Do I Have the Right Sales Candidate?

Sales personInterviewing a sales candidate and reviewing their resume is not always enough to determine whether or not they’ll be successful in the position. However, if you wait too long to decide if a candidate is a perfect fit, you risk missing out on a potentially great candidate.

While there are obvious predictors of sales success, there are also other predictors that can’t be found by checking dates and achievements on a resume.  Find out which indicators will help you determine if you’ve found the right sales candidate and should make an offer.

1. Responsiveness

How long did it take your potential candidate to respond to your emails and phone calls? One day? One hour? How about one week? A candidate that is taking a long time to respond to your requests isn’t very engaged in the process. Look for people who are responding in a short amount of time and making your efforts their priority.

Also, these timeframes should be tracked throughout the entire hiring process. If you’re noticing a pattern where it takes the candidate multiple days to respond to every phone call or email, then this is a red flag. However, if the candidate is moving quickly and responding to you in less than a day each time, then there is a strong indicator that they are genuinely interested in the opportunity.

2. Timely Follow-Up

Another predictor of sales success is whether a candidate is following up with you or not. Did the candidate follow up with you in a timely manner after the interview with a thank you phone call or email? Do they want  to know the next steps in the process and are they eager to get the process started? When a candidate does this it shows they’re engaged and excited about the opportunity.

A candidate that doesn’t have natural sales behaviors and works like a machine doesn’t tend to do these types of things right after an interview. A sales candidate may look great on paper,but if they’re not going the extra mile to really sell themselves and their sales ability, how can you expect them to go the extra mile with a prospect or client?

3. Assessment Results

Oftentimes you may be very impressed with a candidate, but their lack of a specific skill or ability prevents you from making an offer. Whether you’re unsure of their hunting ability, work ethic, or relationship skills, assessments can tell you if the candidate has that trait or if they’re going to be high risk. The extra assurance assessments provide can help ease your mind and make sure you don’t miss out on a potentially great candidate, or worse, make the wrong hire. When you add assessments to your selection process, they can help guide you to make an offer or not.

4. Understand the Methodology of Sales

Part of being a good salesperson is understanding what it takes to make a sale and learning from top performers about how they achieve success.  If you tell a candidate during the interview about how much a top performer is making at your company, a good salesperson will ask questions about what it takes to become a top performer too. For example, they might ask how many cold calls that person is making a week or how do they get referrals? Whichever questions they ask, they should be goal focused and how to achieve goals.

5. First Job

Asking a candidate about their first job is one of the best ways to get an understanding of them. Whether it was chores around the house or working at an ice cream store, a person’s first job will tell you a lot about their work ethic. Also, ask questions about what motivated them to get their first job. Was it because their parents wouldn’t buy them a new video game so they set out to buy it themselves? This type of mentality is exactly what is needed for a top performing sales rep.

Use these predictors of success when interviewing sales candidates to ensure you’re making the right hire. Not all of these predictors need to be present before you hire a sales candidate, but the more predictors of success, the better you will feel about your decision to make an offer.

What is the most common reason you are hesitant to make a candidate an offer?

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