The Best Sales Rep Is The One You Can’t Find


The best sales rep is the one you can’t find!

I don’t think it comes as any surprise to you that hiring and managing sales people is difficult.  The question is, “Why is it so difficult?”

What hiring challenges have you experienced in the past with respect to sales reps?

Would you like to make your next hiring initiative more effective?  If so, avoid these common hiring mistakes.

Common Hiring Mistakes

  1. Conducting a low quality interview vs. a high quality interview. This really needs to be taught.  It does not come with every sales manager’s tool kit.
  2. Neglecting to ask questions about gaps in a candidate’s resume or previous performance, (behavioral questions).
  3. Being misled by candidates who interview well.  Just because you like someone does not mean they will perform well once they are hired.
  4. Relying on instinct or gut feel.
  5. Not checking references. This is a painstaking task, and when done well, it can lead to hiring right the first time. It can also help the sales manager understand how to manage their new sales representative.
  6. Considering the type of sales person you need for your specific sales environment.  Different sales environments require different skills sets.  For example, if a business requires a sales rep to make dozens of cold calls but the hiring manager hires someone who is not proficient at this, the rep’s results will be less than satisfactory.
  7. They do not make use of hiring tools, such as assessments.
  8. They don’t ask candidates exactly how they will achieve results.  Asking probing questions should be part of every interview process.
  9. Talking too much during the interview.  Ned to give the applicant sufficient air time.  Listening to what they have to say in the interview.  Rule of thumb is to make sure that the candidate talks at least 70 percent of the time.
  10. Preparing for the interview.  Preparation includes reviewing the candidate’s resume beforehand, identifying possible gaps and determining key questions that must be asked.
  11. Hiring to fill a gap.  It is not uncommon for sales managers to race through the recruiting process in an effort to quickly hire someone because they need to a rep in place.
  12. Allowing interruptions during the interview. Sales Managers have dozens of tasks and projects on their plate at any given time and often allow other staff including their assistant to interrupt them during an interview.  Effective interviews must be conducted without distractions and interruptions.
  13. They only interview people who have industry experience.  Unless your industry is highly technical, you should consider people who do not have the experience in your industry.  Many people are fully capable of performing well in a new industry providing they are a suitable fit to your particular sales environment.
  14. They do not get a second opinion.  Interviewing a sales rep requires more than one perspective.  Effective sales managers get other people in the company involved in the interviewing process and they compile all of the feedback before making a hiring decision.
  15. They fail to seek clarification.  If in doubt, check it out.




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