Depending on your business, a sales professional can cost your organization between $75,000 and $1,000,000 to hire, onboard and get them up to speed. What’s the shortcut for hiring great people for your sales team? I discovered hiring people based on similar shared values can provide your sales team an edge in the market.
I’ve discovered there are several key values that successful sales professionals possess. If you want to succeed in hiring more great sales people, make sure they share these values.
These questions help you focus on the values of the person your interview. As sales becomes more of a team sport, similar values are a critical foundation to your sales team’s success.
When I’m hiring sales professionals, I make sure they’re interviewed at least three separate times by the sales team. This way I understand their values and the way they see the world. It also allows me to see a preview of team chemistry before I hire someone.
There are several questions I ask during my interviewing process to help me better understand the values of the person I’m talking with. They give me a better understanding of the person I’m interviewing.
The first question is what type of sacrifices have you made to be successful? This is a great question, so wait for an answer. There is no right or wrong answer but listen to what they say. Selling today is a tough job. It requires emotional resilience and sacrifice if you hope to excel.
What have they given up in the past to be successful? Are they still capable of this today? Do they still believe sacrifice is critical to success in their life and career? Would they make this sacrifice again? You might be surprised how they answer.
Sharing values is also great way to build trust and engagement with your candidate.
The second question revolves around goals. I like to ask, what is the toughest goal you’ve ever set for yourself? Their answer tells you about what they value in life.
Don’t judge. Stop, listen, and then begin asking additional questions.
My favorite follow-up question is why did you set such a tough goal? This gives you a clear indication of who you are dealing with. I find that great sales professionals set tough goals. You want people who set tough goals but also need to know why they set them. Look for a complete response.
Be sure to ask if they achieved the results they wanted. Don’t let them give you a preplanned answer. It may take time to understand their goal setting process.
Remember, reaching the goal is only so important. What you become to achieve it is critical to future success. Keep in mind that people frequently grow more through setbacks than success.
The third question is about how they respond to a competitive environment. Ask them to tell you the details about a tough deal they worked on. Listen closely for the specifics and how they responded. How would you expect them to deal with a similar situation? During this question look for a competitive drive in this person and how far they’d go to win a deal.
Do you feel they went too far or not far enough? Ask them why they did this. What drives them toward success? Look for clues on what success looks like for them. How do they see your market and their role in it?
The final question I ask is simple. What are you driven to prove? This question gives you incredible insight into what you should expect from them if they are on your team. Most great leaders and sales professionals are driven to succeed by many different reasons. Reasons are what drive people to succeed in life.
Don’t judge the reasons; just make sure that you understand them. Many sales hiring failures come from the breakdown between the employee’s reasons and the organization’s results.
If you ask these questions and help the person you are interviewing to answer them, you’re 90% home in finding the right sales professional. Try these questions out and you’ll be amazed at how much better you become at hiring great sales professionals!
See you next week.