How can you recruit the best salesman?

Recruiting the best salesman candidate to develop your business.

Here is HubSpot’s method for recruiting only the best candidates.

HubSpot’s method for recruiting the best candidates

Instead of relying on his feelings, Mark Roberge set up a recruiting process for a salesman at HubSpot that is based solely on numbers.

He proceeds as follows:

  1. Define the criteria that make a good sales representative
  2. Source candidates and perform interviews
  3. For each criterion, give the candidate a grade
  4. Recruit the candidates who have the best score
  5. From the recruited sales representatives’ statistics, modify the recruitment criteria to add weight to the criteria that predict the candidates’ future success

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Define the criteria that make a good salesman

It is important to note that the criteria that make a good sales representative are different for every company: a good sales representative in a well-established IT company will not necessarily be good for a young, new technology start-up, and vice-versa.

There are criteria that seem to be universal. However, like curiosity (a good sales representative is interested in the person he is speaking with), or being a quick learner (a good sales representative can sell a product in an area he is not familiar with).

Though the first step of the process establishes criteria by instinct, the criteria will improve as recruiting goes on. After having recruited more than 100 sales representatives, Mark Roberge was able to recruit no one but Sales Superstars for HubSpot.

Test the salesman profiles

This methodology requires rigor. You have to create an objective test for each grading criterion.  Each candidate must be systematically graded.

Mark Roberge does a role play during his recruiting interviews, and looks at how the candidates act according to his criteria:

For example, to test curiosity, Mark Roberge looks at several things:

Did the candidate ask me personal questions when he arrived? (ex. “Hey, I saw on your LinkedIn profile that blah blah…”) During the role play, did he start pitching the product, or asking questions?  etc…

To test the candidate’s ability to learn quickly, he systematically ends his role play with a positive remark and one area of improvement. He then asks the candidate to start the exercise again. This request is difficult, but if the candidate is able to consider the area of improvement, he knows he must do everything he can to recruit him.

Indeed, if the candidate can make progress in a ten minutes interview, he will be a star in a few months!

Create your B2B Sales Machine

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Source candidates

In order to set up the recruiting machine, you must have candidates. As for Mark Roberge, the best salesman recruited for HubSpot generally did not come through job ads, but was often sourced.

The best candidates for sales roles are passive candidates: their skills are known and their new bosses poach them.  They have never had to look for a job.

The best source of candidates is LinkedIn.

Mark Roberge has set up a recruiting team that sources candidates all day long on LinkedIn (recruiting SDRs).

Another tip is to target a large company where you know the sales representatives are well-trained, and look for all the sales representatives who used to work in that company, and ask the sales director who the best ones are.

Happy sales representative recruiting!

Source : The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million> by Mark Roberge

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