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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Fit Factor

Fit_Factor_8-27-13_Blog_WIP_DocumentHow does “FIT” enter into your decision making when hiring salespeople?

Does this sound familiar? “This is a GREAT candidate!  He has wonderful experience in the industry and he has so much in common with me and with my current sales staff!

You liked them!

You both grew up in Southern California!

You both love College Football!

You enjoy the same music!

You both traveled to Italy this year!

Your kids are in the same soccer program!     

We all enjoy spending time with others who share our interests and/or our lifestyle. It is easy to fall into the trap of allowing familiarity to dictate how a potential candidate seems to FIT with you and with your organization

As a Talent Analyst for The Center for Sales Strategy, my job is to measure the talent of candidates for our clients. Our Talent services help you as an employer select people with the best innate sales and management related talents, using very measured and scientific methods.  While we can help you to frame your needs, the responsibility for sizing up the FIT of a potential employee falls to the sales management within your organization. 

FIT should translate to: How will this person FIT in with me as a sales manager? How will they FIT with the current sales staff and, how will they FIT with our organization in general?

Here are some more impactful things to consider when we ask: ”How about the FIT” of a candidate”? 

Sales Manager FIT
  • Do they have a similar work style to yours?
  • How do they communicate?  
  • How about their personality? Does it fit with yours? How about the rest of the Sales Staff?
  • Is there a ramp up time frame you are targeting for this position and what would you estimate their learning curve might be?
  • Will you be willing to spend time growing this person within your organization?
  • How much sales coaching will they need from you?  
  • Are you truly enthused and excited about adding this person to your team? 
  • What are their unique strengths and will their work experience add value to the group?  
Co-Worker FIT
  • Will others in the sales department want to share office space or a cubicle with this person? 
  • Can this candidate handle the strong personalities you already have on staff or, will they be overwhelmed by them?
  • Does their experience blend nicely into the group?  
  • Will this person fit in well with your other salespeople?  

Organizational FIT

  • How do you think this person will fit into your organization? 
  • Do they seem to understand and buy in to your corporate mission or value statement?
  • Do they seem to understand your corporate style? 
  • Do they believe in and enjoy your product?  
  • Would you be comfortable and proud introducing them to your Corporate VP?  
  • What kind of corporate training do they have and how much training will they need to become prepared to sell for you?  

How can you effectively incorporate these FIT questions for your organization?

Throughout the interview process plan to weave some of your corporate values into your regular interview questions. This will help you to come away from the early interview with some idea of how the candidate may actually FIT into your organization. And, find out what your current staff thinks is most important when considering the FIT of a new sales person! Use some of the questions we included in this article if they work for you. Then, choose the FIT questions, (and answers) that will be the most impactful and meaningful to your organization and your ultimate sales success!

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