Today’s post is by Coreen Menezes, an avid writer who likes to explore new fields and research interesting subjects. She is a versatile content developer who plays with words to express her thoughts. “Calm,” “carefree,” and “creative” are the words that describe her the best. Currently, she is associated with Salesmate CRM as an experienced content crafter. Follow her on LinkedIn.
Sales professionals are critical for growing the revenue of a company, but hiring the wrong personnel can lead to financial losses. A recent CareerBuilder survey stated that companies lost an average of $14,900 on every bad hire in the previous year, and it’s a common mistake – nearly three in four employers (74 percent) say they’ve hired the wrong person for a position.
As a sales honcho, you need to be extra careful while on-boarding new sales personnel – as one rotten apple can spoil the whole barrel.
Beware! Wrong Hiring Decisions Can Jeopardize Your Sales
Knowing what’s going wrong is important to correct and move forward successfully. Here are 15 sales hiring mistakes that need your immediate attention.
Mistake #1: Ignoring the reference check
Every show has a backstage, and that’s also true of the show a candidate puts on during an interview. Never ignore references. Check them – most of the time, the interview persona differs from the work persona.
Fix: Track the employment history while screening sales candidates. Call and check about the candidate’s work history and performance with the references mentioned in the interview form.
Mistake #2: Following your gut feeling
Letting your gut decide which candidate to hire becomes an expensive mistake for your organization.
Fix: Never hire based on your gut feeling. Look at the experience and expertise of the candidate. Define a set of hiring criteria and evaluate the applicant accordingly.
Mistake #3: Hiring too quickly
Hasty sales hiring decisions are dangerous; they reduce productivity and affect sales. Desperate hiring leads only to termination or resignation.
Fix: Take time, but hire the best: someone who can efficiently achieve sales goals. You must check if the candidate has the sales competency you are looking for.
Mistake #4: Hiring a candidate because of an attractive CV
A well-written CV captures the attention; however, it may not be completely trustworthy. Most candidates hire professional help when creating their CV.
Fix: Ask the applicants to elaborate on what they have written in the CV. This helps you check their confidence and test their selling skills.
Mistake #5: Selecting a good speaker but a poor listener
A sales professional’s good speaking skills are always enthralling; however, that doesn’t mean they are good listeners.
Fix: Sales requires professionals who can listen first before speaking. While interacting with the candidates, check how attentive they are toward job-related information. Then ask them to explain why this position is suitable for them.
Mistake #6: Laying more emphasis on experience
Never focus on experience and ignore the candidate’s potential.
Fix: While hiring, don’t just look at the experience. Also look for traits such as confidence, patience, persistence, diligence, assertiveness, decisiveness, and willingness to learn and grow.
Mistake #7: Speaking too much
If the applicant uses the interview to get acquainted with your company, you end up doing all the talking – spending little time getting to know the candidate.
Fix: The candidate should research the company before coming for the interview. You just need to ask questions about your company and industry to check the candidate’s sincerity.
Mistake #8: Not getting a second opinion
You might miss out on few important points when you are the sole interviewer.
Fix: For taking the right sales hiring decision, involve higher authority or your teammates while evaluating the candidate. “During the interview process at Bay Dynamics, I make sure the candidate meets with a variety of my team members so they can offer their perspectives on whether or not the candidate is a good fit,” says Feris Rifai, CEO and co-founder of Bay Dynamics.
Mistake #9: Being unclear about the role
Finding the right talent is tricky if you are unaware of what you are looking for.
Fix: Set a benchmark for better assessment. Create a well-defined job description by explicitly stating the roles, responsibilities, and expectations from the sales professional.
Mistake #10: Hiring someone like you
Never get impressed by candidates because they have the same features as you.
Fix: Be more realistic to hire a proficient sales professional with unique ideas. “Asking if you would hire yourself is a great way of snapping out of it and questioning if you have set the bar unrealistically high. It’s a technique I’ve used myself as a hiring manager,” writes John Collins, director of content, Intercom, in his blog “Would you hire yourself?”
Mistake #11: Depending on first impression
The first impression can be misleading, as candidates have mastered the art of selling themselves in 30-minute interviews.
Fix: Don’t rush into a decision. Use social networking sites and background checks to collect more information about the potential candidate.
Mistake #12: Not hiring passionate candidates
While interviewing, you sometimes miss out on checking how passionate the candidate is.
Fix: Check if the candidate frequently switches jobs. Try to find out what kind of working environment the candidate is looking for and if he is passionate toward the role.
Mistake #13: Hiring a product sales rep to sell services
Selling denim is completely different from selling services, so don’t mix the two.
Fix: Search for candidates with relevant experience and expertise in selling services. Hiring a rep with experience in selling product is a bad choice for a service-based industry.
Mistake #14: Conducting a poor interview
Asking basic questions results in making a bad hire. According to the CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of employers said they have hired the wrong person for a position.
Fix: Conduct mock sales calls to test the candidates’ convincing skills. Prepare a list of vital client-related questions for unveiling the true potential of the client.
Mistake #15: Avoiding repeat hiring errors
Repeatedly committing the same hiring mistakes instead of owning and fixing them results in mediocre teams (or worse).
Fix: Dig into your hiring process. Read various research studies and articles on sales hiring to understand what to do and what to avoid.
Find Your Sales Hiring Mistakes Sooner, Not Later
There is always space for improvement; it just requires a little effort and dedication. Sometimes we are not ready to own our mistakes, which leads to disastrous outcomes. So discover your hiring mistakes and try to avoid them in the future. This will help you build a strong sales team of excellent sales professionals.