The ugly truth is most companies are not as selective about who the bring into the sales organization as they believe.  Pressure to perform can cause hiring managers to be hasty and reckless.

The fact is that it is difficult to find the right fit.   

  1. The role requirements may not be clearly defined. Sales roles vary widely, and it is not about industry experience.  It is about what competencies are required in the role to be successful.
  2. The hiring process you use for hiring an office manager is not the same process needed to attract the appropriate salesperson, yet the same process is used.
  3. Supply and demand.  The pool of good sales people is limited, and if you want an Elite salesperson the pool is even smaller.

The following is an excerpt from Dave Kurlan’s blog post Hiring Salespeople Should Not be Like a Coin Flip.  Dave is the founder of Objective Management Group.  We are proud to be a certified partner of OMG and use the OMG tools to solve the problems of mid-market companies’ sales organizations.

Pay particular attention to the last line.  You may have questions, but the outcome is the ability to know what competencies a salesperson needs to be successful in the role AND our process allows us to tell you who has them and who does not. 

 From Hiring Salespeople Should Not be Like a Coin Flip:

For most companies, hiring the right salespeople has always been problematic.  With the shortage of quality sales candidates, it’s now more difficult than ever.  The pressure to fill a role often causes sales management to hire the best from a limited and deficient pool of candidates instead of hiring the right candidate for the role.  The difference is huge, especially if you have a complex sale, a long sales cycle, a high-priced product or service, or a lot of competition.  If you rush to hire someone and get it wrong, three things usually happen.  The first and most obvious is that you will inevitably have to begin the hiring process all over again in several months.  Second is the lost opportunities from having a weak salesperson and for periods of time, no salesperson.  Finally, there is lost revenue from customers who are stolen away, creating negative territory momentum, where the pendulum swings to favor the competition in that territory.

Hiring salespeople does not have to be like a pot luck supper or a coin flip.  If you are selective instead of impulsive, good things will happen.  Take a look at the image below.The spreadsheet shows the difference between one company’s top 3 producers and their 3 worst producers.  If you notice the difference in color between all of the green at the top and the red down below, you’ll see the findings and competencies that differentiate the two groups.  At Objective Management Group (OMG) we call this a tailored fit.  It’s the last of two levels of customization to fine-tune our sales candidate assessment criteria and that is what allows us to make such accurate recommendations and achieve predictive validity.

For the real company in this example, from 180 possible findings, 27 clearly differentiated their tops from their bottoms.  Of the 27 differentiators, the following were represented:

Candidates who meet at least 80% of these 27 findings WILL succeed in the role.

It is almost like having a crystal ball. If you would like to learn more, sent an Email.  

Walter has been working successfully in Sales, Sales Development and Sales Management for over 31 years. He is passionate about developing sales professionals for CEOs &Business Owners. If you are frustrated and fed up with sales people who are not accountable, a sales team that is inconsistent and fail to meet objectives, and you want to fix it once and for all, we should have a business conversation.  walter@waltercrosby.com