10 Ways To Assure Stellar Success When Hiring Sales Talent

In his best-selling book, Good to Great, renowned business sage Jim Collins says:

“People are not your most important asset… The right people are.”

I couldn’t agree more — especially when it comes to hiring sales talent for your community. It’s one of the most mission critical activities you engage in as the leader of your company.

It’s also one of the most important areas we help our clients with every day at Sales Solve Everything.

Yet as we’ve seen from helping dozens of home building companies scale to whole new levels, when it comes to recruiting and hiring sales talent, there’s a lot that can go wrong.

And potentially millions of dollars at stake.

To help you succeed in this crucial area, let’s take a look at a few of the best practices you can start implementing today that will have a far-reaching impact on the success of your business.

Take a proactive approach

An ad hoc approach stacks the odds against you. Yet it’s tempting because you only ALWAYS need somebody to fill the gap, like yesterday. Resist the temptation to “wing it”. Develop a process for hiring that you can follow and develop over time.

That way you not only have the opportunity to think through each of the steps in advance. Not only that, you can add what you learn through experience to make it better each time you make a hire, no matter the outcome.

Put on your detective’s hat

Digging below the surface of a résumé or CV can reveal critical cues. Was it polished by a headhunter? Were the dates fudged? Are there frequent job changes? Did the applicant do the writing in their own voice, or did someone else write it for them? A little interpretive analysis can give you ideas for the right questions to ask and screen out potential time wasters.

Ditch the old hiring strategies

Following outdated hiring approaches will not just get you outdated results… They’ll put you at a disadvantage against competitors who know how the game works today.

  • Don’t just let your HR team or specialist write a boilerplate job description. Instead of a bland list of qualifications, describe what your candidate will have to accomplish on the job. Not only is it a more engaging approach, you’ll attract the right talent for the position.
  • Avoid reliance on the “post and pray” approach. Nothing against job boards, but you can’t count on them for attracting the best talent. It will only reach the 30 percent of professionals actively looking for a new gig. Reaching out to “passive” candidates means you’re reaching the other 70 percent.
  • Are you restricting your search to local candidates? If you’re on the ropes cash-wise, paying for a relocation package may seem out of limits. Just bear in mind, $10k is peanuts compared to what a great hire can mean to your company.

Develop a consistent and repeatable process

When you’re in a rush, taking the time to map out your SOPs for hiring can seem counterproductive.
But trust me, a little thoughtful planning and documentation before, during and after can go a long way to ensuring you make good decisions and better hires each time you go through the process.

Take your time

Let’s face it: Spending the time to find a great match for your sales role can seem like an impossible mission when your day is already stretched. But giving the process the time it requires can pay huge dividends. It’s one thing to fill a void by hiring anybody who can fog a mirror. But are you really moving your company forward, or just putting a band-aid on the problem?

Know exactly what you’re looking for

What characteristics does your company really need at this juncture? Somebody with new ideas? Someone who already “knows the ropes” and can take up the slack quickly? Somebody who needs an established playbook? Or someone creative who can thrive in more of a startup situation?

By getting crystal clear in advance what a successful hire looks like, you’ll “know it when you see it”.

Maintain control of the decision process

Handing off hiring responsibilities to your HR person or someone else on your team may be tempting. And as a smart delegator, it may even seem like the right thing to do. But the impact that sales talent can have on your business at all levels demands your full attention. This is one hire your company can’t afford to get wrong.

Ask open-ended questions

As business leaders, we like to lead the conversation. But when it comes to finding out about the person you’re considering it pays to give them the opportunity to “spill the beans”. You’ll not only avoid getting limited responses, you’re far more likely to discover things you hadn’t thought to ask.

Watch for red flags

It’s so easy to fall in love when the person in front of you is putting on their best show. It’s a lot like dating. But your job is to uncover the hidden land mines that could blow up later, and usually at the worst time. It’s better to know ahead of time if when the pressure is on, they’ll freak out or keep their cool.

Hire based on ability — not just likeability

An all too common mistake when hiring, especially with sales people, is deciding based on how much you like the person. Likeability is an important trait in a salesperson, but not at the expense of the whole package. Make sure you’re taking all factors into account.

Get Ready For a Great Hire!

Nobody in a leadership role wants to hire the wrong sales pro. And yet, it happens all too often.

You’ve seen the estimates on monetary impact. But the effects can be felt at much deeper levels, and cost far more than you think.

It’s too bad because with a few simple practices, hiring the right sales talent for your community can have a huge impact on your company’s revenues, margin and growth trajectory.

Follow these fifteen simple practices when hiring sales talent to put your company on the fast track to consistent and predictable growth in the near term and for years to come.

And if you’d like help with any of this, don’t hesitate to reach out. Message me here on LinkedIn, or call my office at 888-738-4020 to book a time for us to chat.