Qualities to Look for When Sales Staffing

Staffing is never an easy feat, the recruiting process can be long and arduous. However no position is harder to fill than a sales position. Sure, sales people are a dime a dozen – but great sales people are like fine gems. You must dig, dust off, discover, uncover and polish them. After over six years in the outsourced sales business, we have learned a few things about sales staffing. While great sales representatives aren’t easy to find, most of them share a few common traits.

When sales staffing make sure you look for the following:

1) Track record of success: Look for individuals with an outstanding track record of success. This doesn’t necessarily mean sales success, but success none the less. Outstanding achievements, winning contests, being elected to something – all of these traits are the mark of a successful person.

2) Confidence: If your candidate can not look you in the eye or give you a firm handshake, show them the door. How do you expect them to sell to your clients if they have no confidence? The best sales representatives are confident. And remember, there is a very fine line between confident and cocky. Cocky is never attractive and it won’t be for your clients either.

3) Intelligent and Creative: Sales is not a straight forward profession. When staffing for a sales role make sure you ask probing questions that can tell you a little about these traits. Questions like; “Tell me about a time when you had to think fast on your feet”, “tell me about a time when you thought outside the box to get a job done” will help to identify these traits. You MUST find people who can think fast on their feet while under pressure. They must be able to find a solution where there might appear to be none…the best sales representatives are creative and will take the ball in their own hands.

4) Excellent Communicator: When sales staffing, the first thing you must look for are excellent verbal and NON-VERBAL communication. Does the candidate listen intently? Do they ask good questions? Are they articulate and clear in their responses? All of these are the mark of a great sales person. Someone who hems and haws and can’t articulate a thought properly should not be in sales. In addition to verbal communication, they should excel at written communication as well – to identify this ask all our candidates for a writing sample.

5) Loves a challenge: Almost all of our sales representatives played competitive sports at least once in their adult life. Athletes love a challenge, they thrive on competition – and so do great sales people. When sales staffing, give the interviewees a small challenge; like a writing sample, and see what they do with it.

Sales staffing is not an exact science and it can be very difficult, but being able to identify the right sales talent when you see it will make the process that much easier!

Happy selling!