Best Practices for Hiring Sales People Part2
Inspiration: Value Versus Volume
Defining your perfect fit begins with defining the Sales person characteristics which are most relevant for your particular open sales position.
We began this series with an overview of the key characteristics that, together, define what matters when hiring a sales professional.
This article focuses specifically on the "Inspiration" characteristic. Inspiration is defined by the things on which your sales team thrives and focuses. In summary, candidates are either inspired by value or volume. Which should you look for when hiring sales people?
Sales people inspired by value tend to be more patient. These individuals tend to sell a more complex product or service that requires in-depth conversations and presentations driven by research and knowledge. Each prospect engagement opportunity is significant because the lower volume makes each measurably important. Sales people inspired by value prefer to sell to executive level prospects who are trying to solve problems and create value. Value-inspired sales people tend to be more analytical, and will demonstrate more empathy to some extent. These individuals enjoy a longer term outlook and can view each sales process as an ongoing campaign. These individuals also prefer to work in their own office or private area.
Sales people inspired by volume tend to thrive on high activity. These individuals are energized by higher levels of daily and weekly prospect engagements which translate into higher volumes of pipeline opportunities. They are comfortable making calls in noisy open environments, and tend to enjoy the buzz. Sales people inspired by volume multitask and function well within interrupt-driven environments. These professionals are particularly metric-driven and focus on conversions; more no's mean more yes's. Volume inspired sales professionals prefer shorter sales cycles which typically translates to lower contract values. While there are more no's, there are more yes's and the interval between each is shorter which provides measurable results and validation.
These descriptions are not intended as "all or nothing" scenarios. The reality is that most sales representatives have degrees of each. The key is to first define which characteristic best translates into success within your environment and culture, and then to hire candidates substantially aligned. Hiring managers can better analyze the discrete aspects of each by developing screening questions designed to elicit these traits. Hiring Managers also use this knowledge when creating and posting sales jobs on job boards and social channels.
The Value/Volume characteristic is sometimes misunderstood relative to the Strategic/Transactional characteristic. While there are parallels, the Strategic/Transactional characteristic is defined by the degree of complexion in terms of buyers and buyer influences, process duration, decision process, resource investment and collaboration, and contract value. We will delve into the Strategic/Transactional characteristic in more detail in the next article in this series.