May 6, 2014

Hiring high aptitude and high performance salespeople is really hard, but hiring managers don’t make it any easier on themselves by often making the following sales hiring mistakes. Let’s take a look…

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Hiring high aptitude and high performance salespeople is really hard, but there are some common sales hiring mistakes that make it even harder. Avoid these mistakes and start hiring better salespeople.

  1. Lack of Testing: Managers do not use online sales assessments to vet for the core aptitude that research shows is common to almost all sales producers.
  2. No Behavioral Interview: They do not use a thorough behavioral interview. Instead defaulting to intuition or the myth of “the golden gut.” Intuition has its place, but it is an extremely high risk proposition when not supported by behavioral verification.
  3. Not Asking for W2’s: Sales candidates can say anything, tax returns don’t lie. Get the facts! Don’t be afraid to use all the tools available to you. Ask for W2’s.
  4. Not Screening References: Reference checks need to include some specific questions to distinguish between work references and friends and family. Use questions like “Can you give me an example of a specific deal [name] sold?”
  5. Hiring Sales Candidates Like Themselves: This is a very common sales hiring mistake. It’s human nature to like people who are similar to you, but that does not mean it’s a good idea to hire clones. It is important to remember that such people are likely to have similar strengths and weaknesses. Great leverage and value can be generated by having both complimentary skills and the friction of diversity.

Only 1 in every 5 sales candidates who apply for your position are going to produce to your expectations, the rest are likely to disappoint you. Avoiding making these five costly sales hiring mistakes and be patient when recruiting for sales positions.