Finding the Right Sales DNA
Written by Harlan Goerger
How to find the right talent for sales and for the right reasons.
Hiring the Right Sales Talent Up Front Grows Business
You want to take your company from $300,000 is sales to 20 million! You also want to do this in a very short few years in a highly competitive market with existing competitors that are so large you feel like the point of a pin compared to the vastness of the Galaxy!
Yes we all have day dreams like that. Well so did a young lady and her husband, but they actually did it!
If you hire salespeople or anyone for that fact, one of the keys to this story is having the right talent, the right sales talent!
Danita Bye is no ordinary petite lady. From the first time I met her in the 80′s with Xerox, she stood out as unique and exceptional. This story simply reinforces this.
To take on such an outcome takes different thinking and action than most. The company was very sales driven and oriented even though it was in the Medical Tech Industry.
Having been in sales, Danita knew not all salespeople are created equal. There were special DNA requirements for the salespeople she needed. Yes, she found them and the rest is in the record books.
Here are a summary of the steps from Business Expert Guide to Business Success and the chapter by Danita.
FIRST: Understand the type of personality, skills and aptitudes your salesperson really needs. Not just what you hope they have, but what do they really need to be able to do!
a. Consider the clients they are to interact with. What are the expectations, capabilities, abilities the salesperson needs to effectively interact with these clients.
b. Define what the salesperson really needs to be doing on a daily basis, is it all cold calls, networking, complicated proposals, working with CEO’s, scientists, doctors?
c. Define specific skill sets needed to carry out a-b. Create a specific list of what those skills are and refine it to the most important ones.
d. Create a clear and defined job description of this position including everything in a-c. Be sure to include plenty of accountability for the salesperson as well.
SECOND: Write and place the ad that will actually work. This should attract everyone, yet screen out 90%.
a. Use a headline that draws everyone in and gets the attention. Yes many will not fit, but getting the attention of the right one is your objective.
b. Put in the “must haves”, “Should haves and requirements of the candidate.
c. Forget your company, only the bare minimum, this is about what the candidate needs to bring and experience in the position.
THIRD: Screen the candidates and make it black and white.This is not a popularity or charm contest. We are looking for high performance sales DNA! Danita suggest using online sources as well as the printed media to attract the candidates.
a: Use an appraisal tool right up front to sort out who has the right DNA. The assessment should give a hire, not hire response. Follow it! (Both Danita and I can help you with this)
b: Screen those that are left by phone first. Be prepared with a score card (more details in the book).Also there is a quick disqualification here that works.
c: Your top candidates come in for the interview. Be prepared, be in control.
D: Final interview with your top two candidates. This can be crucial and must prove they fit into your management style and culture.
FOURTH: Hire and fast track the candidate in a 90 day program with strong measurements, lots of coaching and accountability. If the targets are met and the fit is working, Fantastic, you have a keeper. If in 90 days you have concerns, cut the cord NOW!
With this approach Danita’s company took on the largest of competitors and grew! It was a great to sign the company sold papers, but it was due to great diligence in hiring the right sales team.
This is a quick overview of the process Danita used and still uses with her clients. The full story is in Chapter 7 of Business Expert Guide to Business Success. Yes there are 22 other outstanding chapters with great insights for business leaders on as many topics.
If your a salesperson or manager looking for a door opener, this book is a fantastic tool. I have yet to find a business owner who looked at the contents and did not find at least one topic they had concerns in. Now your providing value up front!
More on hiring practices? Give AskHG.com a call, we might even be able to have Danita help.