The fact is, we all have bad habits! Yes, even me, and probably you too.The habits I’m referring to are things we do in our professional lives in order to make the day go faster, easier and involve less work. So what are the bad habits to look out for when you have a sales job available and you are recruiting sales staff?
AdministrationLots of salespeople dislike administration. They tend not to do it properly because it cuts into their selling time. They perceive it to be non-productive so they avoid doing it, always leaving it “until tomorrow.”
The problem is, as we all know, tomorrow never comes and the poor sales guy end up with a pile of incomplete “paperwork”, which nowadays probably doesn't involve paper at all, cluttering up his desk – and his brain.
The result? Things don’t get done, or they get done too late, colleagues are not kept up-to-date with what is going on in the salesperson’s world and things start to break up.
How to spot it at an interview – ask a question like “tell me about your typical day, how do you divide up your time?” If there's no mention of the "a" word, you might want to move onto the next candidate.
Good sales “PR”Although salespeople frequently operate out in the field, they tend to forget that their colleagues, or at least the office-based ones, do not. Whereas a good field salesperson could, and should, be out and about when the customer has requested to see them, or when there is a good chance of catching someone, the staff that support them back in the office usually work to “normal” office hours.
If you start the day at 6am in order to get to a client for an early meeting because that’s the only time he or she could see you, which is very much the case in a lot of sales jobs, then you could be forgiven for taking a breakfast break after that meeting and then making your way into the office.
Your colleagues, however, may simply see that as “the salespeople here do as they want, turn up when they can be bothered,” being unaware of the actual facts or choosing to ignore them.
The salesperson should always ensure that at least one other person in the office knows their diary, where they are and when they have to be there – this information will percolate around the business and, as a result, colleagues will be aware of the schedule the salesperson has to keep and will think more highly of them although I wouldn't over egg that particular pudding.
How to spot it at an interview – “do you keep a diary, do you share it with colleagues?” “Is it an online diary or the old fashioned paper type?”
Is he or she a team player?If you ask whether someone is a team player they will probably say that they are, because that's the way many organisations think that work should be structured, but are they really?
Most sales jobs actually involve a team, even if the business does not have a formal team structure.
The marketing department generates leads, the salesman follows those leads up and closes the business, probably after a demonstration by the sales support people, then the production staff, or the buyers, warehouse people and so on, all move in to play their part.
It’s almost always a team effort of one sort or another.
So, when recruiting sales staff and sitting in front of the latest candidate for your sales job, it’s important to know how he or she will fit into the overall structure of the business.
If the salesperson takes a disproportionate amount of the “credit” for the sale it can cause bad feeling and work against the interests of the business so try to nip it in the bud before it happens.
How to spot it at an interview - at an interview, spot the “Lone Rangers” by asking questions like “in your current sales job, how many people are involved in the average sale, from enquiry to delivery, and who are they, (roles, not names)?”
If the answer is “one” or “just me” then proceed with caution.
OK, I know these aren't really bad habits like some I could, but won’t, mention, but they are potential problem pits just waiting to open up and swallow up your time and resources if you are not careful.
When you need to recruit sales staff and be confident that you are talking to candidates that will really fit in with your business culture, always contact a specialist sales recruitment agency like Aaron Wallis. We can pre-screen candidates for your sales jobs and save you time today – and problems further down the line.