Hiring the wrong salespeople is costing you money.  It’s time to learn how to hire right the first time.

Identifying and attracting highly skilled sales professionals can be a challenging prospect for employers who often expend a great deal of time and resources on training, only to experience high turnover.

As hiring managers begin interviewing candidates for sales positions, they must employ every tool at their disposal to determine whether the individuals possess the ability and Drive to generate profits for themselves and their employers.

Important Interview Tools and Tips

With the increase in college graduation rates over the past decade, there is also an increasing number of applicants for job positions. By following these well-crafted tools and tips, you will be able to separate high-potential talent from the unqualified applicants.
Avoid these common sales interview mistakes that can ultimately cause your sales team to fail:

  1. Asking the Wrong Interview Questions.

    Every interview requires useful, personalized, well-developed questions. If you botch this, everything else follows suit. Questions should vary from work experience to situational analysis. Some examples include: What kinds of sacrifices have you had to make to be successful? What’s the toughest professional goal you have ever accomplished? . . . How do you plan to top it? Tell me about the most difficult deal you have ever handled. The responses to these questions allow you to peer inside the candidate’s mind. Avoid common questions which invite scripted answers. When you catch the candidate by surprise, you’ll get more honesty.

  2. Focusing on Appearance

    Many hiring managers are blinded by appearance and first impressions. Whether you admit to it or not, an applicant’s physical appearance plays a part in your evaluation. One way to reduce the impact of this bias is to conduct first round interviews via phone. This limits your ability to judge and allows you to focus on competency.

  3. Overlooking the Importance of Silence

    You can tell much about a candidate by listening. Instead of taking the floor and asking long-winded questions, provide time for the candidate to ask questions. You can tell a great deal about their goals and purpose by the questions they ask. For example, are they only inquiring about personal benefits, or are the questions centered on how they can best serve the company in the potential role?

  4. Neglecting to Implement Online Sales Tests

    If the job involves sales, you would be foolish to ignore sales aptitude tests as a part of the interview process. These tests give employers critical insights into the candidate’s underlying personality characteristics. There are typically ratings for overall relationship skills, organizational skills and persuasiveness. More importantly, a well-developed online sales test, will be able to determine the candidate’s level of Drive – a strong indicator of future sales success.

A multi-step approach to the interview process, such as this one, is important to start implementing today.

By integrating these tips and using available online sales tests, you can improve your interview efficiency and hiring accuracy, protect your company’s revenue and reduce turnover.

About the author

Christopher Croner, Ph.D.

Dr. Christopher Croner received his BA in Psychology from DePaul University, and his Masters…

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