Training as a Hiring Criterion

If someone is serious about being in sales, I expect them to have had some sort of formal sales training over the time they’ve been in sales. By sales training I don’t mean the type of product knowledge training that too often passes for sales training. I want to know that the person knows how to sell and isn’t just flying by the seat of his pants.

Selling is a skill and not an art. You don’t develop skills by reading a book, listening to podcast, or watching a DVD. A lot of people taught themselves to play golf and we all know how great they are! The serious golfer gets some professional assistance or even coaching to develop his golfing skills. The serious salesperson does the same. He may not get one-on-one training, but he does get formal training where he can develop his selling skills.

Ask yourself this question, If the salesperson hasn’t taken the time to develop his craft, how serious is he about being in sales and how long will he last with your organization?

I’m a big believer of making some sort of formal sales training one of your mandatory hiring criteria. If not mandatory, it’s certainly one of my top desirable criteria and one that might give a sales candidate a competitive edge in a tight race for the job.