More By This Author

Current Issue

Current Issue

Posted: June 28, 2012

Six reasons you hire the wrong salespeople

And three ways to change that

Gary Harvey

Business owners, CEOs, presidents and hiring managers often say to me, "I wish I had stronger salespeople selling for us. What's the  secret?"

Our answer: 1) Unlearn your present interviewing system, which probably relies on what your gut says. 2) Use a reliable hiring profile built only for salespeople, and one that tells you the real truth, and most importantly, 3) Change the sales culture YOU created in the first place – people who don't produce at the least acceptable level must be fired.

And remember, managers: The degree of difficulty in firing salespeople increases exponentially the longer they work for you. You want stronger salespeople? Become a stronger interviewer, terminate the deadwood and get objective outside advice.

What's the secret for developing a strong sales team? Revamp your present interviewing practices, which may rely on your gut and intuition more than hard facts. Remember, this applicant was someone else's salesperson. Salespeople who turn over get good at giving you the answers you like to hear. They morph into a "professional interviewee," while you remain a "part-time interviewer."

Every salesperson I've ever interviewed said they were a quota buster. Don’t believe it!

Between voluntary and involuntary, turnover is a partial measurement of selection, on boarding, cultural, and sales management effectiveness. The remainder of that measure can be found in the under achieving salespeople that still sell for your company – a reminder of how your company is fairing in the area of selection and development.

My clients use an “objective” system we have designed and provided with a 95 percent accuracy factor that can determine whether they have the right salespeople in the right sales roles and whether they've been hiring the right salespeople. Most companies are not aware what in their selection criteria must change to improve success at recruiting salespeople. There are many points in the recruiting process where simple mistakes or unknowns can have a huge impact on the final result.

Those include, but aren't limited to:

  • Lack of a formal, structured, sales recruiting process
  • Use of ineffective, non-predictive assessments
  • Ineffective candidate filtering
  • Interviewing skills that are insufficient for identifying sales talent
  • Weak on-boarding program
  • Ineffective sales coaching and accountability

Using an “objective” process to hire salespeople will help you select the right salespeople, who will succeed in your business.

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 gary@achievemoresales.com.

 

 

Enjoy this article? Sign up to get ColoradoBiz Exclusives. The opinions expressed in this article are solely that of the author and do not represent ColoradoBiz magazine. Comments on articles will be removed if they include personal attacks.

Readers Respond

What a "right-on-topic" for human resource and senior management. You have hit the key areas. I love the professional interviewer. Ran into one at a meeting recently where he had moved every 9 months from one company to another within an industry and did he have all the answers. My question was whether he was in in for himself or the company. Interviewers never drill down that far. Their questions on teaming and working together are wide open. By Jeffrey Fischer on 2012 07 02
Good article Gary - I also included a few members of the team they would be working with in the interview. You can learn a lot about how people will react to each other when you facilitate a good conversation. If the candidate passes this preliminary interview, they stand a better chance of fitting in and being a part of a productive team. Thanks, Gary Patton By Gary Patton on 2012 06 28
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

ColoradoBiz TV

Loading the player ...

Featured Video