Ever had someone on your team that loved closing the small deals but seemed lost on the larger deals or someone who wouldn’t follow your scripts and liked to freestyle all of their sales? While it seems obvious that these people were miscast on your team, what to do about that is often a topic of debate amongst sales leaders. For some leaders, the right approach is to get decent reps on board and then try and sculpt them into the rep they want while others like to hire and fire quickly.
To get access to the broadest number of people who are likely to succeed, we suggest that organizations look at their selling environment and hire people who have proven in the past that they can sell in a similar environment. The selling environment is made up of several characteristics (in our projects we look at over 30 characteristics) which can be grouped into the following categories:
Company – what does the company offer, what is the nature of the market and competition, and what is the company culture?
Sales Function – what is the typical deal size and sales cycle, service/product mix, and level of infrastructure and support?
Sales Role – what is the title and mandate of the role, sales goals, territory, and quota size?
Drawing on people who have succeeded in a similar selling environment will allow you to expand the talent pool when hiring without making it feel like you are shooting in the dark.
Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.
He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.