Top Qualities When Hiring For Sales
When it comes to successfully hiring for your sales team, making the right hires will set the company up to realize huge revenue growth and profitability....while even just ONE wrong hire could have a significant negative impact on the company and the bottom line. We asked 5 top leaders (who have over 40 combined years of experience hiring for sales reps) about what's most important to them when evaluating and hiring candidates. Here are their answers:
Ryan Barretto, SVP of Global Sales at Sprout Social: I look for candidates with "Intellectual Curiosity" and a Growth Mindset. Overall, I want to have people on my team who are always learning, and eager TO learn. From experience, that's most important when determining success.
Gretchen Keefner, Director of Global Accounts at Bullhorn: The top two qualities I have seen in all highly successful sales reps are hunger and the ability to easily engage other people. To test for these qualities in the interview process you have got to ask the right, strategic questions and put candidates in real-life scenarios to see how they react. The old question/answer format is not going to give you what you really need to know to hire the best sales reps in today's world.
Chuck Smith, President at NewHire: I think the two most important qualities in a sales rep address the most important behaviors and motivations. First, the behavior most required for success is "pleasant persistence." Without persistence, sales reps fail. In today's world, if a sales rep is pushy and unpleasant, they fail. Second requirement is the "desire and commitment to succeed." (I know, that's two, so I'm cheating a bit). Without the desire and commitment to succeed, the sales rep can't be pleasantly persistent. A couple of sales-specific assessments get at desire and commitment and should be all-but required when recruiting sales reps.
Gregg Salkovich, Senior Managing Partner at Right Choice Resources: Work ethic and follow-up. I've seen very talented salespeople fail because they don't have the grit or work ethic to surpass their sales goals. The way the interviewee follows up with you after his/her interview is a good indication of how they'll follow-up on a sales call so pay careful attention to it.
Geoff Winthrop, EVP at Acquirent: Grit and High Battery. These are the traits I always look for in my new hires, and typically these are the key indicators that tell me if someone is going to be successful in the role long-term.