5 LinkedIn Tips to 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.

1) 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?

2) Metrics without context. Your candidate noted that his or her team closed $2 million in sales last year. That’s great. But what was the quota? What were the expectations? Was this half of what your potential new hire and the team were expected to do? Or did they not only exceed quota, but also outperform every other sales team at the company? Don’t rely on metrics alone; your candidate should provide context that tells the whole story.

3) No professional social profile. Sales managers today should be smart enough to actively manage their online social profiles and network. If nothing else, their LinkedIn profiles should be up-to-date. Pay attention to the people they know and with whom they’re connected, and look for contacts you might have in common. Ignore the professional references they may have given you already, and focus on those with whom you have a connection.

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

5) 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 job candidates to get endorsements from people who think they’re awful sales managers but good people.

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