How to Hire the Best Sales Reps in 2020
Finding and hiring the right talent is tough. If you also take into account the high turnover costs, it’s absolutely excruciating.
Furthermore, since sales reps form the core of any revenue strategy and have direct interface with clients, too much disruption or poor hiring can have consequences far beyond lower productivity.
The problem, however, is that unlike many other job roles that have neatly defined qualifications, sales reps are mostly hired for their soft skills. For example, if you are hiring a software developer, you might test them on requisite technologies. But when hiring sales reps, there is nothing concrete to test them against.
Too often, businesses complain about the poor quality of their sales reps because they messed up during the recruitment process. To combat that in your organization, here is your guide to hiring the best sales reps in 2020:
Have the Right Process
Before you start hiring SDRs, the first thing you need is to do is to get your house in order. There should be an open, uniform, and clear recruitment and onboarding process to ensure all candidates are assessed equally. You can achieve this by deploying recruitment solutions and clearly defining the roles of all stakeholders.
Create the Right Environment
Let’s be honest, you can’t expect to hire only top performers. No matter how on-point your hiring process may be, not everyone will be great at his or her job. So the best hiring strategy in sales is to recruit the good ones and make them great. This means having proper training programs that can take fresh hirees and make them well-suited to your organization and related roles. Then there are solutions like Prodoscore that help you replicate top employees. It integrates with all your business tools to show you what your top performers do differently which can then be taught to all other reps.
Now, this is where you start evaluating candidates. As the name suggests, quantitative qualities are skills you can put a definite number or name on. This includes two factors:
Generally speaking, the more experienced a sales rep is, the better he or she is at the job. Mind you, experience not only includes the number of years in the job role but also the diversity of experience. An SDR who has worked in numerous industries certainly carries more selling skills than the one who has worked in only one.
A good portion of any sales rep’s time is spent on routine tasks in CRMs or the automation system that organizations use. Though not required, it is useful if they already have experience working on those tools. The general idea is that more tools a sales rep have worked on, the more proficient they will be in holding these routine tasks.
This is where things get tricky. You have to test what isn’t visible. It is common knowledge that the success of sales reps is ultimately determined by the competency of their soft skills. And while there are numerous such skills at play, you must test these three:
Sales isn’t a knowledge-based job. It is, at its core, a business interaction that requires managing one’s emotions as well as the clients. So the first thing to look for in your candidates is high EQ. The problem is that, as important as it is, assessing EQ is a tough task. There are EQ tests that can give some idea, but they aren’t entirely reliable. The ideal way is to present candidates with some situation-based problems and see how they respond. These problems can be either hypothetical or you can use one of your case studies where you definitely know one way worked better than the other. Overall, the more thoroughly you test the EQ, the better sales reps you will hire.
Persistence is a job requirement for sales reps. But don’t mistake persistence for being pushy or creating an annoyance. Reps must have a genuine drive to persuade everyone they contact to buy their product and be willing to walk the extra mile. A person who gets discouraged after a few rejections will never make a great sales rep.
This is another trait that is often overlooked but can be the difference between good and great sales reps. Curiosity enables a person to constantly look out for new opportunities, learn the market, study the competition and, in turn, help formulate the best sales strategy.
Overall, finding good sales reps is a real challenge - but if you have the right processes, tools, and temperament, it’s almost certain that you will make the best of them. If you want help on the technical side of things, contact us to learn more about Prodoscore.