Sales – it’s an exciting industry, yet a difficult one. When your company relies upon the sales of your employees, it puts a lot of pressure on you (the employer) to have the best sales people you can get your hands on.
There are some people that struggle with the art of selling something while others find it to come naturally. However, most employers are completely willing and able to train their employees in sales as much as needed in order to keep the business thriving.
This article was written especially for recruiters and employers that are looking for new sales people, but want to do it in a more sufficient way. This article will give you tips on how to screen the applicants plus tips on how the applicants can screen themselves, by helping them decide if sales is the right industry for them.
1. Get referrals. Before you start advertising that you have an open position, you may want to see if your current sales force knows other sales people that may be interested in the job. This can save you from having to look though applications and resumes from tons of people. Just take a few referrals from your current employees and see if any of them are good enough to fill the position.
2. Job description. When you do decide to advertise that you have an open position, always have a clear description of what you are looking for in an applicant. This is when you list the responsibilities and expectations for that particular job. Try not to leave anything out. This is an easy way for potential candidates to know what you’re looking for and know if they are qualified or not.
3. Give out free information. This one is optional, yet it is very helpful. Try giving your potential candidates free information on what your business is about and what you represent. You can have this information online, on a small brochure or pamphlet, or you can have it on a cd or dvd. This gives your applicant insight into what the work environment is like and lets them know what to expect. This is another great tactic to use to help your applicant decide whether they want to become a part of your company.
4. Look for the right “connections”. Once you have accepted applications and resumes, look to see if they have any experience in sales or education in business, sales, or marketing. All of these are good signs. Even if they haven’t been in sales, see if they have any relation to the industry you work in. For example, if you are looking for a car salesman, a guy that worked in an auto parts store will still be a good candidate. Look for those special connections to your particular industry.
5. Conduct a skills test. This is also optional, but it can really help you make that final decision on who you will hire. You can give all of those applicants that you are confident in to perform in a skills test to see if they are truly up for the job. You will decide what test you will give them depending upon the particular position you are hiring for. But what’s on the test will be up to you. You can get creative as you like. Just make sure the test gives you the opportunity to see if they have potential to be great sales people.
Hiring new sales people doesn’t have to be nerve racking. You can experience a much smoother screening process by using the tips above. For more tips on this matter, check out The Agile Manager’s Guide to Hiring Excellence by Hardy Caldwell. It is a small, easy to read manual on how to hire for any industry in the most fool proof manner possible. Good luck on your business.