The Secret to Better Sales Hires as You Scale

August 20, 2014

No one has time or resources to waste on bad hires — especially in sales. How do you sniff out the best candidates? Force Management Managing Partner John Kaplan shares a simple secret for ensuring success.

As a sales manager at a startup or expansion-stage company, one of your most important responsibilities is developing and maintaining a healthy pipeline of incoming sales talent. Getting caught short-staffed at the wrong moment can be detrimental to your company’s momentum and growth. Worse, making a mistake and bringing on a single bad hire in a key position can set your company back by years.
So what can you do to ensure great hires, even as you’re scrambling to scale? John Kaplan, Managing Partner at sales strategy consultant firm Force Management says the key is to put in a little work up front in the form of a simple two-step process:

  1. Build a Success Profile: Identify and document the core competencies and behaviors that have been proven to result in success at your company.
  2. Create an Interview Guide: Develop a list of questions specifically designed to unearth evidence of those competencies and behaviors (or lack thereof).

Kaplan shares more of his insights in the video below.

Improving Your Sales Hiring Process as You Scale

Key Takeaways

  • Once you have developed a success profile of your ideal sales candidate the next step is to create an interview guide that you can use to evaluate each new candidate in a structured, consistent way.
  • Your goal should be to find evidence of the key behaviors and competencies from your success profile within each candidate, then assess them accordingly.
  • It doesn’t stop at new hires. Consistently challenge each member of your sales team to strive to be everything your success profile outlines.

Get a Head Start with These Sample Interview Questions and a Free Sales Hiring Assessment

Download our free sales interview benchmark guide. Inside you’ll find the necessary questions to ask to really dig into a candidate’s experience and assess them on the three key components — Drive, Selling Skills, and Personal Attributes — that ultimately separate the best sales reps from the rest.

Photo by: Joe Lodge

Managing Partner

John Kaplan is the Managing Partner at GrowthPlay and Managing Partner at <a href="">Force Management</a>. Previously, John was the Senior Vice President, International Sales Operations at Parametric Technology Corporation.