Of course, everyone has a checklist.
They might even sell you a pen or a winter snow idea.
And it doesn't matter that they're a future manager – they should know how to sell too.
All true, but
If you feel a match during the interview, it's time to take action.
Namely – to the test assignment.
Provide a task gradually after the interview (2-3 sub-stages);
Set a deadline;
Discuss the results, analyzing both perspectives: yours and the candidate's.
‼️ Create and include business cases in the test assignment based on your company.
What does this give us?
In theory – nothing new.
In practice – an approach, thinking, and ideas of our future Sales Department Manager.
You can evaluate how adaptable they are to your product/service market and in which direction they envision your project's growth.
☝️Short one-word answers – not good.
We rely on hypotheses, sparks in the eyes, and creative flair in how they describe the task and the crucial moments, in their view.
Put the candidate in stressful situations: sales department stagnation, failure to meet quarterly targets, intense competition...
Ask them to model problem-solving:
What recommendations would they give?
What tools would they use if they followed their own recommendations?
This will help gauge their understanding of the market and their experience in addressing such challenges.
Consider conflict scenarios that might arise while working with the sales department.
This will help assess their conflict management skills and ability to find compromises.
You're implementing new tools in the team. Two out of six employees sabotage it. They refuse to use the tools and say, "These calls, CRM, and all that – it's quicker to do 'our way' and add info to notes – you want speed, here you go" – what would the potential manager do?
A salesperson has been with the company for a while.
After three months, it's clear they're objectively not a fit anymore. They're not generating anything new, not updating the old database.
It's time to let them go❎
When discussing termination, they nervously crack their fingers and say, "I need a severance pay of six months; I read on a legal forum that it's a common practice" – What's the plan?
This will reveal their experience with terminations and dealing with sabotage ⚙️
Lastly, but not least:
How do they envision the ideal salesperson in your company?
What skills should they possess?
What would they highlight in a job posting?
What brief would they give the recruiter?
➕1️⃣ to understanding how our future Sales Department Manager evaluates and qualifies potential sales managers for themselves.
As an extra step, you can ask them to describe a weekly plan for both managers and themselves: schedule, tasks, timing, etc.
This will help you understand the structure of daily tasks and the important points the candidate pays attention to.
The Cherry on Top
You've conducted the interview, the candidate answered all the test questions wonderfully. Want to impress them?
❗️Scenario: "It's the 15th, and we haven't even fulfilled half of the target"❗️
What's crucial to resolve and take action on in the sales department in this case?
Which tools will they employ? The plan's duration doesn't matter: a month, a quarter, or half a year. The task is to understand,
⭐️ how they'll find the funds ⭐️
(This is our absolute favorite task)
Your future Sales Manager should be a Top Performer, so that every Friday, you'll be dancing to our meme.
Yes-yes, stay tuned, it's coming soon.