January 08, 2009

There is no such thing as the perfect sales candidate

Recruting sales people is one of the riskiest decisions any manager can make and most managers will be selecting the wrong salesperson 1 time in 4 when they add to their sales team.  

Here is one of the key reasons: it is not about hiring a great salesperson, or finding the person that can 'sell sand to the arabs'. 

Success requires finding the right salesperson for your organisation given its size, resources and culture and the particular sales and marketing opportunities and challenges facing your company at this particular time in a specific market. 

For example, will a successful sales person from a large organisation such as IBM be successfull in a small organisations where they do not have the brand, marketing, lead generation and pre-sales support they are used to.

Will a proven deal closer be successful in an early stage organisation where opening doors and generating leads is the requirements.  

There is no one best, ideal or perfect sales candiate.  Getting a clearer fix on requirements is the first step to increasing the chances of success. 

Or can a sales person who has a proven track record of closing big deals succeed in a role where there will be no deals to be closed until 6-10 month of ground work is done in terms of building target lists, cold calling companies, first meetings, etc.

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