When it comes time to hiring new salespeople, how do you determine which candidates are right for your organization? There are many factors that can contribute to a successful or unsuccessful hire, and many of those can be spotted during the search process. You simply need to know what to look for and how to look for them. The following are three main questions to consider as you come face-to-face with potential team members for your sales organization.

1) What do we want?

This is the most important question to consider before embarking on the search process. Take time to examine current and former salespeople on your team. Which ones were strong at sales? Why were they strong? Which ones were weak and, therefore, we should avoid? Create a checklist of specific traits you want in a perfect hire to help you narrow down the list of applicants. Although you may not find the perfect candidate that has everything, it will make the process easier since vague descriptions will only cause confusion and uncertainty when it comes time to decide on who to hire.

2) Can these people sell themselves?

During the interview, a great way to access a candidate’s ability to persuade is to see how they sell themselves. A skilled salesperson can read your verbal and nonverbal cues and adjust their sales pitch accordingly. Do your candidates have this ability? Try to throw in a few tough questions about their previous experiences. How do they react? Are they confident in answering your question? Did you walk away convinced that they are right for your organization?

3) Can they fit into our culture?

Great salespersons cannot perform well if placed in an organization in which they have trouble fitting. When there are conflicting personalities, it can create tension and take away energy needed to do the job. Even if they successfully accomplish many sales goals and bring profits to your organization, they are likely to leave soon if they do not feel supported or motivated by colleagues and supervisors. Before hiring someone, allow them to meet the team and see how they interact. Ask others in the organization for feedback on the candidate also. This will help you to hire the person(s) that can best contribute to the culture of your company.

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