What to Look For in a Good Inside Salesperson

            There
are a lot of inside sales managers—seasoned pros and rookies? alike—who are
cautious right now about hiring. 
They’re gunshy—they don’t want to make a mistake.  The current economy is offering up a lot
of talent to choose from which can make hiring decisions even more difficult to
make.  Remember, there are
candidates that interview extremely well for the position, but who falter once
they land the job.  Unfortunately,
that’s difficult to detect during the interview process. 

              One thing managers need to do once
they’ve finished hiring is to pay very close attention to their new employees’
work habits and actions.  This is
not the time for a manager to squirrel away in this office and cut himself off.  He must be on the floor watching and
listening and offering advice. 
This is not considered babysitting, but coaching.

            A
manager has some key things to look for in new employees’ first few hours on
the job, and he needs to address concerns and take action immediately.

           

            Is
the new employee focused on the job?

 

            This
may seem like a no-brainer because typically new hires are fired up and excited
especially during the first week on the job, but there are little things that
are not so obvious which a manager needs to take into account.  For example, is the new employee
developing a rhythm, or establishing a work pattern, or is he looking around
aimlessly or talking with colleagues, or on the computer looking up leads?  (Why’s
he looking up leads—you just provided him with 200?) 
Although it’s critical for a salesperson to trust his instincts and make
intelligent decisions to be successful, a manager doesn’t want him to stray far
from the company’s sales process and training.  The new hire that goes it alone because he doesn’t find
immediate success needs to be reigned in quickly.  A new salesperson’s independence should not be a given, it
should be earned.

 

            Does
the new hire
love the
chase?

 

            Love, not like. 
A good manager wants a salesperson that makes more than the necessary
dials, and, more importantly, gets the decision maker
on the phone. 
There are many salespeople who are content just to talk to someone,
anyone, and usually not
the
decision-maker.  The salesperson
that loves the chase only wants to talk with the person that makes the
call.  The manager can make this
distinction between the Chaser

and the Talker
simply by
listening to the phone conversation.   If the conversation is on the long side and too upbeat
and cheerful, the chances are pretty good that the salesperson is talking to
the wrong person.  On the flipside,
the salesperson that’s talking with the right person is more intense, more
focused, and pushing the sales process forward.  It’s all in the eyes. 
Look at the eyes of a Chaser. 
Look how he’s locked in. 
Look at the eyes of a Talker. 
Look how they dart about, glazed over.

 

            Does
the new salesperson want the ball when the game’s on the line?

 

             The
Chaser wants the ball, the Talker doesn’t.  The manager knows this by watching how high or low the
salesperson is shooting.  The
Chaser will go after those impossible to reach big time decision makers at
large companies with the most difficult gatekeepers.  He’s unafraid. 
The Talker will go down the same roads that every other salesperson has
traveled and be happy doing it. 
He’s not driven.

 

            Those
new employees’ first few hours are critical to the inside sales manager, but if
the manager has his eye out, and knows what he’s looking for, he’ll know sooner
rather than later if he’s got a winning team on his hands.