Sales professionals know how to sell themselves to the company they are interviewing with — at least the good candidates do. They know exactly what you want to hear, and they are able to frame their experience in the best possible light to make you think you've found the rock star candidate you've been seeking. But how can you truly tell if the person is great at what they do?
Learn more about recruiting the best sales talent and how sales recruitment differs from recruiting in other industries.
Any recruiter’s nightmare is a candidate who fails to meet the employer's expectations AFTER they're hired. This not only wastes everyone’s time (including the candidate’s), but it can also set back the relationship that you have built. As a sales recruiter, I have found some telltale signs that identify the best sales candidates.
Numerical Achievements Listed on Their Resume
Any great salesperson will have their resume flooded with numbers, such as the percentage increases they achieved, weekly/monthly sales quotas they have exceeded and the number of significant deals they have closed. At the end of the day, salespeople are driven by numbers. If a candidate does not have numbers on their resume, or can’t recall their weekly sales quotas, it is a definite red flag.
Promotions within Their Previous Employment
Nothing can truly show the work ethic of a candidate like being promoted. Sales candidates who are promoted are consistently the highest in sales among their coworkers, and their manager believed in their ability to sell so much that they put them in charge of showing other associates how to effectively sell. If a candidate has been in the same position with no growth or added responsibility for a long time, it should raise an eyebrow.
Received Awards for Their Performance
Companies know that incentive programs work to increase the productivity of their employees. Sales candidates are extremely competitive and incentive-driven. Similar to promotions, awards speak for themselves. If a candidate can’t recall a single award, or has never been the top in sales for the week, month or division, this is a sign he or she may not be the top-notch candidate you are seeking.
Open to Commissioned Sales
From my experience, high-performing sales candidates seek positions that are commission based and uncapped. They have the work-to-eat sales mentality and thrive on that. Seek out candidates who are interested in commissions, as this often shows they are confident enough in their own sales ability to achieve the goals set forth in order to make a living.
By following these tips, you will be able to easily find the exceptional sales candidate that you're looking for.