The latest information indicates that attention, effort, systems and results matter when you are looking at hiring and/or managing salespeople.  Key points to note are:

Weaknesses matter and should be identified and acted upon â€" if they are present the odds are that this person will not be successful in a sales role.  Examples include:

  • a need for approval
  • they can't control emotions
  • their beliefs (through their actions/history) don't accord with the industry philosophy
  • they have a history of money weaknesses

They will also need to exhibit strengths that are key to them being successful:

  • a desire to succeed
  • commitment - they will do what it takes
  • responsible - they don't make excuses
  • positive outlook

Also their CV's should have some hard facts regarding outcomes they have had and processes they have used to get them.

Ads for the position should be mostly about the role and the person, there should be minimal information relating to the firm and no/minimal filters excluding people (eg experience in the industry etc).

Don't "fall in love" with them during the interview, ask hard questions and interviews should be 35-45 mins.

Regarding remuneration, don't mention details in the ad for the position.  Also, current benchmarks depending on the industry suggest a base of $65,000 - $75,000 + $65,000 - $75,000 commission (although software sales is a fair bit higher in the market at the moment).

Re sales managers (this also applies to the owner of the business if they are filling this role)

  • 85% of sales management activities should be in the following areas (ie non-admin)
  • accountability (taskmaster)
  • motivating (goals)
  • coaching (not mentoring, but actually how to do etc â€" eg debrief post sales encounters, determine actions, assist with skills etc)
  • mentoring
  • recruiting

Suffice to say it the process will not be a matter of hiring someone and throwing them the keys to the company car with a list of contacts input will equal output!