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How to Hire the Best Sales Reps

Posted December 18, 2017

Your next sales superstar is currently working for someone else. How can you identify them and tempt them to join your team? The answer lies in hiring based on personality matching, career desires, and culture fit.

When your salespeople have the right personalities, they click with clients and close deals. This boosts your sales team’s success and your company’s long-term profitability. Here’s how to find more sales stars who will fit right in with your team:


Hire Trustworthy People

The proverb “trust, but verify” applies to hiring salespeople. It would be nice to trust that they have a strong sales background, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for proof. Pay stubs, sales figures, contracts, commissions checks, bonus letters, and awards can support sales claims.

If a candidate balks at providing facts and figures, you have to wonder about their trustworthiness. It could impact their future relationships with clients and ability to deliver real revenue for your company.


Value Conscientiousness

When a salesperson is conscientious, they have one of the most important factors for success. In fact, the American Psychological Association rates conscientiousness as the #1 predictor of a successful sales personality.

What exactly does conscientiousness mean? It’s a complex personality concept that includes all of the following traits: persistent, goal-oriented, patient, hardworking, and setting high expectations for oneself.


Recruit Storytellers

Storytellers often make great salespeople. When someone is capable of telling an engaging story, other people are drawn to them. It’s one of the hard-to-define aspects of charisma.

How do you know during the hiring process if someone is a good storyteller? Clues include joking around, using descriptive adjectives, and making comments that create an enjoyable back-and-forth during a discussion. Beware of people who are too long-winded. Telling stories is good; listening is important too.

Avoid Uncoachable Reps

A salesperson rarely comes as a complete package. You’ll need to train them on your specific products, services, processes, and expectations. It’s important that they’re coachable and can accept this training with a positive attitude.

Avoid hiring salespeople with the following personality traits that impede coachability: stubborn, resistant, inflexible, defensive.


Seek Eagerness

Some hiring experts call it the “shake and bake” factor: an eagerness that allows a salesperson to hit the ground running with very little prep work. All good sales managers know it when they see it. It’s a hunger - a boundless energy - for making sales.

This kind of eagerness isn’t something that can be taught, so it’s crucial to uncover during the hiring process. It’s tied to personality factors like flexibility, passion, confidence, adaptability, and openness to new experiences.


Consider Your Culture

Every sales team - and company - has a unique culture. Some are gleefully cutthroat. Others are more emotionally supportive and team-focused. Hire the right salespeople by knowing your sales culture.

Mary Kay Ash, who founded the Mary Kay makeup company, treated all of her salespeople like family. They, in turn, sold makeup to their own friends and family using low-pressure techniques. A cutthroat competitor had no place with Mary Kay.

Contrast that culture with the philosophy of Joe Girard, often called the greatest car salesman of all time. Girard’s Chevrolet dealership was one of the highest-volume sellers of the 1960s. He believed in relentless selling and high-pressure tactics.

What’s your sales culture? Identify your main culture traits and find people who will be a great fit for the team.


Take Advantage of Technology

Ready to find your next sales superstar? Success starts with hiring reps based on culture and personality fit. Partner with GoGig, an innovative personality-matching platform that uses technology to make great hires.

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