May 28th 2010

Thoughts on hiring a sales person, what companies forget about

A woman wearing a bikini inspects a salesman's...
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Thoughts on hiring a sales person, what companies forget about.

Reg Nordman

We have had numerous discussions about how companies seem to hire the wrong sales people.  This comes up so often that I feel the need to comment, since it is done so regularly.

Usually the situation comes up because a company exec believes they need to add new sales DNA into their company. They may have been doing all or most of the selling up to now, and feel that they need to go onto other things. These are all good things. But the symptom that it is about to go wrong is the implied or expressed belief that once they add a sales person, the problem is resolved. In our experience the problem is about to be exacerbated.

Rocket Builder has heard many common myths about sales people, here are just five

  1. All salespeople are the same.
  2. All selling is the same.
  3. Any salesperson can fit in any company.
  4. Being sales driven means I can do things the same as always.
  5. Getting out there and selling is the only sales training needed.

Beliefs like this usually lead to this profit killing sequence:

  1. Placing a general ad for sales people – “lets just put it out there”
  2. Changing the candidate requirements mid stream – “no one met what I wanted”
  3. Accepting candidates at random – “they worked for a really big company and did well”
  4. Making the wrong hire – “Seems the best of those I talked to, I have a feeling about…”
  5. Wasting six months of effort, wages and profits before firing the new hire – $$$$
  6. Return to step one.

To help you make your “better” choice for adding sales people to your mix you need a process.  You certainly have a product development and bug fixing process.  Why not a sales hiring process for something this key?A  logical process like the one Geoffrey Hansen, Rocket Builder has. He says:

  1. Select your market
  2. Select your requirements for that market
  3. Deliberately target candidates who meet the requirements.

Sounds like it would be a good coding practise. Of course,  in using this process effectively there is much well thought out detail involved, which is where Rocket Builders helps companies. It is in the execution and details that you find the secret sauce.  If you do this right, then you, Mr/Ms. C- Level,  can:

  • add new sales DNA to your company,
  • go on to doing those 101 other things you want to do, and
  • know that your money machine is working away.

In this business,  prevention is so much cheaper than rework. It just might save your company.  Comments?

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