Written by Kimberley Startup | August 29, 2014
Every company wants to hire better sales executives, rather than have to dip repeatedly into their talent pools for new recruits to replace under performers. Yet, so many firms find successful sales executive recruitment tough – and there are various reasons for that.
Yes, you’ll be more successful if you know and use the right recruitment and interviewing techniques, but it’s also important to know why hiring good sales executives is so difficult.
Why are you struggling to hire good sales executives?
There’s a simple reason for this – the extreme difficulty, some might say impossibility, of ensuring the emulation of an executive’s past performances in future performances once you have hired them. It’s an especially big problem in condensed interviewing processes.
It doesn’t help that sales professionals tend to be very articulate, which might obscure their inability to actually sell.
It’s not just about looking at the past
You are unlikely to experience better results from your sales executive recruitment if you fail to look beyond your surface impressions. Does an executive’s ability to present themselves smartly and say the right thing at the right time necessarily indicate that they’ll do well for you? The answer to both of those questions is no.
Yes, they may have been successful elsewhere, but was that due to selling only an extremely well-known brand, or simply getting lucky with one customer who kept on blindly buying?
You can probably never know for sure, but you’ll certainly boost your chances of the right hire by not only focusing on their history, but also projecting their future. To do this, it’ll be vital to go beyond the usual “Walk me through your most successful sale” type interview question.
Assess whether the candidate can actually sell
There are so many areas that you will need to evaluate when considering whether your prospective sales professional can actually sell. What is it that they sell? To whom do they sell? What sales techniques do they use? How are their leads identified and gathered?
What are their follow-up tools and techniques? What have they actually achieved against their target quota in recent years – if they even have a quota? How effective is their logic and communication?
These history-oriented questions are merely starting points, from which you will be able to project the candidate’s future sales results in your employ. Put your candidate in a recent real life situation and ask them what they would do – and make a careful note of what they say.
‘Common sense’ advice that isn’t
It all sounds obvious, but you’d be staggered by how many of those involved in sales executive recruitment concentrate solely on what the candidate did in the past. Don’t make the same mistake – ensure that your recruitment and interviewing processes focus on the past, present and future of the candidate, and you’ll have so much more success with your sales executive hires.