Checklists are handy things. Professionals use checklists.

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I’ve prepared a list of things not to do when hiring salespeople.

In 2003, when our company’s growth got us to 200 salespeople very quickly, I realized we were way too focused on training. We needed to fix our sales hiring.

Hopefully becoming more aware of these pitfalls will help you to be a better sales manager for 2010.

1. Not constantly looking for sales talent.

If you don’t have a folder in your Outlook of applicants you’ve talked to who show promise, you’re missing out on a key way to build – over time, a better team.

2) Only running the sales hiring process when you need a salesperson.

Someone quits and you start scrambling. Related to number 1, but this is only one dimension of the benefit. You’ll laugh at “sales hiring crunch worries” forever.

3) Running ads that attract the wrong personality style.

If you want a hoot, open up any job board and look at the ads for salespeople. Most of them say to me, “No top sales performers need apply.” They look like ads written by people who hate sales and salespeople.

4) Not marketing your company’s sales position.

Your sales team is your company’s life blood. Really. Great product. Lousy sales team means disaster.

Hopefully this will get you started. I’ll post some more later, but I’ve got to run to a meeting…

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