Three Mistakes Managers Make When Hiring Sales People

Sales recruiters

They say that one of the toughest industries to work in is sales — Alec Baldwin’s character’s famous speech in “Glengarry Glen Ross” is representative of how harsh the world of sales can be. Sales team turnover is extraordinarily high at 40% per year, which isn’t good for sales, keeping a trained staff, and it’s not good for client relations. Hiring sales people is hard to do, since sales jobs require a certain set of skills and personality traits. What’s just as important as knowing what to do when you’re hiring sales people is knowing what not to do.

1. Hiring based on sales experience.
One mistake that many hiring managers make is hiring based on sales experience. This sounds counter-intuitive, right? A career in sales seems like it would indicate that the candidate is a good sales person, but that’s not actually the case. There’s a reason that candidate is looking for a job and it might be because they failed in their last position. Additionally, if you already have a competent sales team that can train the new person, experience isn’t as important.

2. Not checking for tech ability.
Another mistake that hiring managers often make is underestimating the value of a background or proficiency in technology. Many businesses use online management systems, and if you’re using one your new sales person needs to learn it — quickly. Additionally, clients these days are accustomed to high quality and technical presentations which your candidate needs to be able to do.

3. Not taking a person’s whole character into account.
To be successful in a sales career, people need to have a certain set of personality traits. Sales people need to be optimistic and easygoing, they need to be persistent and patient. One mistake that hiring managers make is not taking all of this into account. Of course it’s hard to gauge a person’s personality in a short interview but it’s important to keep these things in mind.

Have you made any of these mistakes when hiring sales people? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section below.