When determining the right salesperson for your company it is all about having the right skills fit. The sales skills of a Business Development Manager in Software Engineering differ quite dramatically from a Sales Rep selling medical supplies. We often make the mistake of hiring someone with a successful sales background without considering if they have the skills we need.

Even simple things like the ability to prospect can make or break a salesperson moving from one role to another. Someone who is used to getting sales leads handed to them may fail when having to find leads and qualify them for themselves.

To understand where we want our perfect candidate to fit we have to understand what sales skills the position requires and what ones are not so critical

We can understand more about the type of sales person who will be successful in our company by 2 ways, the most accurate method is to select a member of your sales team who is your best salesperson and assess them to determine what traits they have that make them successful in your company. The other method is to complete a series of questions about the sales role so we can build a picture of your perfect salesperson and create a benchmark against that.

The questionnaire can be completed online or if you prefer: download, print out a copy, complete the 23 questions and fax to us so you have a copy for you records. One of our consultants will then prepare you a complimentary report to provide you an insight into what makes a perfect salesperson for your company.

Please feel to complete a questionnaire now and with no financial commitment from you at least you will gain an insight into what type of candidate you are looking for.

The questionnaire only takes 5 mins and has such questions as:

1. This job will have sales leads provided Rarely Occasionally Frequently
2. This job requires cold calling new prospects Rarely Occasionally Frequently
3. This job requires account management with regular client contact Rarely Occasionally Frequently

Now we have completed our questionnaire we know exactly the types of traits that we are looking for. The results of these scores will then reflects the candidate's ability to carry out the various tasks that a salesperson in your company needs.

Fine tuning the benchmark is an important stage of the process. From the initial survey or round of assessments we prepare a Job Analysis Report. For a sample copy click here.

Each trait that is to be measured provides a graphical scale of the determined optimal values along with a description. As an example let's look at sales drive.

Sales Drive

  Employee Description:   The ideal candidate derives motivation from within, occasionally taking the lead as a source of encouragement to others. Although the service he or she provides to customers and clients is essential, the winning aspects of successful sales are the true reward of this profession for him or her.

We need to read the description carefully and ensure it matches our criteria. If it does not we then need to adjust the benchmark.

Our benchmarking reports descriptions will change as a result of moving the scale up or down. In this case we may decide that we want our candidate needs to be more a team player. Many companies employ sales teams where sales staff will work together to bring together a proposal and present to the client.

To coin an old phrase there is no "I" in team in these cases salespeople who like to work as individual are unlikely to contribute and are more likely to cause conflict within the team. We therefore in this case want as salesperson who works as part of a sales team and not an individual who is in it for themselves. By reducing the scale down to 1-3 we will get a new description

Sales Drive

By making an adjustment to our scale we are able to change the description that describes our ideal candidate to be part of a team. In this case if we move our scale to 1-3 we would get a new description: "One of the most motivational aspects of sales for the best candidate is the service he or she provides a customer, and the satisfaction they express for that service".

Once we have fine tuned our benchmark we are then ready to start assessing our candidates so we can see where they align with our perfect salesperson. While we rarely see a 100% fit for the role a close alignment is enough for us to make a valued decision about the selection of our salesperson and know they will perform.