NEED A NEW SALES HIRE? RECRUITING WITH CULTURE IN MIND IS KEY
NEED A NEW SALES HIRE? RECRUITING WITH CULTURE IN MIND IS KEY
There’s no doubt recruiting new sales staff is arduous. Bad hires open you up to a whole host of problems. It starts with their ineptitude in performing their job, which leads to poor productivity and sales results. This then affects your sales team’s morale, causing others to jump ship. Before you know it, things can quickly spiral out of control and you’re right back where you started - trying to hire more staff yet again! Not only is it a huge waste of your time, it sends your recruitment costs sky high and, in the process, hurts your bottom-line.
But what if we told you there is a way to stack the odds in your favour during the hiring process? That hiring purely based on skill and experience might not be the best approach and instead, you should hire for cultural fit and/or cultural add. It’s an innovative way to recruit that might just be the solution you're looking for.
LOOKING BEYOND THE RESUME
When you’re looking for a new sales team member, it is natural to first review their résumé. Do they have all the requisite skills and experience to succeed in your team? After all, if they don’t, what’s the point in interviewing them, right? Well, there is one.
People can always be trained up when it comes to a skills gap. But it’s pretty hard to shift their core values, beliefs and personality. If you can make sure a potential new hire aligns with your current team’s culture – or can add to it – you will quickly create a work environment that breeds success.
Not quite convinced? Let’s delve into the detail of hiring for a culture fit and culture add to see if it’s the boost your sales team needs.
Hiring for culture over skills or experience means you’re looking to find people that ‘get’ your sales team and company DNA.
When you hire by looking at culture, you can do it in one of two ways:
Each one is quite different when it comes to the impact it can have on your sales team.
WHAT IS CULTURE FIT?
Culture fit is based on the central tenet that people with similar interests and qualities function better as a team. Broadly speaking, it means the potential employee not only understands but also shares, the core beliefs and values of your company and team. They also act in ways that support this.
Hiring for cultural fit can be tricky. You need to ask a lot of questions to flesh out whether the candidate is on the same page as your team. Working out whether they are just saying what you want to hear, or whether they truly believe it, is often the hardest part. That’s where asking for concrete examples of their previous work behaviours can help. Download our free guide of 20 Culture-related Questions To Ask Your Potential Salespeople here to help you better interview for culture.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT HIRING FOR CULTURE FIT?
There are a number of benefits to having a sales team that is culturally aligned.
1. Team members enjoy each other’s company
It’s common for people with similar interests and personalities to get along. Working 8 - 10 hours a day with people you like obviously makes for a much better team environment, which is great for morale and retention.
2. Greater team cohesion
Team members are more likely to collaborate and work out mutually-beneficial solutions to problems if they like one another, creating a stronger overall team and output.
3. Less conflict
Not just liking, but really understanding, your fellow sales colleagues goes a long way to reducing tension that is often rife in the sales environment thanks to targets and commission structures.
WHAT’S NOT-SO-GREAT ABOUT HIRING FOR CULTURE FIT?
Too much of one thing is never good for you. A lack of diversity in your sales teams can lead to stagnation and a lack of innovation. The creative spark can die very quickly which is not something you want when it comes to developing new ways to sell and beat targets.
WHAT IS CULTURE ADD?
Where culture fit seeks to find teams members like your current ones, culture add is the opposite. It’s all about introducing difference in terms of communication styles, interests and perspectives to your team.
An example: perhaps you’ve got a team filled with strong-willed sales people and you’ve found that while they are great closers, they struggle when it comes to building and maintaining client relationships. When looking for a new member, consider hiring someone with a softer or more relaxed personality and communication style even if they come from a different industry vertical or lack some of the necessary skills.
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT HIRING FOR CULTURE ADD?
There are a number of benefits to having a ‘mixed bag of lollies’ sales team, rather than a generic bag of red frogs.
As all team members have slightly different skill sets, they can help one another out as needed, making for a much stronger team. For example, one salesperson may have a strong business acumen whereas another has on-point technical or product knowledge. There is much to learn from one another with the likely end result being two stronger salespeople.
2. Mixed opinions
Different viewpoints are the key to creativity and innovative sales solutions. Team members will challenge each other’s stances, breaking the group mentality that is often found in culture fit teams (which also often produces homogenous results). This is great for growth, both in sales figures and personal development for staff.
3. Difference is valued
More often than not, those in a culture add team are recognised for their unique abilities and perspectives. As it feels good to be valued for your take on things, sales staff often feel more invested in the team.
4. A greater pool of candidates
Choosing to hire with culture add in mind - rather than purely on sales experience and results- means you can open up the playing field. You will get to choose from a greater variety of candidates who can potentially offer your sales team a lot more in terms of attributes and perspectives.
WHAT’S NOT-SO-GREAT ABOUT HIRING FOR CULTURE ADD?
As backgrounds, values, interests and perspectives differ in a culture add team, there’s a higher chance you’ll get a clash of opinions and ideas when working together. This can make it difficult when it comes to competition among sales team members or attempting to come to a group consensus or decision.
There’s also the higher possibility the team environment may not be as harmonious as that in a culture fit team which could impact on morale.
WHICH ONE IS BEST?
So now we get to the million-dollar question: should you hire for skills, culture fit or culture add? When it comes to sales, the best way is to use a combination of all three! This ensures you get the positives from each method.
Need a little extra help in this process? Check out our free download, 20 Culture-based Questions You Can Ask Potential New Salespeople. Or feel free to get in contact with us at bta Sales. We’ve got plenty of experience when it comes to finding the right fit for your sales team and hiring for a mix of skills, culture add and fit.