Turning Newbie Sales Hires Into Super Producers

454147207In a new whitepaper – “7 Steps for Turning New Sales Hires into Productive Powerhouses” – Bullhorn and Menemsha Group outline best practices for staffing leaders to attract and develop quota-busting sales talent. The paper is available to download for free. In an excerpt below, we discuss the first step in building effective staffing sales talent: defining your hiring profile.

Step 1 for Staffing Sales Success: Define your hiring profile. 
Recruiting agency professionals are experts at identifying the upper bounds of human potential. Therefore, we’re especially confused when they struggle to hire their own salespeople. The problem, ultimately, is that they often focus on hiring people who will be successful in a staffing agency instead of those who will be successful in staffing sales. Many agencies either look for people with staffing industry experience or for young adults who have decent personalities. Neither of these groups is necessarily the right target. This is why creating a sales hiring profile is so important.

Here are three characteristics to look for in a young sales hire:

  • Coachability: Ever hire a salesperson who interviews very well and has all the right answers but isn’t willing to take your ideas and suggestions? People like this don’t grow or develop, which is frustrating both to them and to their employers. Make sure your sales hires are coachable. Are they comfortable with new ideas? Can they handle constructive criticism? Are they capable of being wrong? Or do their eyes glaze over when you give them advice?
  • Curiosity: Having a natural sense of curiosity is incredibly important for successful salespeople because they cannot solve problems if they don’t know what those problems are. If salespeople lack the curiosity to ask people about their businesses or the roles for which they’re hiring, they’ll have difficulty understanding – or even sympathizing with – the customer.

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  • Perseverance: Salespeople get turned down all the time, and not everyone is cut out for this constant stream of rejection. If Joe the salesman calls Mary and tries to make a sale, and Mary says she’s all set, Joe may stop pursuing her. He wouldn’t be alone. Sales research by the National Sales Executive Association shows that 48 percent of sales people never follow up with a prospect and 12 percent make only three contacts and stop. This is deeply unfortunate because 80 percent of sales are made between the 5th and 12th contact. Giving up and retreating at the first sign of rejection does not a successful salesperson make. The job requires fortitude.

Finally, before hiring new salespeople, a staffing firm’s management and senior sales leaders should identify the most common behaviors of their top performers. If you don’t know which behaviors make your top performers successful, you won’t know what to encourage in junior hires. And this can stymie your business growth.

Some of these A-player behaviors will be obvious – aggressiveness, charm, a propensity for eye contact. But others will be far more understated.

MORE: Creativity in staffing sales

Aravinda Rao Souza

Aravinda Rao Souza
Aravinda Rao Souza is a senior marketing manager at Bullhorn, where she runs public relations, content marketing and social media. Follow Vinda on Twitter @seriousvinda

Aravinda Rao Souza

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