Now that the economy finally seems to be improving, many companies are looking to improve sales again by hiring the right people to build their sales teams.  After a long, dry spell, they’re picking themselves up, dusting themselves off, and asking themselves,  “Where will I find the greatest salespeople?”

Following a recession, the sales climate becomes an entirely different animal. Families don’t have the net worth that they enjoyed in better days, so they are more careful about making buying decisions.  Evidence of this new cautious attitude can be seen in the improved credit scores—consumers want to be assured of getting value before they pull out the plastic, the checkbook, or the cash.

Building sales in this climate is a challenge, and you want to be just as cautious in your sales hiring as the consumers are in committing to a purchase. You can’t depend on your product to speak for itself, because too many potential customers just aren’t listening. When you hire salespeople, you want to be sure they will be committed to relating to customers  and communicating a passion for your product that will be contagious. But where do you begin to find the candidate that fits the ideal salesperson profile?

Some companies turn to recruiters to find the perfect candidate. The problem with that is that many recruiters may lack integrity, coaching candidates about what to say and what to hide during an interview. Of course, not all recruiters are underhanded, but you won’t usually recognize the bad ones  until you’ve made a bad hire based on their recommendations. Instead of getting the better sales that you were counting on, you have a new problem to deal with.

No, hiring salespeople involves a process—just like selling does. You expect your salesmen to follow every step of the selling process, so why would you want to skip any important steps when you hire sales people for your own company? Starting with your targeted advertising to attract the candidates most likely to fit your criteria, you move on to the DiSC assessment or some type of sales personality test, and eventually work up to the interview process. Satisfied customers of the Advanced Hiring System have reported that these steps have  delivered their highest level of hiring success.

 It does take some time to go through all the steps, but the process enables you to weed out the  prospective bad apples.  Depending on your sales cycle, it could take as much as a year of paying a salary, training expenses, and the other incidental costs of employee management before you realize that  your new salesmen can’t cut the muster. To avoid risking a year’s worth of lackluster performance and lost opportunities, there shouldn’t be any margin for error in your hiring process.

You can’t afford it.