In Sales, Hire for Personality, then Train for Skill

March 4, 2013

Of course we all have our wish-list of  requirements for prospective additions to our sales teams, but this article explores the benefits of hiring a more malleable candidate. I hope you find this article useful! — Kathy Dean, CEO, TeneoTalent, Inc.

by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer

When it comes to hiring sales talent, most companies prefer to “buy” instead of “build.” A sales leader at a technology company recently told us: “We only hire experienced salespeople who can hit the ground running.” Leaders of these companies argue that hiring experience reduces training costs while allowing the company to gain outside perspective. In addition, salespeople with experience in the same industry bring customers and get quick sales.

But experience alone is not a sufficient predictor of who will be successful in a sales role.

Most companies have hiring profiles that identify the attributes that recruiters should look for. The best hiring profiles are specific to the sales role. Consider two profiles we saw recently for jobs in insurance sales and technical sales.

Here’s what the insurance company was looking for in its sales rep:

Read the full article at the Harvard Business Review Blog Network.


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