Hiring Salespeople for Roofing in the Commercial Market

Build Your Business
Author: Michael Russo | May 26, 2020

Commercial sales are all about building relationships. In general, the larger the client, the more time it will take to make a sale. Hiring salespeople for roofing requires the same careful thought and commitment.

Roofing sales team gathered in sunny office
One successful hiring strategy is to seek salespeople with the right mental and emotional makeup,
and then indoctrinate them into a proven sales system.

When hiring salespeople for roofing in the commercial market, timing is everything. Developing commercial re-roofing sales takes time, whereas bidding on new construction or a residential re-roof usually results in a quicker close. It may not be a good idea to invest the time training a new sales rep when the company expects to be strapped for cash or must meet certain revenue goals.

Adequate training is key for a new salesperson. Even a seemingly ideal hire can stumble, especially if your company hasn't ironed out its sales playbook yet. The trick is knowing which applicants are worth the investment, and giving them the training they need to help your roofing business prosper.

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

When hiring salespeople for roofing, commercial contractors often seek candidates with experience in a specific product category. However, a person with the right product knowledge can still have a mediocre sales record. Some organizations want salespeople to both sell and manage jobs, but only the most talented hires possess the skills to do both.

Rather than looking for someone with a track record of companies exactly like yours, seek salespeople with the right mentality, and then train them on a proven sales system. Consider the personal skills of the ideal sales candidate: Are you looking for leadership abilities and a penchant for teamwork? Maybe your company needs more sales reps who can make quick decisions and set realistic goals. All of these qualities can be honed in other industries and brought to a roofing career.

The Interview

Once you're ready to meet an applicant, one reliable interviewing style is the "behavioral" model. Questions like, "Describe a time when you made a decision that contradicted company policy and how you justified it," can reveal a lot about an applicant.

However, people who interview well do not necessarily make perfect employees. Using an online employee background check service is a quick, inexpensive and reliable way to confirm information given on employment applications. While they work to positively impact company growth, the best salespeople also demonstrate a desire for personal growth. If an applicant has an unstable employment record, seek out their reasoning behind the frequent job changes.

A good salesperson needs to know the trade, be a good listener and enjoy working with people. Because selling requires first-rate listening skills, an intelligent introvert often makes the best salesperson.

One common flaw in sales organizations is staking success on individual performers instead of a reliable system. Make sure your roofing company has a structured customer acquisition model for new hires to follow.

Onboarding Programs Reap Big Benefits

Even after making a great hire, the hard work is just beginning. The new salesperson's introduction to the company is crucial, and the initial training phase, known as onboarding, is paramount to helping new hires achieve their goals.

The onboarding process can include formal meetings, lectures, videos, or printed and digital materials. It also helps to provide your new hire with a skilled, in-house mentor who can help them settle in, and to make sure they have adequate time to learn the role. A well-executed and individualized orientation program offers many benefits:

  • Reducing the amount of time it takes for a salesperson to generate income.
  • Minimizing turnover and increasing job satisfaction.
  • Ensuring greater organizational commitment.
  • Creating a better understanding of the organization.
  • Clarifying job responsibilities.
  • Reducing uncertainty.
  • Setting up performance expectations.

Brainstorm with your team, outside sales reps and non-sales employees to find out what they think should be included in the onboarding process. The resulting program should be individualized and set up to make the most of the new employee's skills.

Hiring salespeople for roofing in the commercial market has its challenges, but initiating a formalized training program for new hires can greatly improve the odds of success.

Subscribe to Beacon

  • Link to subscribe to Beacon email