How to Build a Winning Sales Team: Start with a Good Hiring Process

The fasted way to building a winning sales team is by hiring the right people. To remain focused and objective use a Hiring Process.
By Rene Zamora

I often hear business owners and managers comment on how difficult it is to find a good sales person. One way to improve your chances in any circumstance is to have a process you follow. This is the process I have found to be successful in my searches.

  1. Create job description: Seems simple but in many small businesses job descriptions are based on who is hired instead of hiring to the job needed to be done. You need details, not simply “outside sales”. Use this link for a sample job description.
  2. Develop a Sales Profile Template: Sales success at other companies or industries is not necessarily a sure fire indicator a person will be successful with yours. A quality full person assessment that is geared toward sales is worth it’s weight in gold. Creating a template that is geared toward your company culture and position takes personality assessments to the next level. We use Profiles International and the Profile Sales Assessment as our hiring tool. If you need help with building an template or ordering assessments we can help.
  3. Create an advertisement for position: Be specific, share compensation range and don’t by shy about your companies desirable qualities. Good people are looking for good places to work not just any job or pay scale. Sure money is important but the environment will attract good people more than you are aware of.
  4. Place the advertisement: You might want to run a couple of weeks. If you get flooded the first week you can cut it back.
  5. Use your employees to search: Make sure all employees get a copy of job description and allow them to search. Paying a spiff is not a bad idea. I suggest half on hire and half after 90 days.
  6. Receive resumes: (don’t interview until you are done receiving resumes). Review resumes to eliminate obvious mismatches
  7. Conduct phone interviews: Always a good call to get a sense of person before going face to face. This is also a time you can answer any question marks you found on their resumes.
  8. Schedule interviews: (hopefully 4-8 candidates)
  9. Prepare interview questions: If you want to make a good impression be prepared. You should have a set a questions you will ask each candidate as well as specific questions for each based on their resume.
  10. Conduct interviews: If you are team oriented involve teammates in interview process. Make sure they understand legalities and coach them on areas you want them to focus on.
  11. Sales Profiles: Ask finalist (2-4) to complete a Sales Profile you will compare to your template created in step 2. Review profiles and prepare questions and strategy for your final interviews: The Sales Profile will also furnish questions for you to ask during your interview process.
  12. Conduct final interviews: Give candidates information on how they will be contacted when interview complete.
  13. Make selection and draft an offer letter: The offer letter explains when they would start, compensation and benefit details.
  14. Call candidate and make verbal offer: If they accept have them come in next day to sign offer letter and get things rolling. Contact all those interviewed and inform them of your decision.