Evaluating sales candidate resumes can be an excruciating and time-consuming process. Most resumes are incomplete or poorly structured, making it impossible for even the best talent evaluators to determine fit. Sorting through off-target or often-lacking resumes also extends the hiring timeline and increases the chances of making a bad hiring decision.
Hiring sales representatives is imperfect science, but there are specific data points that help determine fit and the likelihood of a great hire. When reviewing resumes, look at a candidate’s previous experience and isolate key elements that are relevant (or not) to your open role. Here are five essential data points that should be clearly identified before proceeding with any sales candidate:
Sales Cycle Experience
Sales cycle experience is a very important indicator of fit. If the sales cycle for the open position is very fast and the candidate in process only has long sales cycle experience, he or she may not be able to adjust to the fast pace of your business.
Average Contract Value
Some salespeople do better with quick, transactional or smaller contract amounts. Some prefer large contracts that take time, coordination and multiple stages to complete. Another important data point to look at here is whether the rep candidate has sold monthly or annual (or longer) contracts and how this correlates to your opening.
Product vs. Solution vs. Service Sales
Selling a product and selling a solution require completely different sales motions. For example, selling custom software development is vastly different from selling a SaaS platform subscription. On top of this, selling services adds another layer of differentiation. If your open position requires ongoing services sales experiences, be sure to identify that experience upfront.
New Business vs. Renewal or Expansion Sales Experience
The ‘sales personality’ of a great new business rep can be significantly different from that of a sales rep who is focused on renewal business. Some salespeople thrive when closing new clients but are horrible at fostering and growing sustainable long-term client relationships needed in great account management.
A rep’s sales process is critical to determining fit. If the role you are hiring for requires full-cycle sales, and the candidates you’re considering have never performed any top-of-funnel activities this could be an indicator of a bad fit. Be sure to identify the key steps in your company’s sales process, and then make sure the reps in your candidate pipeline have similar experiences.
Here are a few additional data points that should be considered:
- Sales Tools Experiences
- Quota vs Quota Attainment
- Industry Experience
Hiring client-facing professionals is hard, but if you have the right data available upfront, you can expedite the candidate evaluation process and make better hiring decisions, faster.
Check out the 3 Interview Questions I Always Ask Tech Sales Candidates