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April 29, 2014

3 Simple Tips for Finding the Best Salesperson for Your Team

Adam Slutskin
Chief Revenue Officer
ConnectWise, Inc.
Hiring the Right Salesperson for Your IT Business

We all want to find that crackerjack salesperson. You know the one I’m talking about; the one who can step in and have an immediate impact on the growth of your company. Everyone’s looking, but most people I’ve talked with struggle to find this person. Well, your ideal salesperson really does exist … and he’s easier to find than you think.

Finding your ideal salesperson should be an exciting process that culminates in increased profitability. But how do you get there?

First, think about what you want this new salesperson to accomplish. Do you want him/her to bang on doors, hit the phones or both? Do you want them to go after new sales, support existing customers or both?

During my 15-year sales career, I’ve learned that it’s best to separate your new sales (hunters) from your account management of existing customers (farmers). In general, hunters tend to be more aggressive, more competitive and have a greater sense of urgency. Farmers on the other hand tend to be more nurturing, more process driven and more focused on long-term relationship building.

The next step is to find some candidates. I prefer referrals whenever possible. People tend to refer other strong candidates and usually won’t recommend someone unless they’ve seen their success firsthand. LinkedIn is another good place to find candidates. You could also choose to work with a recruiter; but make sure you choose one who is familiar with your local region and specializes in hiring salespeople.

Now comes the part where most people get tripped up—narrowing down your pool of candidates.

I’ve always hated the canned interview process, so many years ago, I started calling job candidates at night without notice. The element of surprise allows me to get to know the person in an unrehearsed format and meet the real person instead of the polished job candidate that comes in for an interview.

What else can you do to narrow the candidate pool? Here are the three things I’ve found matter the most.

Are They a Cultural Fit?

It doesn’t matter how successful they’ve been. If they don’t align with your culture, their past successes won’t carry over into your company.

Do Your Homework

Check with their previous employers. I’ve experienced firsthand the pain of skipping reference checking. I was so excited to find what I thought was a top rep; but within a year, this person became subversive and created division within my team and the company. And even though this person was a massive revenue producer, it came at a huge cost and I ultimately had to let them go.

What Motivates Them?

Great sales people are very driven and motivated. Don’t be afraid if they tell you they want to be a VP or COO one day. And don’t be afraid if they ask about money. I’m more hesitant when a sales candidate doesn’t want to talk about earning potential.

Following these practices has helped me build a phenomenal sales team that continues to break sales records month after month. And you can build a record-breaking sales team in your IT business too!

Have more tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Get More Sales Tips!

My next posts will focus on compensation incentives and best practices to get your new salespeople trained up and ready to sell. Interested? Subscribe above and get updates when new articles are posted.

Adam Slutskin Chief Revenue Officer
ConnectWise, Inc.


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