Sales Team Training & Development

When hiring a salesperson in 2023, consider these 3 areas

Jonathan Hubbard
Jonathan Hubbard
March 1, 2024

Looking to develop a better sales talent hiring process in 2023? Give yourself a head start when hiring your next salesperson this year with these 3 pieces of sales hiring advice.

Based on the advice shared by Alex McNaughten for Sales Hitch Ep 3: Attract, develop & retain top sales talent.

Quick advice for building a better sales team in 2023

When hiring a salesperson in 2023, consider these 3 areas

#1 Dial-down the role’s exact requirements

Why are you hiring a salesperson, and what do you exactly need them to do? And what kind of person do you need? Too many sales leaders overlook these simple questions when they start their hiring processes and go straight to interviews - with the wrong candidates. Filter out unsuitable candidates by painstakingly defining the job specs. Drill down into specific detail: the weekly and even daily tasks the salesperson will need to do. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want them to sell? 
  • What activities do I want that person to actually do day in, day out?
  • What specific areas do I need them to focus on for the success of our company?
  • E.g Do I want them to focus on top of funnel lead generation? Do I want them to focus on closing deals that are already in my funnel? Do I want them to look after an existing account? Is it a combination?

#2 Run a systematic sales hiring process

Review your hiring process, ensuring it’s been designed to filter out the wrong candidates. Great sales hiring processes contain 2 interviews, an exercise, and a reference check - it’s that simple. Depending on a role’s complexity, your hiring process may have up to 8 steps. However, provided you’ve got the basics, and every single candidate is run through the same procedure, you’ll be well set. 

“As a rule of thumb, have a screening, an initial interview, a second interview with other members in the team, and then a role play presentation.”  - Alex McNaughten, SH ep.3 

#3 Avoid ‘getting sold’ by using assessment tools

Bring in assessment tools, scenarios, and measurements to help you make the final call. Everyday we use our opinions to make decisions, however, for sales hiring, the final choice is best made with quantitative evidence. Otherwise, you might be persuaded by the wrong candidate.

“If you don’t know what you're looking for, you can get sold.” - Alex McNaughten, SH ep.3 

Take advantage of psychometrics or other assessment tools and scenarios to uncover a candidate’s process. What could a simple assessment scenario look like? Require each candidate to sell a product back to you. Hearing their pitch isn’t solely about seeing how good they are - it’s a great opportunity to objectively evaluate their process. Are they leading with features and pitch-slapping you? Or are they asking powerful questions?

In short:

When hiring a salesperson, keep things simple. Better hiring is about being specific about what you need, systematic in selecting the right person, and reviewing candidates objectively. 

Found Alex’s advice useful? Then you might like to check out our full webinar collection containing sales expert advice on topics from sales KPIs to combatting sales disengagement. Click here to get their straight-forward advice.

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