Saturday, May 12, 2012

11 Mistakes Modular Factory Sales Managers Make When Hiring New Sales Reps


Let’s face it. Hiring a new modular home factory sales rep is usually nothing more than a crap shoot. Many sales people simply don’t work out or perform as expected. This is largely due to the fact that many sales managers make a variety of mistakes when hiring sales reps.  Here are 11 of the most common mistakes modular factory sales managers make when hiring new sales reps.

1. They conduct low quality interviews. Most sales managers have never learned how to conduct a high-quality interview. This isn’t their fault; it’s just that most companies do not teach managers how to conduct great interviews.

2. They fail to ask tough, probing questions. Most hiring managers ask questions about work history, experience, and general performance. However, they neglect to ask questions about gaps in a candidate’s resume and they are uncomfortable asking probing questions about previous performance especially if the candidate worked for another factory.  You would be surprised how many under qualified reps get hired simply because the sales manager has no training in place for “new to modular” candidates.

3. They get mislead by candidates who interview well. Many sales people have a tremendous ability to “smooze” and make a great first impression. This often leads to the sales manager to feel good about a particular candidate. However, just because you like someone does not mean they will perform well once they are hired.  The sales manager relies on their gut feeling and most times their gut is wrong.


4. They do not check references. Checking references is not an enjoyable task especially when you have a multitude of other tasks demanding your attention. Connecting with previous employers, especially if the candidate is still working for a competitor,  is a challenge and many managers don’t want to appear skeptical so they neglect this step in the recruiting process.

5. They do not consider the type of sales person they need for their specific sales environment. For example, most modular home factory sales managers require a sales rep to make dozens of cold calls but if they hire a someone who is not proficient at this, that rep’s results will be less than satisfactory.

6. They don’t ask candidates exactly how they will achieve results. Once again, this requires that you ask probing questions to determine exactly how the potential employee will generate the sales that you require.  This is especially important if the candidate has worked in the modular housing industry before.

7. They talk too much during the interview. Conducting an interview means giving the applicant sufficient air time. Too many managers talk about the company and their goals instead of asking questions and allowing the rep to talk. The general rule of thumb is to make sure that the candidate talks at least 70 percent of the time.

8. They hire to “fill a gap.”   It is not uncommon for sales managers to race through the recruiting process in an effort to quickly hire someone because they need a rep in place. After all, hiring reps is seldom a task that managers enjoy. In these situations, managers focus on the positive aspects of the applicant and neglect to see their possible shortcomings. This often leads to “hiring remorse” once they discover that the rep is not entirely suitable.  A bad decision in hiring a new sales rep can cost you builders and millions in repeat sales.

9. They allow interruptions during the interview. Sales managers have dozens of tasks and projects on their plate at any given time and often allow other staff including their assistant to interrupt them during an interview. Effective interviews must be conducted without distractions and interruptions.

10. They only interview people who have industry experience.  Many people are fully capable of performing well in modular housing industry providing they are suitable fit to your particular sales environment. Industry experience brings baggage and preconceived idea. Candidates who do not have modular experience often bring a new perspective to the sales role.  But they will fail miserable without organized training.

11. They do not get second opinions. Interviewing a sales rep requires more than one perspective. Effective sales managers get other people in the company involved in the interviewing process and they compile all of the feedback before making a hiring decision.

Avoid these mistakes and improve your chances of hiring a top performing sales person.

1 comment:

sales training melbourne said...

It is very important for sales managers to avoid the mistakes you have provided while hiring new sales persons. If you hire sales persons without avoiding these mistakes than it can become harmful for you. Thanks for sharing these mistakes.