The secret to smart hiring
In addition to being a Sales ,Management and Leadership coach/trainer, I also help companies hire the "right" salesperson. "Right" meaning not what your gut tells you, which is a "subjective" emotional decision, but by using "objective", non-emotional data that removes emotions from the process. It prevents a hiring manager from being "sold" in an interview by a person that that sale may be the best one they ever make for you.
My clients use an "objective" assessment/screening tool that has incredible accuracy by measuring 21 Sales Core Competencies that allows a company to actually hire the "right" salesperson by putting emotion aside. By the way, references as a whole are also worthless. Why? When was the last time a sales candidate gave you names to talk to of people that don't like them?
I was talking with Dave Kurlan, CEO and Founder of Objective Management Group, the company for which I am a distributor of this screening tool, and our discussion lead to a study they did to determine differences between a company's existing salespeople and candidates a company might hire.
He said "They reviewed data of 500,000 plus salespeople they have assessed in the last year. While analyzing the distribution of one of the twenty one measured competencies, "commitment," a decision was made to see what results would they have if they separated the findings into two groups:
1. Sales Candidates - those who had applied and were screened for a sales position.
2. Existing salespeople - those who were already part of a company and a sales force assessment was performed on them.
While comparing the two sets of data, Dave mentioned that something was very evident that was not previously noticed.
"Salespeople that already work for you are TWICE AS LIKELY to LACK Commitment than candidates applying for sales positions at your company."
Dave concluded some of the possible reasons for this discrepancy for companies that are hiring and already have existing salespeople are:
1. Your salespeople are complacent
2. Your salespeople are not truly salespeople
3. You may have moved some of your people into sales roles
4. You may have selected the wrong people for the role
5. Your salespeople are taking the path of least resistance
6. Your salespeople don't have anything to prove
7. Your salespeople aren't being held accountable
8. Your sales management isn't recognizing the signs
9. The candidates will do anything to prove themselves worthy
10. The candidates are true salespeople
11. The candidates are more motivated
12. The candidates want to work
He further concluded, "that if you are one of the stubborn leaders who hold on to underperforming salespeople, thinking the devil you know is better than the devil you don't, get over it is my suggestion. As Jim Collins, author of the business bestseller Good To Great says, 'If you want to be a good-to-great company, you have to first put the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus and get the right people into the right seats. Then you can drive the bus anywhere.'
"The only two numbers that you need to know about are 75 percent of candidates that were hired "against" our screening recommendations, failed in their first 6 months, and 92 percent of candidates we recommended with the screening data on that candidate and were hired rose to the top half of their sales forces within 12 months." I would add, "often above the existing salespeople they already had."
As long as you are using a predictive, accurate sales screening assessment, odds are increased dramatically you'll surely hire salespeople who are stronger than those you have in place today.
Gary Harvey is the founder and president of Achievement Dynamics, LLC, a high performance sales training, coaching and development company for sales professionals, managers and business owners. His firm is consistently rated by the Sandler Training as one of the top 10 training centers in the world. He can be reached at 303-741-5200, or firstname.lastname@example.org .