In Part 2 of our 3-part series on achieveing sales success in a down economy, Danny Wood, President, Danny Wood Enterprises and a  licensee of Sandler Training, explains how to recruit the right people to help your sales force grow and prosper:

Recruiting the Right People

As a sales manager, you also need to determine if you have the right team members in place. If you haven’t done so already, consider replacing non-performing sales people with strong performers. Or if you are satisfied with your current team, expand the sales force through new recruits.

Unfortunately, many salespeople are hired solely on the basis of the interview. This can be problematic because the interview is usually the best sales call a person ever makes, and the manager may be won over by the individual’s personal attributes and presentation, ignoring other practical and important criteria.

To avoid this, you need to view every potential employee as a prospect views the sales person. And while many recruiting methods include an assessment, it’s a mistake to wait to do the assessment until after that first meeting/interview. Instead, an advance phone call and online assessment allows the Sales Manager to gain objective information that will dictate the kinds of questions asked on the interview.

Consider the acronym “SEARCH,” which stand for qualities that contribute to a salesperson’s attributes:

  • Skills: The ability to approach and engage others, present ideas and communicate clearly
  • Experience: A track record of developed sales goals and quotas
  • Attitude: Self-confidence and open to change
  • Results: Past experience exceeding sales quotas
  • Cognitive Skills: Thinking on your feet, a fast learner
  • Habits: Specific behaviors needed to fulfill the position

The hiring process should be similar to the way the proper sales process takes place – by focusing on qualifying hard and closing easy rather than the traditional approach of qualifying easy and closing hard. It is important to remember that taking the time to find the right people can be costly to organizations but not as costly as the turnover expense of unsuccessful salespeople.

Danny Wood, president of Danny Wood Enterprises LLC, in Rutherford, is a licensee of Sandler Training and specializes in sales and management training to increase sales productivity. Send your questions or comments to or call Danny at (201) 842-0055.