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Recently a client queried with me how HR could improve sales performance. In the first place, good recruitment is crucial. Here are some top tips.

Start with the “person specification”

Spend time thinking through the skills and qualities you want in each sales person that you want to recruit. For example, if it is a sales manager that you want then the ability to motivate others may be one quality that you will want in the specification. When you’ve completed your person spec, flash it across an HR Professional. Someone, not under the pressure you may feel, can often spot detail that will lever advantage for you.

Think about your employer brand

Are you the type of employer for whom you would like to work? Today larger organisations take their employer branding seriously. Do people like working for you? Are you theory X (employees are interested only in themselves) or theory Y (employees value relationships)? Which theory do your policies and procedures reflect? How will you express your management philosophy in any advertisement?

Draft advertisements professionally

D-I-Y advertisements can pale when compared to those from copywriters. But if you want to avoid becoming embroiled with a recruitment agency remember the AIDA principles: Attract, Interest, Desire, Action. Make sure that your advertisement reflects your person specification and your employer brand. Be cautious too of exaggerating the dynamism required. You’ll be seeking a human being; superwoman won’t apply. You can always take a second expert opinion on your wording before going public.

Selection is critical

It doesn’t really matter whether they support the same football club, or have children the same age as yours. Relationships are important, but you need someone who also satisfies those qualities you identified in the job specification. Unless you are very lucky, interviews alone hit the mark about a third of the time; casual interviews even less so. You can double your success rate by using specialised selection techniques.

Get them on board

The hard work seems to have been done, you have the right person. You want them performing as soon as possible, and you want to keep them.

Now is the time to make them part of your team. A sound induction programme will help ensure they are motivated from the outset and, more importantly, still with you in four months time.

And if you’ve made a mistake (it happens) then grasp the nettle. Employer Solutions can be on hand to manage the process fairly and safely.

Reward them

Commission and bonus schemes can be very motivational but, all too often, they become subjects of disillusionment and dispute. If you envisage such schemes take great care over the structure, process and wording. Employer Solutions has decades of experience in bonus, incentive and commission schemes so, if you want a second opinion or even a full design, please contact us.

Finally, remember that money is not the only motivator – but that matter needs to be the subject of another blog!