Sales are the foundation of growth for your company, which is why hiring the right salespeople is critical for short and long-term success. Rather than evaluating solely on a candidate’s experience and education, it’s also important to look at how a candidate’s personality traits align with the job itself. Salespeople with experience may have plenty of knowledge about the field, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have the necessary soft skills to turn prospects into customers.
Key personality traits for salespeople
Sales is a highly competitive field, so salespeople must be comfortable taking the initiative and driving various situations. The more internally competitive a salesperson is, the more likely they are to dedicate themselves to selling effectively. Not only will a salesperson need to make their company look better than competitors, but they’ll also need to tell customers how the product or service will make the customer better than their competition. People who are uncomfortable with fast-paced, competitive work environments will likely be intimidated by sales intensity.
Great salespeople are also naturally confident and persuasive. Not everyone has a natural skill for selling. Knowledge about selling can’t compensate for awkward, offbeat pitches. Ultimately, we base many of our decisions on intuition. If sellers don’t have charisma in their pitch, prospects won’t buy from them.
Because salespeople face objections and pushback regularly, they need to adapt, follow the prospect’s lead, and persevere. If a prospect expresses uncertainty, a good salesperson can hear their objections and turn them into opportunities. They can match the product to the person. Rather than setting a firm sales plan and giving up when they reach what looks like the end of the road, the best person for the job is one who adapts their approach and persists.
Asking the right questions
When approaching interviews with potential candidates, focus your energy on asking the right questions for each candidate. Instead of asking irrelevant, cliche questions, prioritize questions that help you identify the key traits you’re looking for from a candidate so you can learn how each candidate aligns with your expectations for the role.
Here are examples of questions to ask:
- In your opinion, what do prospects want to hear most from salespeople?
- Who or what group would you focus most on selling our product/service to?
- How comfortable are you with objections or rejection? What is your typical response?
- How do you plan to be better than the competition?
- Discuss a pitch or demo in the past where you had to adapt your technique to fit the situation. What did you take away from this?
Quick tip: Want more examples of questions you can ask potential candidates? Create a job on Crystal to get personalized interview prep kits catered to each candidate.
Talk to other team members
Introducing new members to the team can be difficult, but one way to make sure all new hires fit in is to include others in the hiring process. When hiring a salesperson, it’s important to invite other stakeholders in the position, mainly those who would work closely with the new hire, to share their thoughts and expectations for the role. Crystal’s Jobs tool allows you to create a Job and invite stakeholders to take a role expectations survey to share their criteria for a qualified candidate. You can then view the ideal personality for the position, based on the traits mentioned in the job description and identified through a combination of stakeholders’ survey results.
Hire the best salesperson for your team by using Crystal Jobs.