Mandatory and Desirable Criteria for Hiring Salespeople

When you’re actively looking for a new salesperson, not everyone who passes over your electronic threshold is a prime candidate for the job of sales professional. To eliminate obvious misfits from the pile of responses you hope to get from your recruiting efforts, you need to have a filter through which you will pass the résumés and applications. You do this by developing a set of mandatory and desirable criteria.

Some general categories of criteria are:

  • Education
  • Past applicable work experience
  • Previous training (non-sales)
  • Special skills
  • Hobbies or interests
  • Socio-economic level
  • Personality traits
  • Stability
  • Sales training
  • Organizational skills

Take the time to build a filter for a sales position in your company. Look at the categories above and decide which factors are "must-have" (mandatory) and which are "nice-to-have" (desirable) and build your list.

Beware of establishing requirements that are too stringent and therefore may eliminate a good candidate. For example, a university degree may be nice to have (desirable) but don’t make it a mandatory requirement unless it really is mandatory.

Rank your "desirables" as to what is most desirable, next most desirable, etc. This will help you select between candidates who may have many of the required criteria for the position. Now it’s a matter of selecting the most desirable.

Using a mandatory/desirable criteria filter will help eliminate wasted interview time and help you find a better quality candidate.

If you want some help with this, check out my eBook on How to Hire Salespeople Who Can Sell.

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