While the general definition of a ‘sales manager’ can encompass a vast range of skills and responsibilities, it is down to your individual organisation to pinpoint the key criteria which are relevant to your market sector needs and build these into your hiring processes.

We have set out four specific strategies that will help you achieve this and whittle down your selection to the right person.

Define key skills and qualities

What do you expect your sales manager to achieve in relation to your business? What are their KPIs? What is their most important knowledge base? What are the size and geographical spread of the team they are going to be managing? Who are they going to be reporting to? Do you require specific qualifications or market experience? Are they going to be primarily digitally active or more relational?

You are looking for a good mix of experience, knowledge, and qualification. Being clear on your primary and secondary requirements will enable you to filter down to the most suitable candidates.

Be wary, though, of being too prosaic in your search – you might miss out on some candidates who could be perfect but don’t quite tick all the boxes. Try and allow for some creativity in the answers as well. A good candidate will shine outside of those boxes!

Write a clear job description and advert

Once you have agreed on all the key elements of the sales manager’s responsibilities, you need to work that into an engaging and enticing job description that will be used in all the advertisements on job boards.

Be clear in your sales manager job description, but at the same time, allow for some room for creativity. You want someone who will take on the role and grow it in line with your company’s growth. This shows ambition and motivation.

The ideal person for the job will read your job description and instinctively know that this is the perfect role for them.

Schedule in a pre-screen call

A pre-screen call is the perfect way to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Make sure you work out your pre-screen call questions in advance, designed to whittle down the most suitable candidates.

A good mix of professional and more personal questions will give you a good insight into your potential candidate’s character.

Professional questions should relate to what they might do in certain work-related situations or ask for a general overview of how they would approach increasing sales and developing potential new markets. Don’t expect them to go into specifics at this stage – they may actually be reluctant to give too much away until they are closer to a job offer! Instead, focus on the general tone and attitude – are they motivated and ambitious for growth, do they understand their KPIs?

On a personal level, you can assess whether they could be a good cultural fit. Are they amenable on the phone? Do they have a good telephone manner?

Schedule in a video interview

Invite your selected candidates to a video interview. This is an extension to the pre-screening call, is quick and convenient for all, so it will waste minimum time and will give you further insight into those who you will finally call in for a face-to-face interview.

Once you get to that stage, you should have a good idea of who the most ideal candidates are. The final face-to-face interview will be a more personal approach to assess whether they are a good fit for your company.

Are you recruiting for a sales manager or any other role at the moment? Upload your vacancy to our portal and let us help you source the perfect candidate.