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Six reasons you hire the wrong salespeople

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.

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Gary Harvey

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.harvey@sandler.com.


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