We are a software development house that has a specific target of maintaining and extending existing systems for mid sized companies. We work with them to evolve what they have and improve each aspect of their business over time.
I am looking at hiring a business development person and account manager as other methods of finding new clients haven't been that successful even though I'm sure the market exists.
I want someone who will:
So at a high level I think I know what I want but if I start interviewing people what are indicators of good and bad candidates?
You're definitely on the right track. You know what you want and now just need to go find him/her. I don't have experience in software sales, but I do have extensive experience building a business development team(s).
My advise to you make a list of clearly defined traits you would like for your new business development candidate to possess. This list shouldn't include job responsibilities, but rather personal quality traits.
Here is a list of qualities I look for when hiring sales or business development people.
As for the job specific requirements, you want to consider some of these questions.
I hope some of this is helpful to you.
Since this person will be in a customer service position you'll want to test their ability to listen.
During an interview it is common for the prospective employee to be nervous and compensate by talking too much. That's OK to a degree but be wary of a babbler who won't shut their trap.
If you mention, for example, that using Excel spreadsheets is critical to the position you'll want to pay close attention. Should the person say, "Yeah, I know Excel and did I tell you about my vacation to the beach", get the hook. This one is a babbler.
Another indicator is the flow of conversation. If you feel it flows easily from A to B to C then the interviewee is likely a great candidate. But if the conversation jumps all over the place and you can't keep the person on track it's time to look elsewhere.
The answers above are great. Good (active) listening skills are so critical for any customer-facing position. I would also add a little perspective:
In my experience working with Sales, there is a difference in skill set between salespeople (hunters) and account managers (farmers), even though the titles might be the same. You may not find all the skills you need in the same person, but keep looking because you can probably find people who do both well enough. Just understand what's more important at this stage of your business.
As your business grows you may find yourself in a position where you can hire people who are better at one or the other, and allocate them appropriately.
Also be careful about titles. "Business development" can often mean people who focus more on market development and/or alliances, or at least strategic accounts/partnerships. It can also simply be a fancy title for a salesperson. Either way, know what you want and make sure those are the type of people you're spending your time interviewing.