When it comes to recruiting senior sales people it’s all too easy to employ a werewolf. Someone who, on paper and at interview, seems to be the perfect person, but who turns out to be a bit of a nightmare once you’ve employed them!
They don’t meet sales targets and can’t manage or motivate sales teams. But because they talk a good talk – and you want them to work out – it takes you a while to admit that they’re not as good as you hoped. By then they’ve set back your business plans back months if not years!
To help companies avoid these people, Phil Hagen, who heads up our sales service, shares some the top tips:
- Take a close look at someone’s personal track record. Have they demonstrated that they personally can sell? This could be in the past but it’s important.
- Explore their team metrics – does their current team have a high churn rate and how do they develop people? This indicates their ability to motivate and have a high performing team.
- How long do they stay in a job? Rapid career changes indicate someone who can’t deliver once in a role.
- Take a cold hard look at the core function of their CV. Does it focus on them being a sales professional? You want to avoid people who claim to have saved companies by being an expert across all function areas.
- Consider industry background. Firstly decide is it important to have someone from the same sector? Also when looking at a candidate’s sales track record, consider the markets they’ve operated in – it’s easy to be a sales star in an industry that’s booming.
There’s obviously a lot more advice I could share. Indeed, I recently wrote more extensively about the challenge of finding great senior sales and business development executives for The HR Director and Recruitment International.
So if you are reviewing your current sales team, because you have ambitious final quarter sales targets to reach, and you need to make some changes, do get in touch. We have a wealth of experience and expertise which will ensure you avoid that expensive recruitment nightmare – the sales werewolf.