Selection is defined as the action or fact of carefully choosing someone or something as being the best or most suitable.
It's Monday morning, and a seller has just told you that they are resigning. Maybe that's a good thing, or maybe it isn’t, but either way, you find yourself with the need to fill a position.
But before you do that, you need to know what you are looking for in order to find it. The first step should be to have a job analysis process that clearly defines exactly what you need in your open position. To determine that, you may ask yourself these kinds of questions.
- What are the accounts I am assigning, and how large or sophisticated are they?
- How much new business development do I expect?
- What specific types of expertise is the staff short on right now?
- How much sales skill must already be developed or how much am I willing to develop?
- How much expertise do I expect the individual to have?
- What are our revenue expectations?
Prioritize Talents, Skills, and Experiences
Once you have a clear understanding of the specific job you are filling, it is time to take the next step and prioritize the talents, skills, and experiences you want your new hire to have. When recruiting and hiring for top talent, think in terms of:
- Talent: Your natural ability or innate behavior.
- Skills: What you have learned to do well.
- Experience: How you develop your skills and reach your talent potential.
It will be important to determine the “must haves” or “simply desired” for each of these. Meaning what are the talents that are required for the positions or ones that are desired but not essential? For skills, which ones do you need that are already developed and which are you willing to train? The same goes for the experience. What are the mandatory experiences needed, and what is preferred?
Having a clear idea of exactly what you need for your open position, begin by reviewing those in your talent bank to determine who best aligns with what you have determined from the above. Maybe you have come to realize that you don’t have the right candidate in your talent bank, and you need to start recruiting.
The Selection Process
In either situation, here are some suggested steps that sales leaders recommend taking during the selection process.
1. Define the role (talent, skills, and experience).
2. Customize the job posting to align with what is needed, then share across all Social Media platforms.
3. Conduct the Sales Talent Assessment to identify natural sales talents prior to the initial interview.
4. The hiring manager conducts the first interview and then includes other stakeholders in the interviewing process when needed. Other stakeholders can include:
a.Other managers in the sales organization.
b. Department heads outside of sales if they will heavily interact with your new hire.
c.Potentially account executives that are leaders on the team and ones whose input you value.
5. Prepare questions that are designed to explore their talents, skills, experience, and fit. Fit for you as their hiring manager, fit for the position, and fit for your company’s culture. Also, don’t forget to take the time to sell them on you and your company culture. If they are top talent, they are likely employed or recruited by others.
6. Consider taking the candidate through any of these types of processes:
a. A role-play scenario to understand coachability or skillset.
b. Ask them to provide written answers to a series of questions on topics like prospecting for new business, handling an objection, or how they would respond to an unhappy client.
c. Or provide them a scenario and ask them to present a solution that allows you to see how the candidate presents themselves and for you to get a better look at their thought processes in creating the solution.
7. Check references (those provided by the candidate and those not provided).
8. Seek input from all involved in the hiring process to determine the best candidate.
Following a thoughtful process as described above will set you up to make the best and most suitable hire!
*Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the 2022 Talent Magazine.