Sometimes it is just necessary to throw the rule book out when it comes to hiring the candidate that you know will be instrumental to your sales team’s success. After all, you’re breaking the rules for a good reason – for the greater good of the company. Since attracting and retaining top talent is a primary internal concern for CEOs now is the time we reconsider the hiring process. Here are five rules you need to break so that you can hire the best sales people:

They must have two years of sales experience

This is a sure way of restricting your talent pool and missing out on hiring top talent. How many times have you hired someone with years of sales experience at top-performing companies and then it became clear early on that they were a bad hire? Previous experience doesn’t make a good sales person. Experienced, “cookie-cutter” candidates bring with them their go-to methods and are less flexible to new approaches. Hiring someone with little to no sales experience is an opportunity to introduce your company’s processes as industry best practices.  You must focus on the candidates’ potential rather than their credentials – ask yourself how their previous experience or education demonstrates their ability to adapt, learn and be a team player.

Resisting salary increases

While you will have a salary in mind you must be open to extending that by around 10%, because if you are too stubborn to meet candidates somewhere in the middle, you’re at risk of leaving them feeling undervalued. A negotiation means that neither you nor the candidate feels as though they have capitulated. Failing to do so may lead the candidate to look for a new job shortly after, one where they believe the employers are paying them a fair salary.

They must work the same hours as your sales team

One study found that 28% of respondents are motivated to look for a new job that offers more convenient hours. A work-life balance is becoming more important to today’s workforce, and especially to Millennials who are increasingly dominating the job market. By being flexible with working hours you are giving your sales team the freedom to fit their hobbies and responsibilities around their workday. This can greatly boost their job satisfaction and wellbeing.

A formulaic interview approach

While you may have to ask candidates the same questions to ensure you’re giving them all the same chance to make an impression, this doesn’t mean you have to ask the same tired old questions. Your interview questions should encourage candidates to tell their story and sell themselves, so you get a true sense of their attitude towards work. For example, ditch the “What is your biggest weakness?” question and instead rephrase it as “In this role which skills would you like to develop?”. Now the candidates won’t rattle off their prepared answer, but you’ll get an insight into whether they’re focused on self-improvement and how they plan to go above and beyond for your sales team.

Hiring someone that is a good cultural fit

Focusing on whether you think a candidate will “fit in” at your company puts you at danger of hiring a team that are all carbon copies of each other, and this lack in diversity essentially sacrifices your sales team’s chance to be innovative. A team that all act and think the same won’t produce the best work, nor are they guaranteed to work well together. Also, since this attribute is extremely difficult to measure and very much open to interpretation you can end up hiring someone who is entirely wrong for your company. While it is important that a new hire shares the same values as your company, there are other characteristics to look out for that are better indicators of a sales rep who will surpass their targets.

Let BMS help you hire top talent

Do you want help making sure that your next hire is the right one? Our specialist sales consultants are here to help you. BMS was founded in 1990 and since then we have established ourselves as a sales recruitment agency with people at the heart of everything we do. Contact us here to start a conversation about how we can help.