America's largest healthcare recruiting firm.

 



For over fifteen years, I have utilized Buckman Enochs Coss to hire over one hundred individuals for Sales and Sales Management positions for a variety of healthcare technology firms. Whether it’s been for Fortune 500 companies or early stage, VC backed start-ups, BEC has always done a terrific job in sourcing top-talent.

Scott Schlesner
Vice-President of Sales
Elsevier

Hire Top Sales Performers by Focusing on Past Behavior
You want to staff your teams with the best sales representatives on the market, and at the same time, you would like to avoid hiring candidates who ultimately need more training, correction, and redirection than you can afford. So how can you improve your screening and selection process to increase your odds of choosing high performers? Try building more behavioral questions into your interview process. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

Why choose behavioral questions? 

By behavioral questions that allow your candidate to speak freely about their past, you can learn about the candidates’ habits and history without set-ups or lead-ins that can skew your results. If you ask the candidate a closed, standard question such as “Have you had extensive sales experience?” then you won’t glean much valuable information. But if you ask an open-ended question, like: “Tell me about the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced as a sales rep,” you’ll gather more information that can inform your final decision. 

Examples of Behavioral Questions

To assess past performance in the sales arena, you may want to choose questions that focus on the qualities you’re looking for, for example, tenacity, problem-solving skills, or social adaptability. Try questions like these:

“Tell me two or three things that you’ve learned from your good and bad cold calling experiences.” 

“What’s the biggest client problem you’ve ever had to solve? What did the experience teach you about dealing with unhappy customers?” 

“Have you ever failed to gain traction or establish a meaningful relationship with a medical decision maker, no matter what you tried? Tell me about that time.” 

Focus your questions on the areas you’d like to assess. 

Create a series of questions that target key areas, like education, work experience, past performance, personal traits, etc. Consider using the STAR method as you guide candidates through their narrative answers. For example, if you ask a candidate to describe his or her most challenging day on the job, steer his or her response using these four milestones: 

Situation: Ask the candidate to describe the Situation she faced. 

Task: What Tasks did she need to accomplish in order to succeed? 

Action: What Action did she take to complete these tasks?

Results: What outcomes Resulted from these actions? 

Keep in mind that your candidate should tell the story in her own words, so don’t provide too much coaching. Listen carefully, read between the lines, and make note of any aspect of the story that stands out. What do these details imply about his or her education, experience, skills, or personality? 

If you are looking for the most promising sales candidates in the marketplace, turn to the medical sales staffing experts at Buckman Enochs Coss and Associates. Don’t hesitate to contact our great team of recruiters today to get started on bringing the top talent to your organization!