I would try to summarize the key aspects in obtaining the best sales staff in a few easy pointers:
- The CV
- in my opinion it provides the least helpful information. I had previous experience in HR and although the CV is a reflection of the employee profile, some very good people can be missed that way and vice versa. Some people possess great sales skills without even knowing it, so a personal interview is a must. And who is to say that a great looking CV wasn't written by a more experienced friend/relative?
- The Personal Interview
- its where you put the raw CV facts into a test. I, myself, try to avoid standartized questions and a one-way communication. Try to engage the person in a friendly conversation, see what is their view of the business, check their ability to offer solutions when they face a simple problem, this will help you greatly in understanding their mindset. We are all clients in our daily lives so putting the person in this position and checking their reactions to certain scenarios is priceless
- The Initial Training
- the key milestone in my opinion. I`ve seen companies that might hire an employee without any previous experience and turn them into a Sales God
This is what separates the companies with a vision for the future from all the rest. Showing your new employees the willingness to invest in them and their improvement builds company loyalty and eagerness to help your project move forward. The initial training is where it all happens - provide enough time and manpower to give your new staff everything that they would need to start and see how they perform on a daily basis. At the end of this traning period keep only the brightest so you can avoid people that work just for their monthly salary and just come and leave like robots.
- The Side Projects
- this can also be implemented in the initial training. Engage the sales staff in personal projects, giving them basic outlines and see how they deal with it. The creative and ambitious ones will surely shine in such environment
- The Trust in Seniors
- having a healthy work climate and strong employee loyalty also helps in future hiring. As most of us would be looking for local staff, setup a nice internal Referral Program. Whenever you need a new hire, post your requirements internally first and ask your employees to recommend suitable people. We cannot be sure how many people will see a job ad, but having some info about the person before you meet them can also prepare us for a more personal approach. Decorate this with a nice prize for the people who refer, for example, if the new employee is still in the firm after 6 months, give a bonus to the one that referred them
I hope you find these pointers helpful