As the economy continues to slowly improve, we’re seeing more and more companies in the mode of hiring new salespeople. However, it seems many companies are again making the same hiring mistakes as before.
The biggest mistake they’re making is not having a formal, structured sales recruiting process they can follow to minimize or eliminate bad hires. Instead, they’re using the same process that their human resources department is using to hire non-sales people. What they haven’t discovered yet is why hiring salespeople must be different… and what ‘different’ must look like to find, attract and hire high performing salespeople.
Let’s talk about one part of an optimal sales recruiting process that most hiring companies get wrong–the creation of an ideal candidate profile.
Typically, they will put together a job description which lists all the responsibilities of the position and post an ad on a job board that describes the company and the opportunity. Can you see the influence of HR here? This is exactly backwards of how to go about it. Instead, a profile should be developed that describes the successful candidate along with the necessary requirements for the role.
Here are a few examples:
If the hiring company’s salespeople call on prospect CEO’s, a requirement of prior success of getting to the executive level in targeted accounts should be in the candidate profile.
If the company’s salespeople encounter heavy competition in their marketplace, a requirement of prior success in selling against competition should be in the profile.
If a company sells a product or service that prospects don’t think they need or want, their salespeople will face major resistance from prospects. A requirement of successfully dealing with resistance and still getting the business should be in the profile.
These are only a few examples of how the correct requirements are developed in order to design an ideal candidate profile. It’s a cliche but if you don’t know what a successful sales candidate looks like, how will you recognize them when you look for them.
Once a hiring company has a clear ‘picture’ (actually it’s written out) of what a successful hire looks like, now they can write the ad that attracts those candidates to enter their hiring funnel for screening and interviewing. And if the profile and ad are done correctly, these candidates will be of higher quality, reducing the hiring timeline and increasing the efficiency of the process.
To find out what your company’s hiring mistakes have cost, go here and use the Hiring Mistake Calculator and find out.