HOW TO HIRE A SALES REP
Every business owner, whether he has four employees or four million employees, has first hand knowledge of the difficulty in figuring out how to hire a sales rep. Substandard employees in your sales department can sink your company in a variety of ways. Incompetence is only one of them (though it is a dangerous one. Can you believe that only twenty percent of sales leads are actually ever pursued? Imagine if you could boost that number by a significant margin?). Beyond incompetence, there is the issue of massive turnover. How many times have you put forth the money to search for, interview, hire and train an employee, only to have that employee leave in a matter of months (if not weeks, days, or in the most disastrous of scenarios, hours)? You never get that money back, and you start out right back where you started from.
Having said that, you might think I am crazy to suggest that you spend even MORE on the hiring process, but that is exactly the point of this article. Spending the funds on a recruiting firm that knows how to hire a sales rep will cost you a bit more up front, but it will pay dividends later on. Recruiters (also called sales headhunters in some markets) can help you find the best people for YOUR company, thus cutting back on problems of turnover and incompetence. Good sales recruiters know that job suitability is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to skills, knowledge, aptitude, education, and more.
One veteran recruiter, Jake Lesley, points out the value of recruiting outside the box. “Depending on the needs of the company,” said Lesley, “I try to bring in applicants from unexpected backgrounds. The key to succeeding in a job in sales is having good research skills, so I frequently look to English majors and other applicants from the Humanities.” Lesley noted that he also looks to theater majors, due to their sky high confidence. “Confidence and selling ability are symbiotic traits. One needs the other to thrive,” said Lesley. “Theater majors have confidence coming out of their pores.”
Using recruiters to find the right people for your business is a sure fire way to invest in your own company. Make the recruiters part of your corporate conversation. They can tell you not only how to hire a sales rep, but also how to tweak your job openings and descriptions to attract the right candidates. “Seeing a career track is so important for the really special applicants,” said Lesley. “As such, I always suggest that my clients include language that shows a possible sales career rather than just a sales job.”