Recruiting salespeople and sales managers is an important part of my business. Most of the leaders I work with have had a failure in recruiting salespeople, usually their first hire. Why?
Salespeople are different, and they must overcome different challenges.
A newly hired Salesperson is provided with a job description and management’s expectations for success. The salesperson understands what must be done, the related deadlines and how he will be measured. In order to succeed, he must hit his numbers while overcoming the following challenges:
Competition – While he attempts to persuade people to purchase his company’s products or services, others will be attempting to get those same people to buy from them instead. Some of the additional obstacles the new salesperson must be able to overcome are complacency, satisfaction with the status-quo and resistance to change.
Rejection – There is no selling without rejection and the new salesperson will get more than his fair share as he attempts to book appointments for new opportunities.
Hostility – Since most prospects don’t have the time to even speak with salespeople by phone, new salespeople must call into a marketplace where prospects are very busy. The busy prospect might sound rushed, irritated, cold, disinterested or even hostile.
Lack of Control – Even when the salesperson does everything correctly, in the end he has limited control over whether the prospect will do business with him.
Resistance – As the economy struggles to recover from crisis, even prospects who have decided to buy – from someone – are taking longer to decide, and resistant to spending money.
Timing – Salespeople are entering the sales cycle later in the buying process and unless they are superior at asking questions, have difficulty getting control. Instead they are baited into presenting, proposing and chasing business that seems very difficult to close.
Compare that with the challenges of the office administrator:
The newly hired office administrator is also provided with a job description and management’s expectations for success. The office administrator understands what must be done, the related deadlines and how he will be measured. In order to succeed he must follow the guidelines, instructions and policies, and meet his deadlines.
No one, from either inside or outside of the company, will attempt to prevent him from performing his duties. The office equipment may fail on occasion but it won’t fight back.
He will have a staff upon whom he can call to get help on big projects. The staff does not have the authority to say “no” to his requests. There won’t be any competition preventing him from accomplishing his tasks.
It takes a special individual to persevere in the face of adversity. Do you know how to recognize that person?
This Dave Kurlan article provides some insight, with 5 common hiring mistakes and 5 resume lies.