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3 Steps To Follow When Recruiting For Your Inside Sales Team


Over the past couple of years, I have gotten a decent handle on what to look for when recruiting candidates to join our existing team of inside sales representatives. There are definitely some key areas to look out for throughout the interview process. And while this statement may seem obvious, I have given the green light on some candidates in the past that haven’t worked out so well, even though I thought they would probably be the top performers on the team. Since then, my colleagues and I have developed some rules and steps to follow to eliminate this from happening as much as possible. I do understand that every sales manager has their own “rules” they follow when conducting interviews and reviewing resumes, but here are a few more to think about from my perspective:recruiting

  1. Capture second and third opinions from colleagues and from your existing reps throughout the hiring process. Remember, you aren’t the only person that the new hire will be working with. So while it is important that you get along with the individual, they need to be someone that your team wants to work with as well. Your reps will be a great resource for the candidates to ask questions to, and your reps will be able to determine if they think the candidate will be a good fit with the existing company culture. They are the ones that hold the existing position they are interviewing for, so who better for candidates to meet with than them?
  2. Be sure to incorporate some form of phone communication within the interview process, through an initial phone screen or a role play. Ideally, you want to engage the candidate in both of these steps. The phone screen will give you an idea of the presence they have on the phone, and whether they seem confident – this will be a good indicator of how they will appear to prospects if they were to get offered the position. The role play will help you understand how they react to curve balls, and how quickly they can think on their feet. If the candidate is using a lot of fillers like “Um” and “Ah”, inside sales might not be the best fit for them. I completely understand nerves, and yes you can help train to eliminate these habits, but there is a line that needs to be drawn if it’s popping up too frequently.
  3. Evaluate written communication skills. Inside sales is called inside sales for a reason – most everything is completed over email and phone. Whether your reps are sending emails to prospects, to you, or to outside sales reps, written communication skills are crucial. My team and colleagues know that if someone sends me a write up regarding an opportunity they uncovered, or if they send an email to a client with grammatical/spelling errors, it does not go over well. If an interviewee sends me a resume, cover letter, or thank you note with errors like these, this raises a red flag for me. This shows me that they don’t pay attention to detail, which is very important when communicating with me, the client, or sales rep about an opportunity they uncover. If they don’t pay attention to detail during the interview process, how can you trust that they will to pay attention to detail once they have the job?

There are obvious steps to follow when interviewing potential candidates to join your inside sales team. For instance, you ask certain questions throughout the interview about their work history, previous quotas they needed to hit, how they handle rejection, etc. Aside from that, however, it’s crucial to incorporate steps into the process that evaluate written communication skills, their ability to exude confidence over the phone, and lastly, to gauge how the entire team feels about them. What are the steps and rules you utilize to build the best team possible? 


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