The painful truth: It takes a long time to get rid of a bad hire. On average, 9-12 months. Ouch. Have you seen sales organizations that seem to hire right the first time, and you’re wondering if it’s just good luck or a secret formula you don’t know about? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not just good luck. Ready to know more? Keep reading.
OK, your team is ready to grow. Or you need to fill a gap – now. First thing’s first: Collect your wits. Companies move fast. The need to put proverbial butts in seats can feel crushing. Working with intention before you are having a face to face meeting with a candidate will be a key strategy to success in your sales organization.
Prep the Surface
As a ProActive Seller, you would never approach a prospect without spending that Power Hour to learn all you can about them first. The same principle applies when reviewing potential candidates, with a little twist. Yes, it’s about them. But it’s also about you. A great sales manager knows they need to check references. It’s the homework you dive into pertaining to your organization that will give you an advantage and optimize your time when interviewing for salespeople that are ideal for your business.
Evaluate The Big Picture
Are you looking at where your organization needs to be in 12 months, or are your more concerned with what is happening RIGHT NOW? If you chose right now, you’re stuck on the ground when what we really need is a global view.
First, take a look at what you do now, and what you and your team will want to be doing 6-12 months from now. “Want” is italicized because it’s key when you’re hiring to meet goals. Look to hire for future requirements – not what is in front of you today. To do that, you’ll need to look at your current organization and culture.
Review your current sales organization by asking investigative questions:
- Is it top heavy, or lean and mean?
- Is it supportive?
- How open to change is the company philosophy?
- Is the organization willing to fail at times to take chances for success?
- Does it lean to the conservative side or the risk-taking side? How about for the sales department?
- What are the current requirements for the sales team as a whole, not just the current job opening?
- What will be the change in the sales team over the next 12 months? How will that affect the candidate profile?
Stepping back, your overall company organization and culture plays into this formula too. How you assess this will have a lot to do with how well you will potentially hire, and how well they will fit into the overall company. Senior management is a great resource for this step in the process. Ask them what they believe the state of the company is today, and what changes they are looking to implement over the next twelve months. Your homework so far should reveal statements like:
- “My sales territory changes 2-3 times a year over the past few years since our company started acquiring other businesses.”
- “We’ve seen nothing but changes since our new CEO arrived. To sell here, you better love being flexible.”
- “Steady Eddie! We’ve had the same senior management for over 15 years. Things evolve at a steady and predictable pace.”
Do you see how a great candidate on paper may be a sales superstar in one of the examples above, but a black hole in another? Great. Be sure you run the same current & future assessment for all three:
- The Company
- The Sales Team
- Your Clients/Customers
One hour of your time will save you and your company a year’s worth of time, patience, and money by giving you the strategic edge at hiring the candidate that’s right for your organization. It’s not just about luck… It’s about hiring ProActively.
Hunting to find “The Good Ones”?
Schedule a 30-minute call with us. We’ll share some strategies aimed at revealing top candidates for your organization.