7 Signs Your Sales Candidates Don’t Have #Tigerblood

Devon-McDonald by

At the expansion stage, you need aggressive, energetic and dynamic sales people on your team who are comfortable executing ANY and EVERY stage of the sales process –those with #tigerblood. The best addition to your team will be someone who is capable of making the cold call, the warm call, moving a lead to an opportunity, hosting a demo, staying on top of the opportunity, creating a proposal, and of course, closing the deal. Finding this “jack of all sales” is going to be a challenge, no matter what market/industry you are in — but at the end of the day, you have too much to lose to take your chances with a sales dud.

Here are some warning signs that will confirm to you that your candidate is not going to be the best match for your business’ aggressive sales goals. Some of my signs might be perceived as harsh, and I’m sure there are going to be people who say, “Now wait a second… that’s not fair!” But in my experiences as a recruiter, sales manager, and now sales analyst at OpenView, these warning signs hold very, very true…

  • In the interview process, you ask the candidate where they see themselves in 5 years and they say I’d like to be in Account Management/Client Relations aka “a farmer.”
    • Why? I have a lot of friends who are in sales, and they are not doing well. They want out. Why? They hate cold calling… they HATE asking the hard questions. It’s uncomfortable. You know what they’d rather be doing? Client Relations or Account Management: Less pressure, and more relationship building. ***I know that Account Management is not necessarily more fun/less pressure — but there is definitely a misconception out there. You don’t want someone on your team who can’t handle the pressure – but rather someone who thrives under pressure. Sure there will be some exceptions to the rule. But for the most part, you’d be making a big mistake hiring a candidate who want to take the easy road. You need someone with #tigerblood to propel your business forward.
  • You don’t get a follow up thank you email from the candidate within 12 hours after the interview.
    • Follow up is key. Anyone who stalls on sending a thank you isn’t taking the position seriously or they are just not aggressive enough. P.S. Forgetting to ask for the cards of the interviewees, or not being able to find the emails on their own is a horrible excuse.
  • Your candidate looks uneasy when you tell them the daily/weekly activity expectations and quota to which you plan to hold them accountable
    • Do I really need to explain this one?
  • There are no figures on the candidate’s resume that indicate their revenue generation/accomplishments in previous sales roles.
    • Proof. ROI. There is no better way to get a sense of your candidate’s selling power than to examine their selling track record. Were they a top dog in their previous roles, or were they barely getting by? Numbers don’t lie. Oh… be sure to confirm these figures on your reference calls.
  • They make excuses as to why they cannot provide you with the references from their previous three bosses.
    • Okay, so maybe they can’t give you the name of their current boss because they are still working at the company, but you need to talk to at least two people to whom this person directly reported in the past. Quite frankly, if they cannot give you the names of anyone they worked for… that is a red flag. Also, references are in a way kind of ridiculous, but totally necessary. Of course the people are going to say amazing things — that’s why the candidate used their name. That being said, if you get a reference who sounds even slightly negative about the candidate’s work ethic — run for the hills.
  • There is a gap of over one year on the candidate’s resume where they weren’t working at all, and they have no explanation for what they did during that time other than looking for a job.
    • There are a LOT of people who lost their jobs in the recession. I get it. However, if your candidate was unemployed for an extended period of time, with no form of income — that’s not the hunter you want for your team. I’d rather see someone working at a lemonade stand while they were unemployed and looking for a new sales job, than doing nothing at all. The type of sales person that you have on your team has a very hard time remaining idle.
  • Your candidate is obsessed with the idea of outside sales and going out to meet clients.
    • Outside sales reps, particularly at expansion stage SaaS companies, are a dying breed. It is just not cost effective to send your reps all over creation to sell to prospects and/or clients. With such technology such as GoToMeeting, Skype, etc, it is possible to open and close business without ever meeting your client face to face. A sales candidate who has their heart set on being out of the office 80% of the week might become frustrated..

Have you interviewed any candidates recently with #Tigerblood? If not… keep looking.