Several years ago, while hiring a salesperson for a highly demanding client, Jorge Chavez, President of Topaz Sales Consulting, experienced one of the biggest AHA! moments of his professional life.  After leading 14, thorough final interviews with very qualified candidates, the client eventually made a hire.  He realized there had to be a better way for my clients to invest their time and resources in evaluating candidates and empowering them to confidently choose their ideal sales hires.

Jorge realized what was needed was a hiring process tailored toward salespeople that truly equips business owners and hiring managers with the ability to attract, screen, hire, and retain top-performing salespeople.  The Metahire Sales Hiring System was formulated!

Our commitment to hard work and not settling for less than greatness will align well with your expectations of Metahire.  As a busy business owner, you can fully utilize sales and hiring expertise to generate substantial revenue and facilitate your desire to expand.

Here are five time-tested sales hiring practices you can implement into your company hiring right now to get you thinking about your current sales hiring process.

You can benefit from Metahire IF

  • Your time is stretched and extremely valuable
  • You have hired salespeople who have underperformed
  • You would like a better method of finding top talent to reach your sales goals

1  The typical hiring process is not effective for hiring salespeople.

Successfully recruiting for sales positions requires an entirely different approach.

Welcome to what is known as an objective and behavioral approach to hiring.  To simplify that phrase, you can think of it as a try-before-you-buy approach.  The costs of hiring, training, and successfully onboarding the right salesperson shouldn’t be overlooked.

Recruiting the right individual will come at an expense to your organization.  Therefore, we want to avoid the costly traditional approach and strategize to hire smarter.  But how?  Well, it starts with eliminating the idea of narrowing down your candidate pool to a select few attractive resumes. Instead, you want to enlarge the candidate pool as best as possible.

Finding the right salesperson is like finding a needle in a haystack.  Not everyone has the propensity for sales.  The truth is that sales is a strategic game.  It involves tons of rejection, objection, lies, and genuine rapport building and takes serious patience.  For every 100 prospects a salesperson speaks with, they may only find a handful of clients.  Therefore, you want to try before you buy.  Widen your candidate pool and subject every one of them to a proven process that gives you an idea of how they perform under pressure.

2 Don’t rely on just a candidate’s resume as a verifiable source of sales skills and potential.

What we want to do is assess a candidate’s sales potential.  We’re not simply looking at their resume to base what they have done in the past
on what they are capable of doing in the future.

Absolutely not.  We are using the right assessment tools to ascertain what they will and can do in the future if given the proper tools and training.  This is something that a person’s resume doesn’t show.  Everyone has the potential to achieve, learn and reach a higher level.  We want to assess that potential.

But how do we get a realistic look at a person’s sales potential?  Through the proper assessment tools, we can dig deep to find what a candidate is willing to do, what they want to do, their motivations, commitments, and desire to grow.  Overall, this will paint a picture of their sales potential.  Different variables measure sales competency.  As you go through the Topaz Sales Consulting sales hiring process, Metahire, you will uncover a systematic method for learning the exact information that points towards which candidate has the highest sales potential overall.

3 Look for reasons to eliminate candidates instead of reasons to hire candidates during the sales hiring process.

We are looking for that ideal fit.  While culture and personality are essential for your sales team’s dynamic, you are more concerned with finding the right salesperson ready to dedicate and commit their time to closing deals.  That’s what we want to see.  To help us get there, we don’t want to give candidates the benefit of the doubt.  We seek reasons to stop the process rather than keep them in the candidate pool.  Realistically, we want to minimize our hiring expenses as much as possible.  To do this, taking a proactive approach designed to eliminate candidates at the first sign of potential flaws or conflicts has been proven more fruitful.  This will save both parties time, money, and mental energy.

We are reviewing their resume in the first phase of our screening process.  As we mentioned earlier, the resume is not the end-all-be-all.  However, you want to look for reasons to eliminate faulty resumes you know won’t make a good fit.

The second phase is the phone interview.  Here, you want to listen to the candidates for conflicting information that does not match their resumes and ascertain their skills and competence.  Finally, in the third phase, the interactive role-playing interview will instantly give you reasons to eliminate those candidates that seem too overbearing, verbose, inexperienced, and unprofessional. But, again, remember not to give candidates the benefit of the doubt and consistently seek to eliminate rather than advance.

4  Include a selling scenario as part of the hiring process.

Most successful companies utilize interactive selling scenarios when hiring for sales positions.  This will help you get a direct feel for a person’s selling style and how they will approach prospects.  Sometimes, candidates will look great on paper.  They will appear as people with direct industry experience, sales training, and advanced education.  However, they will drop the ball when confronted with an interactive selling scenario.  Here’s an example of one candidate who fits the bill but didn’t meet the grade.

We were recently on a teleconference interview with the owner of a company and a sales candidate from London.  The candidates’ experience on paper was perfect and exactly what we wanted to see. However, with 1 minute left in the interview, the candidate demanded five more minutes to explain his sales approach and style.  After listening to the candidate, it became apparent that his selling style and demeanor didn’t match his resume.  That is why selling scenarios are essential.  They will tease out the gaps and shine a light on a person’s actual abilities.

5  Effective onboarding ensures the success of a new hire.

Now that you have found the ideal salesperson, you’ll want to use guidelines to help onboard your exceptional new employee in the most streamlined and efficient way.  These best practices will break down when and how to use certain tools with your new hire.  In addition, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about granting them access to your tools and network.  You want to set expectations by reviewing the details in their job description.  This will help you clear up any doubts, set expectations, and answer any questions they have about their duties.

In their very first week, getting them onboard as fast as possible is critical.  Using an onboarding accelerator tool will be an excellent resource for your new hire to find many answers to questions that will help them understand your company and your clients.

Wrap Up

We’ve accomplished our goal if this document can help find your next great employee! However, if you believe further guidance or partnering with an expert would give you better results, feel free to contact us, and we will equip you to become the Sales Hiring Master.