If you’re an MSP owner, you know you need a strong sales team to stay competitive. But that doesn’t mean you know how to identify and attract rockstar salespeople. Because many MSP owners aren’t sure what to look for in a salesperson, they end up hiring a charming relative or someone with an impressive resume and then hope for the best. Unfortunately, these traits don’t always transfer to the sales world. So, how do you make sure you’re hiring only the most promising candidates? Here are three surefire ways to help identify talented salespeople.
BUILD AN EXTENSIVE INTERVIEW PROCESS
The first step to finding the right people is developing a robust and thorough system for vetting potential candidates. In our experience, we find that many companies typically only interview a sales candidate one to three times. This is simply not enough. The MSP sales process is a marathon that requires perseverance, professionalism, and positivity all the way through. Therefore, to test those qualities in your candidates, your interview process must reflect this. We recommend doing four to five interviews to find people who can maintain consistency in their attitude, energy, and answers, culminating in one final “culture fit” interview with non-sales-focused team members to make sure the candidate’s personality is a good overall match for the company.
LOOK FOR THE RIGHT QUALITIES
In the end, vetting and recruiting suitable candidates is about risk mitigation. Your company’s risk of seeing a significant downturn in business is augmented each time you hire a salesperson who has trouble closing. So even though someone may seem impressive at first glance, you can’t skimp on your process just because you get a good feeling about them. You must remain diligent in looking for the right signs:
- Tone, Cadence, Empathy, and Active Listening – Do you enjoy talking to this person and will your potential clients? A good candidate should keep things light and not spin towards negativity regardless of the topic at hand.
- Superlatives – Start at the bottom of the resume (college) and work your way up. Ask them, “If I were to call your previous manager and ask them to tell me one thing you’re amazing at and one thing you need to improve on, what would those be?”
- Transitions – Good candidates will generally have a track record of sticking with companies for more than two years and have sound, non-negative reasons for transitioning from job to job.
- Consistency – It’s important to repeat important questions in follow-up interviews to note if the candidate will remain consistent in their answers. Especially look out for embellishments or changes in quotas and other metrics.
- Follow Up – End every interview by asking if the candidate has any other questions. If they don’t ask what the next steps are, they won’t have the persistence to follow up with potential customers in the same way.
ASK “BLOODY NOSE” QUESTIONS
The worry with salespeople is that the best sale they ever make is the one that gets them the job. So, it’s crucial that you test your potential candidates’ resilience in the face of adversity by asking what we refer to as “bloody nose” questions. “Bloody nose” questions are purposely uncomfortable questions that force candidates to remain resilient and optimistic when faced with critique. The point here is not to be offensive, cruel, or catch people off guard. It’s simply to see how a candidate will respond when pushed to engage in potentially awkward conversations around their perceived weaknesses or limitations. If they can spin these perceived negatives into positives and continue selling themselves, they will do the same when potential customers challenge them about their concerns with your products and services.
Remember, if you wouldn’t buy from the person you’re interviewing, neither will potential clients. Reps in the MSP space receive far fewer appointments than in other industries, so they must know how to close once given the opportunity to. If attracting, vetting, and training great salespeople still seems daunting, contact OSR Manage today to learn more about how our years of experience in this area can help your company bring in more business.