It may sound trite to say that money and power are what motivates the best sales people, but it’s true. Money and power is one of the key motivators in what makes a good salesman. There are tests available that you give to candidates for your open sales positions that will determine their individual values. While some may argue that those that do not score as high on money and power on their list of values can be performers as well, it can also indicate that their priorities will not mesh well with yours.
It is during the interview process that you have the opportunity for hiring the right people, and unless you have put in place hiring solutions to only hire the best, that’s what you will end up with…ones that are good but not necessarily the best. After you have established a job description and developed the right questions to ask the candidates, you have to decide on who is going to be conducting the interviews.
Sales managers often believe that since they will be giving the directions and helping the sales team succeed they know what makes a good salesman and should be the ones interviewing them. This argument may hold some water but not all sales manages are good at managing people or know how to hire people. You have to take a good look at your sales manager and determine why they are in that position in the first place. If they were promoted because they were a top sales performer, they may not be in the right position and would be a mistake to have them hire what many would see as competition.
While a job description should provide guidance to your sales force your top performers are the ones that think more independently. It was their independent style and money and power motivation that made them a top performer but those are the same traits that could make them a bad sales manager. Having them conduct the interviews is a mistake as they may know from their own persona what makes a good salesman very few candidates will be able to meet their expectations.
Managing a sales team requires a different approach than being a top performing salesperson. Being able to relate to clients and influencing the ones who make buying decisions is part of the salesperson’s performance repertoire. They also have to know what will motivate their clients and while your sales manager, who previously had all of those traits, may not see those same traits in potential new hires. They were good at sales but their personality may not teach them how to hire employees.