April 13, 2012

5 LinkedIn Research Tips to Help You Hire Better Sales Managers

By Matt Heinz

When hiring a new sales manager, it’s easy to gloss over a candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile and get excited about his or her past experience. But hidden in most resumes and online profiles are red flags that can eliminate candidates before the interview process even begins. Here are five things to watch for:

rr1) No performance metrics. This one’s easy, but many sales managers still aren’t reporting their quantifiable performance in their resumes. It could be an oversight, but wouldn’t you think that a good sales manager candidate would have the forethought to show the most important information front and center, especially if the results are positive?

rr2) Metrics without context. Telling me your team closed $2 million in sales last year is great. But what was the quota? What were your expectations? Was this half of the expectation for your team? Or did you not only exceed quota, but also outperform every other sales team at the company? Don’t show me metrics alone; give me context that tells the whole story.

rr3) No professional social profile. Sales managers today should be smart enough to actively manage their online social profiles and network. If nowhere else, their LinkedIn profiles should be up to date. Pay attention to the people they know and are connected to, and look for contacts you might have in common. Ignore the professional references they may have already given you, and focus on those you already have a connection with.

rr4) Endorsements only from peers & subordinates. Did the manager’s past reps give them a good testimonial to try and curry favor? Did any of the manager’s own managers endorse their work, results, work ethic, etc.?

rr5) Lukewarm endorsements. Read those LinkedIn testimonials carefully. Are they a little too clean? Do they look like they were edited by the HR team? It’s really easy for awful job candidates to get endorsements from people who think they’re awful sales managers but good people.

rrUse these five points as guidelines and you’ll save yourself a ton of time when hiring your next sales manager.