Hiring Tips For The Salesperson Interview Process

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Finding good salespeople is a difficult task. Finding good salespeople without a specific goal in mind is almost impossible.

Before you can hire the right salesperson, you have to know what you’re looking for. Don’t waste time hiring the wrong person because of a lack of direction. You need a target. Then, when you do hire someone, you can confidently spend resources on training and ensure a return on investment.

Which kind of salesperson do you need?

You know you need a target, but what should you aim for? To get the right salesperson in place, you must first know if you want a farmer or a hunter.

  • Hunters are constantly pounding the pavement, looking for new “game.” If your salespeople need to knock on doors and gather prospects, day in and day out,  you want a hunter.
  • Farmers have less of an attacking nature and more of a nurturing spirit. They often care for a few select, high-end clients. They spend their time dealing with large corporate clients and maintain a close relationship with those organizations.

Once you’ve determined the type of salesperson you’re looking for, use that information to direct your selection process and evaluate the applicants.

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Transaction Volume

Transaction volume is a useful item to check when vetting a new salesperson. Not only does it give you an idea of the type of salesperson they are, it also lets you know what they’re capable of. If a person has had success with larger volumes of transactions, there’s a good chance he’ll duplicate that success within your company. It’s hard to prove a high transactional value so this factor doesn’t always hold entirely true, but there’s a way to prove whether they have already cut their teeth, and if they’re resume is true or not — through this innovative interview process.

The Interview

To get the right candidate in place you need to successfully navigate the salesperson interview process. I highly recommend an extended interview program. Ditch the one-hour sit-down meeting. Instead, talk to potential candidates and select a team that will move forward to the next step: a two-week trial run.

During the extended interview, or trial run, put these candidates through the paces. Give them a list of businesses to visit. Watch them do prospecting in action. Don’t invest much in showing them the ropes or training. What you’re looking for is their ability to “hunt” and endurance for a high volume of transactions.

How do you know who’s successful and worth hiring? The good ones will be able to snag a meeting with the sales manager.

Another tip: Don’t waste good prospects on this group. Send them on assignment to low-quality prospects from which you don’t expect to generate business. Once you’ve identified who has the drive and motivation to ensure, you can start investing in training.

Don’t waste your valuable resources training subpar salespeople. Save yourself time, money, and lots of headaches with a carefully vetted hiring and interview process, and you can be sure that your salespeople have what it takes to succeed.

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