What Does an Impressive Sales Portfolio Look Like During the Interview Process?

Evaluating sales candidates can be difficult for many hiring managers. You need to rely on a variety of information sources to ensure you make the right hiring decisions. One tool that can provide insight into a sales candidate is a portfolio. Strong portfolios can illustrate a candidate’s true skills and passion for their work. Here are some things to look for in a sales portfolio that can indicate you’ve got your next rep in front of you.

“Contemporary Staffing Solutions is a sales organization that has a direct hire business unit focused on hiring the best sales talent for our clients.  Compensation ranges from $80k to $300+ and we charge a fee for those hires.  CSS ProSearch knows how to vet the best candidates for our clients and a strong portfolio is a game changer.  Contact us if you’re looking for great talent!” says Sharon Tsao, EVP, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Selective Inclusions

A sales portfolio should have nothing but the most impressive achievements; it shouldn’t be a lengthy list of every account a rep ever worked on. Look for signs that the candidate took the time to build an impressive selection, which shows attention to detail and a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a new rep.

The portfolio should also be detailed. The candidate should take the time to create mini case studies that outline their contribution to landing the deal and nurturing the client. Look for hard data rather than vague, general statements.

Variety That Shows Depth

Even if a sales rep has always worked in the same industry with the same types of clients and contracts, look for variety in the portfolio. Driven reps will include more than just results. They’ll show you examples of presentations, prototypes, etc. They should also do their best to include items that illustrate their depth as a rep. This may mean including case studies on smaller contracts that they grew over time, clients that they prevented from falling into attrition, presentations they worked on as part of a team, etc.

Strong Organization

A sales portfolio shouldn’t be a haphazard list or random display of information. It should be organized in a way that makes sense. Typically, reps will start with their most impressive achievements and rank the rest by contract size or growth percentage. Other reps may list successes chronologically. There is no right or wrong way to organize a portfolio, as long as you get a sense that the portfolio is, in fact, organized in a logical fashion. Bonus points for candidates who organize the portfolio based on the priorities you listed in the job description. This shows that the candidate has solid attention to detail and is willing to go the extra mile to show they are passionate about the opportunity.

A Full Professional Presence Online

Candidates who are passionate about their field do more than post a portfolio online. They utilize that portfolio as one piece of their professional online presence.  Strong candidates will give you a link to a portfolio that is a section of their professional website. Also look at their LinkedIn profile to see how active they are there, and whether they built their portfolio into the profile.

Are You Looking For Top Sales Talent?

If you are looking for new ways to attract and retain top salespeople and top sales managers for your organization, the expert recruiters at CSS can help. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help you build a team of professionals who can meet and exceed goals.