Simple life lesson: One of the best ways to find exactly what you need is to know exactly what you’re looking for.
We regularly work with hiring managers and recruiters to clearly define the role they are working to fill so they know exactly what they need for superstar performance. This morning I received an email from a sales manager asking which talents he should look for to hire a strong sales hunter. Great question! So good, in fact, I thought I’d share my response with you.
When we studied the very best new business developers out there, we found 6 specific behaviors that the great sales hunters had in common. When hiring a hunter, keep your eyes peeled for these behaviors. With practice, you will become better at spotting them and it won’t be long before you can easily tell the difference between the real thing and a wannabe.
Here are the 6 groups of behaviors you want to seek when hiring a strong new business developer:
1. The best hunters are self-motivated and driven to be the best in everything they do.
They consistently push themselves to be top performers and achieve quantifiable results, keeping scores against their own performance and always pushing for more. You might notice a candidate with talent in this area will talk a lot about their accomplishments and crave recognition and reward for their success. In the spirit of striving for more in everything they do, money can often be a powerful motivator for them. Most will express a philosophy of “go big or go home.”
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Achiever theme.
2. Strong enterprisers often describe themselves as extremely competitive, seeing every opportunity in their day as another chance to win.
During the interview process, you may notice they hate to lose even more than they love to win, but there will be no doubt that it is always important to them to be the best, win the race, and close the sale. Their endless appetite for growth drives them to prospect more often and push for larger sales.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Competition theme.
3. Great new business developers have a certain amount of confidence and swagger about them.
They are focused on making things happen, often taking the initiative to move things forward - and they can be very persuasive along the way. These salespeople create strong buy-in and move clients to solutions faster than most. If your sales candidate has this talent, you might notice them selling themselves to you!
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Activator theme.
4. Reading situations well and removing obstacles, these sales hunters naturally pick up on buying signals and effortlessly move the client to the close.
The best of the bunch won’t sell something they don’t believe will work, though. The great ones have high standards and focus on creating a win-win situation that allows them to win the sale while the client gets big results. If your candidate has a great deal of talent in this area, they will move you forward, asking who the final decision makers will be and your timeline. Don’t be surprised if they close you and ask for the job.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Accelerator theme.
5. Upbeat and full of energy, these hunters easily get their prospects and clients excited about their ideas and give them confidence in the solutions they offer.
They are also optimistic, understanding that even after a tough day of hunting filled with rejection, tomorrow will be a better day. These are typically the candidates we fall in love with. They have passion and enthusiasm, often lighting up the room during the interview.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Positivity theme.
6. Great sales hunters enjoy doing some detective work, uncovering the client’s most valuable business needs, and matching those with a strong solution that they know will work.
They are good at solving problems and don’t give up when the going gets tough. Your sales candidate strong in this area will ask you smart, pointed questions about the job, the company, and your process in filling the position. They will also demonstrate how their talents, skills, and experience will match nicely with what you need.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Problem Solver theme.
We have been talking a lot about the natural strengths and innate behaviors of our great sales hunters. As a general rule of thumb, the more strength, the better! But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there are a couple of strengths that, in higher doses, can get in the way of new business development success. Here are two behavioral red flags to watch out for.
It is important for any individual in sales to be able to develop strong, trusting relationships with their clients. Our research shows that client retention is closely tied to the seller’s ability to build rapport, earn the client’s trust, and gain insightful business information. Too much of a good thing here might be a problem for a hunter role though. If the seller is wired to go too deep in relationship development they can get stuck and struggle to move forward.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Individualizer theme.
Too Focused on Learning
Another example of talent overkill for a hunter would be in a theme centered on learning. People strong in this theme crave knowledge and are innately curious, rarely feeling satisfied that they have all the information they need. At a certain level, this drives a seller to gain expertise, ask good questions, and analyze situations to find opportunities for improvement. At a higher level, this same group of behaviors will cause a massive slow-down in the process.
Pro Tip: If you are using the Online Sales Talent Interview, these behaviors are measured in the Learner theme.
If you are looking to hire your next superstar sales hunter, now you know exactly what you are looking for. Good luck on YOUR hunt!