionals in an honourable profession. They don’t generally want titles like financial consultant, applications engineer or market specialist.
The salespeople who get extraordinary results know when to push and when to back off. They are intuitive, spontaneous and assertive, and they know how to temper tenacity with sensitivity. They think on their feet and outperform those who rely on memorized presentations.
The future of many companies depends largely on the talent of the sales team. When you start replacing underachievers, create a skill profile of your ideal candidate. Set minimum, but high, performance standards that cover what is expected after a month, two months, three months, etc. Let them know clearly that meeting the goals is essential to remaining on the team.
Finally: Don’t expect top performers to always be savvy when it comes to management and office politics. They often do one thing well – sell.