4 Sales Interviewing Best Practices to Rise Above the Rest

One red hot air balloon rises above all the others colored grey

In our work with clients who are trying to hire top sales talent for their sales team, we find that they often make the same mistakes over and over again. These are common sales interviewing mistakes that could be overcome with some targeted interviewing skills training. And, if overcome, companies could avoid adding to the unfortunate statistic that has awarded sales the highest turnover rate of more than 20% annually in any industry. 

Come on…you can rise above the rest if you only follow these four best practices for interviewing and hiring top sales talent for your sales team:

  1. Hire for attitude, not industry-specific knowledge.The true fundamental drivers of sales success are often motivation and empathy. These are the qualities that support knowing how to help clients to succeed. You can always teach a new sales rep what they need to know about your markets, products and services, but you cannot always change their attitude.

  2. Don’t hire for their so-called book of business.It is so tempting when you are in a hurry to increase sales to bring someone aboard who promises new clients and valuable contacts with an impressive Rolodex. But rarely is their network as transferable, forthcoming or valuable as you hope. Again, hire for their ability to share in customers’ thoughts and feelings and their innate drive, preparation, dedication and training rather than for their claims of new and easy business.

  3. Simply “liking” a candidate is not enough reason to hire.While cultural fit is certainly important, there should be some objective measure of culture fit rather than the interviewer’s biased assessment if they “like them” or not. Please. You are running a business here, not a popularity or dating contest.  You need to know that your new hire can solve problems and can get things done. Sure, they should be a fit for your sales culture, but they do not need to qualify as your new BFF.

  4. Apply and heed the results of a proven sales assessment tool.Know what critical few sales competencies are needed for success in your specific market and environment. Then find a way to measure how strong candidates are in these few, critical behaviors. It is worth your time and investment to put each candidate through their paces. Rate them objectively so you develop a track record of what works and what doesn’t. Monitor the results and adjust as needed. This is the way to improve your sales hiring process and to hire “right” the first time.
Invest the time required to hire top talent.  And above all else, do not settle.

Learn more at: http://www.lsaglobal.com/behavior-based-interviewing-training/

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