Sales recruiting can be a very tricky adventure, especially if you are a new sales manager or are just not accustomed to recruiting your own sales representatives. There are some very easy ways to distinguish excellent sales people from those who are not so good:
An excellent sales professional will have a strong sales track record. Not only will their resume have specific examples of sales success, but when they are asked for examples in the interview, they will be able to give details about their accomplishments. They will also be able to support their sales success with facts and data.
An excellent sales professional will have energy and passion about their craft. They will absolutely love what they do, and will not be able to imagine doing anything else with their lives. Their energy will be contagious, and they will not be able to talk about anything else but being successful in sales. Their motivation? 90% of the time-money.
An excellent sales professional will have a “brag book” of awards/achievements that will detail their successes in writing. They will also have a list of references from which they will either have letters of recommendation, or will give you the opportunity to call to verify their credibility as a sales professional.
An excellent sales professional will be focused and dedicated to their job. They will be well trained, and will be up-to-date on the most recent books, training seminars, or other keys to ensuring they are the best at selling. If you are hiring an individual within your industry, the individual will also know the key players in the industry thoroughly, as well as the products/services/trends in the industry. If they are coming from a different industry, the excellent sales professional will have completed enough research prior to the interview to understand the basics about what they would be selling and the products/companies they would be selling against.
Active resume vs. Passive resume.
When reviewing sales resumes, you will want to look for “action” words that demonstrate their activities. For example, a resume that has a line indicating that the individual “successfully achieved revenue objectives 4 years in a row” would be indicative of someone who is an excellent sales representative. Conversely, if a line on their resume says something like: “developed programs to help the sales team forecast more effectively”, they might be more of a project manager or sales analyst.
Excellent sales representatives will also have an extensive outside network. Most will be active in their communities, churches, or sports, and will indicate as such on their resumes.
Keeping these things in mind when looking for your next sales representative will help ensure you hire a strong sales professional who is excellent in their craft vs. one who still hasn’t figured out what they want to do when they grow up.