How to Hire Salespeople Remotely
If it’s time to hire new salespeople, but most or all of your team is still working remotely, how can you be assured you can trust your new hire when you’ve never even met them?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are still allowing — and even encouraging — their employees to work from home. If your business hasn’t fully resumed its normal operations, you may need to conduct remote interviews for new sales talent, especially if you’re hoping to expand your team. How can you screen candidates for culture fit when you can only speak to them by phone or video call? How can you ensure that they’ll add value to your team?
In this article, we’ll share some tips for hiring remotely so you can send an offer letter with confidence. This will help you onboard your new employees sooner rather than later and bolster your faith in your hiring decision.
We start first with the information you’re putting out there: is your job description clear enough?
Refine your job description
Is your job description generic — something you copied and pasted from the internet? If so, you may be attracting the wrong types of salespeople or, worse, no candidates at all. Generic job descriptions can even get flagged as spam by automated moderators on job-posting sites, simply because they recognize the text and assume it’s some kind of scam.
The more specific you can be about your company, your mission, and your values, the more likely you’ll be to attract salespeople who resonate with those things. And you’ll probably get cover letters that are more inspired, which, in general, will make the screening and interviewing process more fun for you.
At the same time, don’t rely too heavily on a quirky or fun job title in your job description. In fact, a strange title, such as “Growth Hacker,” might turn most people off because they either don’t know what that position is, or they don’t believe it could possibly be a real job.
Ask about remote experience
In this strange new world, we don’t really know how long we’ll be working from home.
It’s quite possible that you and your team members may be working remotely for the rest of the year, and even into next year. Before you decide to interview a candidate, you’ll want to check whether or not that person has remote sales experience, because being a salesperson in an isolated environment is its own special challenge, especially when the person is new to your company.
If the person does have remote sales experience, then you’ll definitely want to spend a good portion of the interview asking the candidate more about it. Why did they work remotely before the pandemic? Did they find their experience working remotely to be productive?
These kinds of questions not only tell you more about the candidate but also give you clues on how the candidate might perform remotely.
Pay attention to remote communication skills
Before you decide to interview someone, you’ll want to assess the quality of their cover letter and resume.
Does it seem like he or she put time and effort into writing these materials — and proofreading them? Does the person seem courteous and polite? When you reach out to the candidate for the first time, how does he or she respond? How is the person’s phone voice? During the video-interview stage, you’ll want to pay attention to details like the person’s facial expressions and body language.
Sure, you can train a new hire to improve their communication skills, but, at the very least, they should be able to successfully communicate who they are and what they’re looking for. An uncommunicative remote worker can be extremely frustrating, especially when you’re not sure what they’ve accomplished on any given day. Also, they tend to take longer to get back to you with simple questions.
And consider this: a remote salesperson needs to pop over the phone and onto video calls, because that’s going to be their entire job. If they can’t sell themselves over a Zoom call, how are they going to sell you and your product to potential clients?
Hire remote salespeople with confidence
Just because you can’t currently meet your prospective salespeople in person doesn’t mean you can’t make a great hire.
Following these tips may help you find your next sales star. And the best part of hiring remotely is that you don’t have to limit your talent pool to a 30-minute drive from your offices. Instead, you can hire the best salespeople all cross the globe if you know how to manage your time zones. You can even help your sales team bond online and improve their sales skills all in one shot.
Basically, remote work doesn’t have to be a roadblock to your business. With a few simple adjustments, you can hit the ground running in these odd circumstances.