How To Hire Salespeople: A Definitive Guide

Here at Ideal, we write a lot about best practices in sales hiring. I’ve compiled the best tips together in this handy dandy sales hiring primer.

First, analyze what the job really requires.

Before you hire anyone, sales expert Keith Rosen recommends asking yourself:

  • What would be the goals and objectives of a salesperson as they relate to your company’s goals?sales hiring
  • What would the salesperson’s daily responsibilities be?
  • How are you going to measure sales success?

Develop concrete metrics for these questions to create an accurate job description of what’s really needed for sales success at your company.

Stop trusting your gut. It’s wrong.

When you rely on intuition, you end up hiring the person whom you like the best instead of the person who’ll perform the best. Learn how to avoid making the biggest hiring mistakes by using a data-based approach instead. While you’re at it, stop being deceived by resumes and job interviews.

Instead, examine what the data reveals about sales success.

Research on thousands of salespeople found the traits correlated with sales success include:

Measure the traits of your successful salespeople.

You’ve conducted the research on what makes a successful salesperson. Now validate your theory by measuring which traits determine selling success at your company. The easiest and most accurate way to assess your salespeople is through a psychometric assessment.

Learn how to hire for fit.

Salespeople who are a good fit at their company perform better and are less likely to quit. Learn how to assess both job fit and culture fit to gain that crucial competitive advantage.

Finally, put it all together into a scalable hiring process.

HubSpot’s Chief Revenue Officer Mark Roberge created a personalized predictive index for sales hiring by measuring the traits he believed would lead to sales success and then validating his theories by analysing interview and sales data. Uber is using job-specific testing to grow from 550 to 2,000 employees within months.

The best way to build a scalable hiring process? Create a candidate pipeline that matches candidates to your job based on the science of psychometric assessment.

Bonus tip: Our CEO Somen Mondal explains the importance of hiring salespeople in pairs.

Anything I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @ji_amin.

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Ji-A Min

Ji-A Min

Head Data Scientist at Ideal
Ji-A Min is the Head Data Scientist at Ideal. With a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Ji-A promotes best practices in data-based recruitment. She writes about research and trends in talent acquisition, recruitment tech, and people analytics.
Ji-A Min