To produce and grow at the rate which you need to be successful, you must have a dynamic sales team. The team must be formed through careful planning, hard work, and collaborative efforts. From a 10,000-foot view, this may seem easily accomplished, but let’s go more in-depth and tackle some of the inherent challenges with hiring and onboarding the right team.
1. Take a strategic approach and judge candidates analytically.
Like all well-laid plans in the business world, most efforts begin with strategic preparation. Before you can select who to hire, you must first determine how to hire. Start by determining what your current team is capable of accomplishing. Next, identify what type of person would be necessary to take your efforts to the next level. This does not just require you to find talented individuals, but it’s also important that you consider the candidate’s work ethic and their ability to interact with other team members. If you’re onboarding an entire team at once, you must be even more strategic in order to gather the right individuals, without having an existing team to use as a basis to determine if someone is the right fit.
One way to ensure that individuals mesh well, before seeing them in the same working environment, is to put them through a personality assessment. At Sandler, we recommend the DISC Behavioral Model. This assessment helps to identify how people like to work and communicate, so you can better lead and manage your team.
To learn more about this method and how to put it to work for you, listen to a recent podcast we recorded on the subject.
2. Think outside the box and recruit using the best methods.
The next stage of acquiring the ideal talent to build an effective sales team comes through hard work. Talented prospects can come from many different sources; universities, competitors, relevant industries, and even from within. When determining which pools to draw from, think back to what you want these team members to accomplish and source them accordingly. If you know you need an experienced individual with a proven track record of success who’s willing to take control, collegiate job fairs are probably not your best bet. You’re more likely to be successful if you approach industry veterans or even competitors’ employees, who are looking for a new challenge outside of their current role.
The road to finding excellent candidates can be long and time consuming, but if you view the selection process as a mutually beneficial fit-test, it’s easier to put in the work necessary to attract and attain team members who will not only help accomplish your business goals, but also feel right at home in their respective roles. In the past few years, social recruiting has been one of the most promising techniques. When you’re in close competition with others to find the ideal employees, anything you can do to get a leg up is well worth it.
3. Collaborate with others.
Just because you’re ultimately going to be held responsible for bringing together an effective team, it doesn’t mean you have to go through the process on your own. By doing so, you will actually be hindering your chances of forming the ideal team. Having another set of eyes on prospective hires’ resumes and another set of values considering each applicant, will widen your ability to identify talented individuals. We’re all constrained by our own personal biases, so by allowing another individual (or ideally multiple individuals) to take part in the selection process, you’re negating some of these unintended prejudices, and won’t overlook talented candidates. Collaboration allows multiple viewpoints which is necessary when bringing on the right team. You may even find it beneficial to have a team approach to the interview process, so everyone can see if a potential candidate is a good fit.
Hiring an effective sales team can be a daunting task, but as it plays such a large role in your future success, it’s worth the time and investment. By taking a strategic approach, utilizing different recruiting methods, and allowing others to assist in your pursuit of the perfect candidates, you will begin to alleviate some of the associated pain and bring on the best sales team.