The 5 Signs A Superstar Sales Person Is Sitting In Front Of You
At LivRecruit, we pride ourselves on the quality of the software salespeople we put forward. After meeting with them, analysing their skillset and thoroughly vetting them, we offer their CVs to you, and you agree with us: this person definitely deserves an interview.
However, it is what comes next that matters and some interviewers do not always spot the signs that a superstar sales person is sitting in front of them.
Everyone sitting in a sales role is going to sell themselves well. Sometimes, a smooth talker manages to pull the wool over the hiring manager’s eyes about their ability, and they are hired instead of the quality candidate— only for you to discover your costly mistake down the line.
So, what are these signs that you are speaking with a software sales superstar (or one in the making?)
1. They are great at explaining complex things in simple language.
Software sales reps are always going to be dealing with technical language, but the real stars are the ones that can break down this language into ‘layman’s terms’, as well as have incredibly technical conversations with more tech savvy customers. The best IT salespeople make this switch with ease; while the worst allow their frustration with the technically challenged to show.
A great way to test the candidate’s ability to synthesise high level information and technical terms into easily understandable language is to ask them to present an ‘elevator pitch’ of the last product they sold.
Additionally, you can ask them to present it in two ways: both layman’s terms and for a technical audience. Watch the stars shine in this exercise….
2. They ask good questions (AND listen).
You know that the best salespeople ask lots of questions so they can understand the prospect’s business need. An interview is a prime opportunity to test the candidate’s ability to ask good questions. Are they asking you probing questions about the company and the role?
One of the questions you ask could focus on their ability to question, such as;
“‘Tell us your favourite question to present to a prospect during a cold-call.”
Remember to keep a careful eye on how much the candidate talks. If they are talking nineteen to the dozen and sharing lots of different examples of their successes, there’s a good chance they will do more talking than listening when faced with a client.
3. They have the proof.
High performing sales people should always be able to provide proof that they excelled in their last role, generally by providing their sales stats. However, don’t stop there: your interview questions should all be ‘competency based’: that is, they require the candidate to provide examples of times when they have demonstrated a skill or quality in the past.
For example: Tell me about a time when you nearly lost a key client, but turned them around and managed to upgrade their software. How did you do this?
If you are dealing with someone new to sales, you will have to rely heavily on these competency based interview questions to gauge what talent the person might have for sales.
4. They are very well organised.
Sales is a science, and it requires an ordered mind (as well as a religiously-kept CRM). Ask your candidate to run through their working day or week. The good ones will know exactly how they go about their day, how much time they spend on each task on average, and how many calls they make versus who they convert.
5. They are not afraid of rejection.
Ask the number (not percentage) of calls they make each week that end in rejection. The candidate’s willingness to answer this one without pause is a clear indicator of their attitude towards rejection.
Less confident candidates may stumble with this one, thinking that a high number of rejections indicates they are not very good at getting leads over the line.
As you know, the best salespeople make a whole lot of calls, knowing that rejection is just part of the process. The more calls they make, the more rejections they will face, but the more sales they will make in the process too.
Next time you are holding software sales interviews, look for these vital signs you are facing someone who can do wonders for your business.
Until next time,
LivRecruit specialises in Inside Sales, Senior Sales and Technology Recruitment. The LivRecruit team is based in Greater Manchester and have over 17 years’ experience providing recruitment solutions for technology companies across the UK.
If you are looking for the right new hire for your technology team or want to take your career to the next level call us on 0161 883 2856 or email us here.