Countless factors determine a salesperson’s likelihood to succeed. For perspective, the screening process we use at HireDNA analyzes 21 selling competencies, including the will to sell, hunting, and relationship-building just to name a few. So it’s no surprise that HR/talent leaders can feel slightly overwhelmed when screening sales resumes.
For this post, my goal is to provide you with a streamlined, ultra-concise methodology for efficiently screening sales resumes to find high-performing candidates. Let’s jump right in.
While achievements don’t always tell the whole story, they usually serve as a good starting point for assessing a salesperson’s general abilities. They also allow you to objectively measure someone’s past performance so you can determine how likely they would be to thrive in your sales environment.
Therefore, achievements — specifically quantifiable achievements that are measured in numbers or percentages — are one of the first things I suggest looking for in salesperson resumes. Some examples can include sales revenue generated, percentage of quotas met or exceeded, and number of leads converted.
Sustained Sales Growth
Everyone has to start somewhere in the sales industry. And even the best of the best may struggle initially as they’re cutting their teeth. That’s why you can’t necessarily judge someone’s capabilities by their first couple of years in sales.
However, looking at larger patterns like sustained sales growth over time (assuming they have at least three or so years of experience under the belt) should lend accurate insight into their performance. After all, if someone has proven they’ve consistently improved over time, this typically indicates an ability to learn from mistakes, implement feedback, and persevere through challenges.
Again, it’s helpful to have quantifiable data because concrete numbers paint a clear picture.
You could argue that half of the battle of successful selling is simply staying motivated. By nature, the sales industry comes with a lot of ups and downs. When the chips are down, reps may find it difficult to find the will to keep pressing forward. And when things are going well, reps may be inclined to become complacent.
An essential part of building an elite sales team is finding a group of reps that continually stay motivated regardless of the situation. So how do you identify motivated candidates by screening sales resumes?
One way is to look for individuals who have shown an eagerness to take on new projects and learn new skills. Say, for instance, someone voluntarily participated in multiple sales training courses to enhance their skill set. That would likely indicate a high level of motivation.
To say that sales can be challenging would be an understatement. It’s incredibly competitive, and dealing with rejection on a constant basis is part of the job description. Therefore, it takes a certain personality type where someone can handle frequent rejection and get right back on the horse.
It takes resilience.
Like motivation, resilience isn’t something that’s easy to quantify. But there are ways to find candidates that demonstrate resilience if you know what to look for.
What I suggest is looking for candidates who highlight their ability to overcome rejection, handle objections, and adapt to changes. Ideally, this is something they’ll specifically address on their resume.
Sales Tool Knowledge
Whether you’re looking to hire someone for an onsite position, remote, or hybrid, it doesn’t make a difference. To thrive in today’s tech-centric world, almost everyone needs to have an intimate knowledge of sales tools like CRM software, lead outreach apps, and lead scoring software.
While you shouldn’t necessarily disqualify someone just because they don’t have direct experience using the exact tools your team uses, it’s extremely important that they know the ins and outs of general sales tools. That’s why this is something else to look out for when screening sales resumes.
Take this sample resume, for instance. Here the candidate specifically references using Zoom to maintain a 91% closing rate. On top of that, they mention that they used Hootsuite to develop and schedule social media content, which shows they have experience using software for other purposes outside of direct sales, for an added plus.
Strong Communication Skills
This is a no-brainer, but I wanted to include communication skills because 1) they’re such an integral part of sales success and 2) you can assess communication skills directly by reading a candidate’s resume.
While you can’t necessarily measure the full spectrum of a person’s ability to communicate from a resume, you can get a solid idea of how well they articulate their ideas by simply reading their writing. For instance, if they provide a concise overview of their skills, qualifications, education, and so on, that should be a good indicator that they can communicate clearly with leads and customers.
On the other hand, if they’re writing is inarticulate and lacks brevity, their communication skills may be lacking. This isn’t to say that you should expect every salesperson to be a wordsmith, but they should be able to clearly present the information on their resume to you.
Finding Elite Reps By Effectively Screening Sales Resumes
As I said before, a resume won’t always tell the whole story of a candidate’s full abilities. But it can tell you a lot.
While I recommend leveraging other tools like a data-driven sales recruiting platform to find the best of the best, effectively screening sales resumes should still provide you with a shortlist of high performers. You just need to know the key indicators to look for and how to measure them.
For help building an all-star sales team, register with HireDNA today. We offer cutting-edge technology that can help you find top candidates and eliminate 96% of wrong hires.