Finding The Best Talent: Tips For Hiring Top Salespeople

Finding The Best TalentThough the current economy has left a significant amount of qualified individuals without work, it may be harder than originally thought for managers to lock down the top talent.

A sales management team needs to realize that although there is a shortage of job opportunities, this will not guarantee that each business will be able to attract the top available talent to work at their company.

Companies need to always be looking for the top talent, as hiring is not limited to the time when the business is in a pinch and there is a spot to fill, according to Heather Kivett, President of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

“The urgency is high and the window of time is small, so the chance of ending up with a poor performer is very high,” said the executive. “Hire a superstar when you find them rather than when you need them, because you will eventually need them.”

No organization is full of employees that constantly hit their quota, and there is always significant room for improvement within any company. A sales management team may want to hire a candidate that they think is right for a job, even if this means getting rid of one of the bottom performers, according to Kivett.

When it comes to finding these all-star candidates there are several in-depth assessment tools that can be used. Personality tests alone will not suffice – they usually do not give the manager enough information to make an intelligent hiring decision, said the executive.

“You have to get into the construct of their brain, core motivators and their personality to find out what their capacities are,” noted Kivett. “Just because someone looks good in an interview does not mean that will translate into high performance.”

Expectations for the potential candidates and future representatives need to be clearly laid out, as a sales management team may be able to tell a lot about an individual by the way they react to hearing about the position. Eliminating ambiguity will help to eliminate poor performers, according to the executive.

Kivett also noted that asking the right questions during the interview is another important way to determine who would be a good fit for the company.

“They should ask questions like what they’ve done in the past,” said the executive. “Have them walk you step by step through the sales process of a big win they had.”

Finding out how they landed the account and how they navigated through the organization may help to eliminate bad candidates, as a poor performer cannot hide with this type of questioning, according to Kivett.

“It’s also helpful to keep in mind that superstar salespeople may not always be actively seeking a job,” said the executive. “You should have a plan to attract the passive jobseekers as well.”

Compensation is a topic that will always come up, especially in the current job environment. The truth will eventually come out, so honesty may be the best policy when it comes to enticing the superstar candidates, Kivett noted.

“It is much better to set expectations appropriately instead of over inflating earning potential,” said the executive. “Give them a low, medium and a high and tell them what is required of them for each, and if it will likely be year before the higher compensation kicks in, tell them that and provide a plan for them to get there.”

It can also help to try and leverage certain things about the office, including location, work environment and the current client list, in an effort to make the company more attractive to the top candidates, Inc.com reported.