Finding a Sales Star Player: Using Ideal Candidate Profiles to Help You Build the Best Team

Picture of salesperson in a suit holding a football
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In the NFL football world, all fans understand the tremendous impact Patrick Mahomes II brings to the Kansas City Chiefs and their winning ways. Although he is the ultimate “A” player, coming out of college, he wasn’t favored by many NFL “experts.” However, the Chiefs knew the ideal profile they wanted, and they did their research. Boy did their work pay off!

Just like a winning football team, a successful sales team must have an effective strategy and plan. They must utilize repeatable processes. And the team must have smart and engaged leadership. But none of that matters without the right players on the team!

That sounds obvious, but so often business owners take a short-sighted approach to hiring salespeople. They make the easy choice to quickly fill a seat with a candidate that they liked from an interview. Often missed is the work to determine the right skills, behaviors, and fit of the ideal candidate, followed by diligently going about finding and recruiting that candidate.

In order to make this process run smoothly, it is crucial to first build an Ideal Candidate Profile (ICP). Finding that star player becomes much easier when the required skills and culture fit have been taken into consideration.

Determine The Required Skills

These are the all-important basics for qualifying candidates. Identify all required duties associated with the role and the skills needed to perform these duties. Determine not only what skills are needed to be successful in the role, but what transferrable skills may apply. Then look for candidates who have previously demonstrated those skills.

The initial knock on Mahomes was that he didn’t play in an NFL-style offense at Texas Tech. What was important to the Chiefs?  Could their future quarterback learn to do something at a high level he hadn’t yet been asked to do? Mahomes demonstrated that in spades!

What Personal Characteristics Would Make a Cultural Fit

After pinpointing the desired skill set, it is important to identify what personal characteristics a candidate should possess to match the company culture. A discussion about what attributes will add to the company’s vision will ensure that the person filling the role will thrive and truly enjoy doing their job.

With the Chiefs, key attributes on their evaluation list are work ethic, intelligence and will.  However, former Chiefs GM John Dorsey, who drafted Mahomes, has stated that the first thing he’s always going to ask is if the player loves football. That is core to their culture. Mahomes turned down a million-dollar baseball contract to pursue his football passion. Box checked!

Business owners that want to boost 2024 sales should learn from the Chiefs and invest in finding and hiring the best talent available to them within their budget. Building an Ideal Candidate Profile (ICP) will help them identify the skills and characteristics required to complete their winning team.