How To Recruit Good Sales People

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by rasears

How To Recruit Good Sales People

Leadership training courses often emphasize that success in the market is totally dependent upon the quality of the sales staff. According to popular belief, successful salespeople are aggressive, hard-nosed, extrovert, knowledgeable about their subject and client-orientated; they have a personal aura and a sense of humour.

Being aware of the prerequisites for success is, however, of little use to the sales manager when he is looking for first-class salespeople or trying to build his current staff into top-quality salespeople.

Do not become set upon a catalogue of stereotypical perfect qualities. Focus on the real talents that your sales people have, and the potential offered. The successful companies often use the following assessment procedure based upon the answers to two key questions:

Who are the company’s out-standing salespeople?

In order to find this out, the area manager must compile a list of those salespeople which he considers to be outstanding. He will, in addition, draw up a list, in parallel, of the top sales people in your company based on their weekly revenue.

Lastly, colleagues will be asked for their evaluation. This will involve the sales people in each area identifying the colleagues they would most like to work with. This is a significant facet, as it shows whether one person’s triumph has been at the cost of her/his contemporaries; this is often the cause of fluctuation problems.

The group of outstanding salespeople will comprise those people whose names appear on all three lists. In other words, the ones who accomplish the top return and who are proposed by their superiors and their peers.

How do top salespeople behave in sales situations? A purposeful interview gives the reply to this issue, and shows what separates a first rate sales person from a mediocre one. Traditional questions such as, Why do you consider yourself to be well qualified and suitable for this position? What are your three greatest strengths and three greatest weaknesses? Play no part in this.

Rather, the interviewer asks the interviewee to describe the high-points and low-points of his career during the last 12-36 months. So doing, the interviewer goes through a list of sales situations with the salesperson and achieves a dialogue which makes the latter’s feelings about and thoughts towards each of these sales situations clear.

The questions in the following table make up the main framework for this interview. Why did this situation, in particular, make an impression upon you? What do you see as the particular features of this situation? What events led up to this situation? Which people were involved? What was your aim? At the time, what did you think about this affair? What did the customer have to say regarding this? How did you react? What happened then?

These interviews were carried out in a large company. Both the company’s exceptional sales people were consulted, also the same amount of sales people with standard weekly revenue, who were not put forward by their managers or their peers. One can determine the difference among the exceptional and run of the mill sales people by comparing the results of the interviews of each group. A core subject on leadership training courses is quite often interviewing techniques.

The Success Profile of a Top-class Salesperson

An important result first of all: successful sales people are not hostile towards their customers. They do, indeed act very energetically and single-mindedly, but are not in any way aggressive. Being aggressive towards clients, on the other hand, was a characteristic shown by some of the average salespeople – mainly, when it became clear to them that they were not going to close the deal.

The subsequent table lists the virtues and features that differentiate top sales people from the others.

Success Profile of Top Salespeople

They act purposefully and single-mindedly. They are very interested in what the client actually wants and what he needs. They are very aware of time. They fix their own individual ambitions for success. They make use of their free time for sales activities. They can evaluate quickly and accurately the probability of a deal being closed. They keep the promises they make to their clients. They give their relationships with their clients a personal, friendly touch.

Putting concepts into practice

The selection of applicants and the concept of further training for salespeople takes on a new character when this knowledge is put into practice.

Hold an in-depth interview with an applicant where he describes in detail the tasks he felt he did well and which, in hindsight, he would have done differently. From the applicant’s description you discover and register whether, and at what point, the interviewee shows one or more of the skills which characterises a top salesperson – whether it comes across in connection with a sales activity or in other situations.

If this method is used time and again, it ensures that you employ those personnel whose ability and performance will deliver the greatest prospect for sales victory in the service of your corporation. Finally, you can train your sales staff, by teaching them the behaviour that makes top salespeople so successful. Implementing these points demonstrates excellent management skills which are covered on good leadership training courses.

Richard Stone is a Director for Spearhead Training Limited that runs leadership training programmes aimed at improving business performance. You can see information at => http://www.spearhead-training.co.uk

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