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What is the best way to hire a sales person?

Engineering teams recruit off hackathons which seems to be a step forward from regular interviews. The most out of the box thing I've done is recruit a competitor's sales guy who was killing it. But he just never fit into our organisation well. So the question is, what's an off beat way to spot good sales talent?

πŸ‘₯ Hiring
🧒 Sales Management
🀝 Interviewing/Offer
17
softwaresails
Politicker
+4
Sales Manager
I like checking references. And role playing prospecting / closing. I like to give a couple things they did great on and a couple of things to improve on. Then we role play again and I pay attention to whether or not they made changes and improved in the areas I suggested. The ability to be coached and to adapt is something that can’t be taught.Β 
KPIMaster
Politicker
+4
Enterprise Account Executive
As someone who just went through an intense interview process only to end with a presentation that was basically a firing squad, I would much prefer this. Β I like to bounce ideas off my manager/director, not have to guess what everyone is thinking.
softwaresails
Politicker
+4
Sales Manager
Sorry to hear about your experience! Hopefully the next round of interviews you go is in line with a format you are more comfortable with.Β 
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Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Works well, tooπŸ”₯
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
True. Something that gets overlooked in most interviews imo
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Easy. Hire a sales β€œgal”, right @GeneralCorpΒ ?Β 
Smithy
Politicker
+4
Director of Sales
Have a process that suits the actual job.Β 

I think it’s tougher than engineering, as even if you like what someone says on something like LI, WR or any sales forum; they not do the same in reality.Β 


Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Authenticity check, helps for sure. May be references for this will lead to authentic stuff of the candidate
breezyboiii
Politicker
+5
Sales Boiii
I like to ask them to sell themselves...
I figure if they have the basics for selling down pat and they seem like a good cultural fit then they can be educated on the product along the way.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Good approach πŸ’―
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Interesting approach
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Reference check both closed client side and company side, gives clarity about the candidate better. And off company references do well, too. Social handle check gives an understanding how the candidate is in terms of knowledge base and recos he has piled from his clients
Networking summits have impressed too. I remember giving a lead for CS team at my org from an eventΒ 
CoastLife
Good Citizen
Large Enterprise Sales
Your company probably buys lots of software. Which AEs did an amazing job selling to you?
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Interesting approach. thanks!
privateryan
Politicker
+5
Director of Sales
Call me old school but I just make sure they can sell a pen to me and ask them if they love to win or hate to lose...
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Tried and tested!
MandaMustWin
Good Citizen
Major Accounts District Manager
Sales *person
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Yeah. My bad. Edited it. No harm intended.Β 
MandaMustWin
Good Citizen
Major Accounts District Manager
haha! I'm just being facetious! Kudos on editing!Β 
Dr.Sales
Executive
Research is clear on the subject. You have the same odds of success picking someone from a hat than following the current hiring process. See Frank Cespedes
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
I found the article on HBR. Thanks!
ClosingTime
Sales Director
When getting towards a final panel interview, I always give the candidate a brief to present a pitch of our solution back to us but intentionally leave something too ambiguous or confusing to see if they push back and have the confidence/ ability to define goals and what good looks like. It gives a pretty clear view of whether someone just rolls with what a prospect says, or actually stands up to ensure everyone is on the same page.Β 

Beyond that, referrals and your network will give you a better candidate than anyone coming to you cold. Most of my team came recommended or I'd worked with in some capacity prior to joining.Β 
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
This is interesting! Thanks!
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Have you ever recruited people?
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Yes i have.Β 
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Cool. Β So, the offbeat way to spot good sales talent is consistency. Β I've always followed the advice of "hire slow, fire fast". Β If you are comfortable with a person after several conversations, interactions and reference checks you'll get a better feel for them. Β 
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SDMHGWarrior
Tycoon
+14
CEO
Friend of Corp...
paddy
WR Officer
+10
Account Executive
Just briefly peruse their resume to make sure it's somewhat authentic. Then determine their chill-to-pull ratio. Lastly, if they can sell you a pen on the spot, hire them.
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
Just when i thought that sell me the pen was getting outdated!
beginner
Old School Bravo
Sales Leader
Read the female applicants resumes first.Β 
34fifty
Valued Contributor
+5
Team Lead
I'd get into trouble if I did that. Wouldn't i?
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
@34fiftyΒ I think the point is... your post is all in reference to sales "guy" effectively screening out females so you should cognitively challenge that and put women at the forefront of your thought process.
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salesteamsix
Fire Starter
+1
Head of Sales
I am a big fan of quick hires. No need to interview someone for hours. If there is a click hire them probationally and see if it works out. IMO the best way to evaluate a salesperson is to see their work.Β 
Cl
Clemax
VP Sales
Most responses are interviewing tips.Β 
The question, if I interpreted correctly was more, where to find good sales talent?Β 


My 2 cents :Β 

- somebody that has sold software to youΒ 

- clients / ambassadors of your product : nobody understands the problem that you solve better than a client who has used your product.Β 

In a response to everyone saying 'sell me this pen'. Seriously?Β 

1. There are a lot of great answers to be found online. So you are not really going to be testing more than the fact they prepared well and expected you to ask this question.Β 

2. So much better to let them choose something that they themselves are really big believers in. I've had great discussions on why I should get a Poodle as my next dog or why my next vacation needs to be to Saudi Arabia.Β 


Some of my personal favorites to ask during an interview :

- Convince me of something I should start doing / buy, that I don't do as of today. (See above) Most people just start pitching.Β 

- How did you prepare for this interview? What do you know about me?Β 

- If you could close a 100k deal, but you know they will churn at renewal because of the product. Would you do it?Β 
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