HARDISON’S TIPS – SEPTEMBER 3, 2021 – Start with a Better Sales Job Description (PT.1)
Great sales results start with great salespeople; so, when your organization needs to recruit and hire a top-quality salesperson, it pays to start with a hiring process that includes a strategically targeted salesperson job description.
Dangers of Making a Bad Hiring Decision
How important is the hiring process? Leadership and Success guru Peter Drucker once noted that “One third [of hiring decisions] are outright failures.” And yet, too many organizations take shortcuts and hope for the best while ignoring the risks of a bad hire:
- Continual salesperson turnover
- Constant (and costly) hiring and training
- Loss of productive selling time during onboarding and training
- Potential loss of the sales pipeline while transitioning to a new salesperson
- Loss of customer confidence due to repeated turnover
- Misdirected management time due to constant focus on hiring
Benefits of a Good Hiring Process
On the other hand, a better salesperson hiring process can yield benefits not only during the hiring period but throughout the tenure of the hired sales team member. These benefits include:
- Greater sales performance, due to better-matched candidates being hired
- Standardized process so each job candidate is evaluated equally and fairly
- Identification of hiring process steps to refine if bad hires become the norm
- Less time spent managing the hiring effort and more time managing the sales effort
- Job clarity and expectations resulting in a higher chance of meeting or exceeding sales goals
- Reduced turnover
First Things First: Start by Looking for the Ideal Fit
When hiring a salesperson, rather than looking to find only the person with the best past sales track record, focus instead on this goal: finding the best salesperson who fits your company’s unique goals. That means considering the strengths and weaknesses of your current team members and then determining what mix of those strengths and weaknesses are needed for your next hire. Ask yourself questions like these:
- How much experience should the new salesperson have?
- What level in prospect organizations should the salesperson be comfortable and capable of selling to?
- What types of sales cycles should they be proficient with? Transactional? Strategic? Short selling cycle? Long cycle? Cycles that require working with a single decision maker or groups and committees?
- Is industry experience a must-have? Or will you be better served by looking for a salesperson with transferable skills from another industry? (See more below.)
- What personality traits and interpersonal skills should your new salesperson possess to fit in with your existing sales team and customer cultures?
- Do you need a specialist focused only on new client acquisition or a generalist who can handle all aspects of sales and account management?
By filling out your sales team with the best fit for your company, you gain the most desirable salesperson that fits your culture, works well with your team, and consistently exceeds their sales quota.