Guest post Monday brings us a post from Profiles International, an organization committed to creating high-performing workforces.  In this post, they offer great insights on hiring mistakes sales leaders should avoid if they want to build a team of extraordinary caliber.  No matter your position in the sales industry, glean from this post tips you can put in place to excel.

Every day, sales leaders face the unique challenge of hiring reps who have personalities, interests and behaviors that align with the needs of specific sales job.

In any job interview situation, you can expect a candidate to do their best to “sell” you on why they should be considered for a position. Usually only a highly trained interviewer can determine if the candidate is truly cut out for the job and has the potential to succeed. Far too few sales hiring managers possess this expertise and there are simply too many sales hiring mistakes.

These mistakes can be costly and disruptive to the rhythm of a high-producing sales team.

As a result, we sought to identify the top sales hiring mistakes and outlined some best practices to help you avoid these pitfalls.

We conducted comprehensive research that asked managers about their top sales hiring mistakes with over 160 participants from multiple industries. Here is what we learned:

7 sales hiring mistakes

1. Inadequately-defined performance requirements leads to incorrect selection criteria.

High turnover rates can lead to rash decisions that in turn can lead to significant financial losses for companies.

2. Incorrect recruitment strategy leads to an inadequate talent pool.

Implementing a recruitment strategy doesn’t have to be a limiting policy or system. Assessment tools can assist here to identify successful sales characteristics.

3. Lack of competence in pre-selection takes time and leads to the selection of unsuitable candidates.

Most poor decisions surrounding the hiring process come from a lack of information.

4. Imprecise job profile leads to hiring “unfit” staff.

60% of respondents indicated that imprecise job profiling was a common occurrence in their organization.  Gathering information about a job candidate is just as important as outlining a detailed job description. You know what job you want done; now outline what kind of person you want to do that job.

5. Wrong questioning techniques lead to insufficient factual knowledge about the candidate.

At first, interview questions seem obvious; however, do not fall victim to asking only simple basic questions. Go more in-depth, give scenario situations and ask leading as well as unusual questions.

6. Failure to check the background results in the recruitment of “problem cases.”

If you are legally obligated, then you probably don’t hire too many “problem cases.” It is also important to note that many business liability programs do not cover negligent hiring.

7. Inadequate consideration of “second opinions” which leads to more problem cases.

Sales hiring presents many challenges and requires managers to predict behavior and job fit. Assessment tools can also be beneficial here to offer a comprehensive “second opinion” that can help managers make informed decisions.

Our research clearly shows that organizations need assistance in hiring successful, motivated sale staff.

Top 10 Best Practices of Hiring Sales Employees

1. Establish a recruitment strategy in collaboration with management, HR, and the sales department.

2. Formulate specific job descriptions before starting the recruitment process.

3. Create performance profiles based upon pre-recruitment job descriptions.

4. Use assessments to obtain information regarding the candidate’s personality traits and motivation.

5. Gather second opinions and background checks for each job candidate.

6. Select employee who best “fits” the job; do not be deceived by those who “sell themselves” in the interview process.

7. Use customized interview questions to maximize the interview process.

8. Identify and isolate important traits that you are looking for in an employee.

9. Create a plan to help coach and train new employees to achieve sales success.

10. Communicate the culture of your company to the candidate before extending the offer for employment.

Profiles International helps organization worldwide create high-performing workforces. Through our comprehensive employment assessments and innovative talent management solutions, our clients gain a competitive advantage by selecting the right people and managing them to their full potential.

Be sure to check out their Employee Assessment Blog. You can also visit their site at www.profilesinternational.com or call them at 254-751-1644.

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