A number of my clients are in the process of interviewing candidates for large account selling. To help them find the best candidates, we go through an exercise at the beginning of the process to define and rank the qualities and skills that we want the ideal person to have. Here is a list of those qualities and traits of Superstar Salespeople I look for throughout the interview process:
Get to the Top
The best start at the top rather than work their way up. In large account sales knowing how to get to the top of the executive chain, to those who make the real decisions of size and strategy when selecting vendors and partners, will be necessary.
Speak Senior Exec
“You get sent to whom you sound like” is a truth that shows up in action for most people in sales. The best salespeople can speak all of the languages of the members of the buying group, but most importantly, they can speak to the senior executive with confidence and relevance.
Complexity is the enemy of speed in the sales process. Superstars know this and work well in translating what appears to be complex into simple and relevant explanations.
Complex sales require a variety of people from your organization and the buyer’s to communicate, document, exchange information, and stay on task. A great salesperson keeps an eye on the details as if he or she was a Project Manager, ensuring progress and that nothing gets missed.
Big sales are rarely large volume purchases of off-the-shelf products or solutions. Rather, they typically have some unique challenges included. The great salespeople have the creativity to design a solution that meets both their own company’s and their buyer’s needs
Superstars are persistent, but they can move on when they realize a deal is just not achievable. A clear ability to determine when it is time to move past a prospect that cannot or will not change from their current provider or approach is necessary in order to achieve all of the goals for the year.
The expectation is that questions and metrics are included in the interview process that give these qualities a thorough evaluation against attitudes, evaluation scores, and past experiences. Most average salespeople can anticipate what answer you want to hear. You have to design your interview to reveal the traits of superstar salespeople.