Of all the business risks people take, hiring a salesperson is one of the greatest.
The investment of time and money in recruiting good salespeople is so frequently spent for no benefit and a new book, “How To Hire A Salesperson And What To Do If It Doesn’t Work Out” seeks to help business owners increase their chances of getting the recruitment process right first time
Author Keith Wymer has run numerous sales focused businesses over the past quarter century and has developed a business planning approach to sales recruitment.
Whether hiring field sales people or inside sales representatives for handling inbound and outbound sales calls, Wymer believes the starting point to success lies in detailed planning.
“Too often the business owner or sales director doesn’t set aside enough time to really get under the surface of what the business really needs in terms of temperament, sales goal, sales strategy and how to manage sales success before even searching for a new salesman or woman,” he claims.
“You need to work out a lot more than just how to pay commission and salaries against the sales quota.”
Wymer asserts that there is a considerable amount of work to be done before the recruitment agency is even briefed and motivated people contacted, including a deep analysis of what the employer expects and how that will be communicated, as well as the building of a thorough job spec.
“Once the initial planning is complete, the recruiting firm needs to structure the process necessary for job interviews.
How will job applicants be questioned, what kind of sales assessment tool will you use and how will you uncover what motivates the candidate?”
The book gives tips and sample questions to help when interviewing candidates on both first and second interviews.
Wymer suggests the second interview is particularly complex, requiring a second set of interview skills and questions.
Having hired a new sales person, the employer needs to consider the amount and types of product and sales training necessary for the representative to start earning money for both the business and himself.
Sales coaching early on is essential to mould the new hire in your style and once you are sure the new salesperson will stay with you this should be backed up with professional sales training, even if the new recruit is experienced.
Even after taking such care, there is the possibility that the salesperson won’t work out and Wymer says it is better to address this early and move on:
“Many recruitment agencies offer a free replacement in the first 3 months if it goes wrong and I would advise business owners to make use of this if they have any doubt about the ability or attitude of the person they have hired. It is better to call it quits and start again than to have someone wasting valuable leads.”
Wymer suggests that the hiring and firing of salesmen and saleswomen is a fact of business life and that there is no shame in having to fill the same positions on more than one occasion.
“It’s a normal business goal to improve sales hiring over time and my book seeks to help people avoid some of the many mistakes I’ve made over the years so they can shorten the cycle and recruit good people who will develop into top salespeople and stay with you for the long haul.
The book is available from amazon.co.uk from 4th January, 2011.