A third idea is when you are speaking with references, ask if you can have an offline discussion with them, during the non-working hours when they’re not in the office. The reason for this is to try to get candid information from the references about the individual, as opposed to the company’s official stance on the types of information they will or will not give out during a reference check discussion.
One of the most important things you need to do when you’re checking references on sales people, is to actually tell the reference the specific sales achievement history that you were given from the candidate. in order to verify that those facts are correct. Make sure that you take sales achievement history and quota data that you got from the candidate, and verify these figures with their ex-supervisor. A lot of times, if we don’t check references and specifically verify that the candidate achieved a certain level of sales, we’re really missing the opportunity to verify the objectiveness of the data we’ve been provided through the interviewing process.
Another very important tip when you are talking to a sales candidate’s references, is ask them about key accounts that the candidate actually brought to the company. If you’re looking for a hunter, you’ll want to make sure the supervisor can remember big wins that the candidate had when they worked for them.
Another tip is to ask the references whether or not they would hire the candidate back into their previous position if they had the opportunity. A good candidate would always be welcome back to the company, and a poor sales producer wouldn’t be. So these are some of the things that I suggest that you talk about when you are checking references on sales candidates.