Interviewing Salespeople-Art or Science or Gut?

Let’s call interviewing a little bit of all three. Back in my formative years of sales management (the 80’s) interviewing was more gut than anything else. OK, not exactly all gut. If someone told me that I had to interview Billy Job Bob because he was the second coming of Zig Ziglar  and primed for the New Orleans territory then I’d hop a plane and do my thing. That did not always work! In fact it worked about 30% of the time. Not a good percentage.

Interviewing has come a long way. Here are a couple of sources that are worth visiting if you want to know more about interviewing http://www.bnet.com/2403-13056_23-52952.html and http://www.bnet.com/2403-13056_23-52947.html.

This is another articel that is worth reading because it deals with assessments and how critical they are to the hiring process. http://www.content4reprint.com/business/how-to-avoid-sales-hiring-mistakes.htm

In my opinion interviewing has become more science than either gut or art. Interviews, assessments, resumes and references are the big four. Do them correctly and your chances of hiring the right person will increase immensely.

The Final Thought:     I Like this quote I dislike this quoteThe best minds in government? If any were, business would hire them away.” Ronal Reagan.

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2 thoughts on “Interviewing Salespeople-Art or Science or Gut?

  1. While not a recruitment agency, we work with sales managers who want to make the right hiring decisions and build strong teams. The sales manager’s lack of interviewing skills is a major downfall to hiring the right person.

    We provide our clients with a Sales Interview Questionnaire (SIQ) which not only suggests what questions to ask but tell them what answers they should be looking for. We then suggest they use this on every interview so they develop a consistency in their interviewing process as well as getting to know what answers to expect.

    Why not develop you own set of questions and start using it today. You’ll see a real difference in your ability to interview effectively.

  2. As a B2B sales recruitment firm we focus on the following:
    Focus on core sales abilities and track record. What were their quotas? Where did they come in against their quotas? How can their product or service offering directly correlate with the product they would be selling at XYZ company? Meaning is the price per sale, average sales cycle and target prospect audience parallel to what their sales cycle encompasses and have they been exceeding revenue in that environment consistently? What was their tenure? A-player sales people who are exceeding revenue on a consistent basis don’t hop around. What were their sales philosophies and core values associated with dealing with customers and prospects? Are they a hunter or farmer and does their history of prospecting activity match the amount of prospecting activity level that they would need in order to sell your product or service?

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