Every company knows an outstanding sales professional is worth their weight in gold – and a mediocre one can drag down an entire team. But how do you determine which of your available candidates is a superstar in waiting?

Here are some of the best practices for hiring sales professionals:

Embrace introverts

A common assumption about sales is it demands an outgoing personality that gains energy from interacting with others. While many salespeople are naturally outgoing, too much extroversion can be seen by customers as overbearing or annoying.

Instead, look for sales professionals who can balance gregariousness with the ability to listen, ask questions and think deeply. These salespeople help balance your team and build lasting relationships with customers and clients.

Seek resilience

Sales professionals hear “no” multiple times per day. The best sales professionals are those who never take “no” personally. Instead, they understand that hearing no is inevitable, and they look for ways to understand why the initial answer is a negative – ways that may help them turn it into a new relationship.

To learn more about candidates’ resilience, ask them how they’ve responded to rejections in the past, or to describe a time they found persistence paid off.

Encourage a client-oriented approach

Because sales is a quantifiable, competitive field, it’s easy for sales professionals’ goals to become all about improving their own numbers. This approach can drive success, but it can also drive customers away and have a negative impact on a company’s brand.

When asking candidates about their professional goals, look for the candidates who talk about their desire to help clients solve their problems. Salespeople who are client-focused may still be competitive, but they’re using their competitiveness constructively for themselves, their clients and their company.

Ask for a second opinion

Including multiple interviewers in the process can help you gain perspective on sales candidates. Likewise, working with an outside source like your staffing firm can help you develop a deeper understanding of each candidate before you make your final hiring decision.

If you need help finding the best sales and marketing talent available today, don’t hesitate to contact SMR Group. We specialize in connecting our clients in the biotech, pharmaceutical and medical device industries with outstanding sales and marketing talent. To learn more, reach out today.

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