The question I am asked most often is ‘how do I find great media salespeople?’ The answer is pretty simple, start with a great hiring process. There are 8 steps and I would be happy to guide you along the way.
1. Recruit. Get out there and find salespeople that are employed. Attend networking functions. Put the word out with your friends. Most salespeople that have resumes online are out there because they were let go for underperformance. Of course, this is not always the case. But, I bet 50% of the time, you are meeting a bad sales rep.
2. Adopt a 360 interview process in your company. You are not the only one that should interview a potential salesperson. I spend 4-5 hours per week interviewing job candidates for others. You will be amazed at what an experienced outsider can pull out of a candidate. Also, anyone that will ever work with the candidate, should interview them as well. Not sure what to ask, here of some of my favorite interview questions to ask a potential salesperson. “What do you love most about sales?” “What is your selling style?” “Walk me through your sales process.” “Tell me about your plans for retaining clients.” “If I was to say that you needed to become a CRM ninja in this role, how would this make you feel?” “As a manager, what do I need to do to keep you motivated?” “Tell me about your favorite sales win in your sales career.” “How does cold calling fit into your sales process?” “What are some things you feel must happen on a sales call?” “What are some of your pet peeves as it relates to sales organizations?” “What will you need from us to be a huge success on this sales team?”
3. Set expectations upfront. From the moment you meet a candidate share your Account Executive Pledge of Expectations. Create it. Live by it. Give it to them to read. Let them know upfront that CRM use is required or else. Tell them upfront about your management style and pet peeves. Show them your policy for underperformance and the consequences.
4. Use a professional assessment tool made for salespeople to test what you can not see. I am a trained coach and practitioner of The Harrison Assessment. I have a one of a kind assessment through Harrison for potential media salespeople and potential media Sales Managers. I find it to be 84% accurate to identify persistence, arrogance, intolerance, business aptitude, attitudes and other highly relevant traits. Do not go cheap on this step. Email me for more on this service.
5. Always be interviewing. Never stop looking. If you wait until you need a salesperson you are forced to hire who is out there. That is a bad move.
6. Do not be shy about allowing your sales team to know you are looking. They might know some great salespeople too. Also, this helps them to know that you have a bench of potential players. This stops some of the bad attitudes you get when a salesperson thinks you cannot live without them.
7. Create a bonus program if a member of your team sends a good candidate your way. Say $500 if you hire the person and another $500 if they hit their sales goal in less than 90 days.
8. Place your job ad where people are looking. I can place your ad in my eNewsletter sent to over 12,000 ad salespeople. Email me for details. If you are looking for a mass-market approach, I like ZipRecruiter.
I am here to help with any of the above. Reach out to me.
Your sales coach, Ryan Dohrn – Ryan@RyanDohrn.com