Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sales Manager-Are you building your A team?

Are you a sales manager and never seem to find and keep the A players? Are you being sold during the sales interview? That’s what good sales people are supposed to do; sell you on them.

As a sales manager your role is to find, keep and help your people sell. First you do a preliminary interview to establish whether the prospective rep has the attributes that you are looking for. These questions are generally about their strengths and weaknesses, functions and achievements. You now must determine if past successes will be a predictor of future successes at your company.

A sales manager must ask behavioural type questions to learn how a candidate handled certain situations. You might ask “give me an example of how you won a deal from the competition and the steps you took to succeed”. These answers should give you a lot of information about how the sales rep prospects, sales cycle, how they position their company, themselves and buying criteria of their clients.

If, as a sales manager, you are pressed for a question, ask a sales rep why he/she chose the career path that they chose or why they chose to study what they studied in school. Does that sales rep plan or fall into situations?

You also want to know a lot about their work habits. Are they morning people, do they punch the clock at 5 pm, do they return their phone calls in a timely fashion or at all?

You need to match the A player with the other A players on your team without creating a team that looks and sounds just like its manager. You should look for diversity of ideas and people but people that share your ethics and desire to win.

Happy selling

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