How to Hire the Right Sales Candidate

by Steve Yakesh

Sales, sales, sales. We hear about it all the time, and know it’s such an important part of every company’s process. But how do you know if you’re hiring the right sales candidate? First, let’s break it down. For the most part, the type of sales is broken down into two simple buckets: Transactional and Consultative. Transactional sales have a pretty quick turn around. Consultative sales have a more in-depth relationship-building process. Pretty simple. Also pretty simple is what you can sell: Products or Services.

When you’re looking to add top talent to your sales team, keep the following advice in mind: Some sales professionals can make the transition from transactional sales to consultative sales, and vice versa…however, not all can.  It’s important to interview for transferable skills that will increase your probability for a quicker ramp-up time and impact on driving sales.

When interviewing a candidate that is transitioning from a product to a service, or a transactional sale to a consultative sale, the following are some things to consider and highlight in the interview process.

  1. How do they approach their sales process? Regardless of what they sell, they should be able to articulate a sales process.
  2. How do they qualify a prospect? A good sales professional knows who their ideal customer is, and when to make the sale, and when to walk away.
  3. What is their differentiator against their competitors? Successful sales reps know how to drive value and solve customer problems.
  4. Can they conduct a successful sales presentation? Don’t hesitate to have a candidate present to you, as all successful sales reps have the ability to communicate in various settings, including in a professional presentation.

If a candidate does well in these key areas, and you feel you have the ability to train and develop them at a high level, don’t be afraid to expand your hiring profile!

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