I’ve been dealing with many different sales candidates of late and one thing that is starting to stand out – a candidate’s resourcefulness. This trait comes shining through on some candidates and is little more than a dull luster on others. The less resourceful a salesperson, the more wary you should be in considering their candidacy.
This trait has always been important in sales. Resourcefulness feeds networking, prospecting, qualifying and competitive knowledge. Recently I have encountered a couple of candidates who just plain lack this ability.
The lack of resourcefulness shows up in not finding email addresses or cell phone numbers. One salesperson wasn’t able to recall the position for which he was applying (this makes for an arduous phone screen). Another salesperson wasn’t able to research new leads due to ineptitude using online tools.
These shortcomings are severe weaknesses in the information age. I’m not sure how to measure this ability though we can get close to it with our assessments (practical thinking and using common sense). More than likely, this ability has to be experienced in the hiring process so pay close attention during the initial stages of sourcing sales candidates.