Hire poorly and you will get poor results, it’s that simple! Here’s the proven way to consistently hire “A” sales talent.
To have championship level sales results, a successful sales leader’s primary focus must be coaching, motivation, accountability and recruiting… the most important of these (by far) is hiring great salespeople consistently, without great cost or time!
“The top 20% of sales people produce 120% more than average, the top 4% produce 250% more than average.” – Geoff Smart, Topgrading
82% of 1 million sales people assessed are under quota, failing in their role, unhappy with their job and costing their organizations substantially. These represent most of the sales candidates that are in the market looking for a new job. This is why hiring bad salespeople is easy to do… 9 out of 10 in the market will cause you to fail.
You must avoid these bad candidates and never let them get into your interview pool. This will immediately make you 368% better! I have the numbers to prove it! Here’s how…
First, to select the best and not settle for less, you must have a system to weed out the bad so you can focus on the best. Start with understanding the four kinds of salespeople:
• Those who Can & Will,
• Those who Can’t & Will,
• Those who Can & Won’t,
• Those who Can’t & Won’t.
The top of the sales food chain belongs to those who “can & will,” they are the top 20%. Can vs. can’t represents sales competencies, e.g., the lack of need for approval, the ability to control emotions, money tolerance, rejection strength, and the selling mindset needed to support a specific type of sales cycle. Will vs. won’t represents sales environment motivation, e.g., a tendency towards positive outlook, lack of excuse-making when obstacles present themselves (and they will), and commitment to doing the hard things. These are some of the selling competencies that separate those who are the best from those who are less.
Here’s how to weed out the bad! THIS IS IMPORTANT, READ THE ENTIRE PARAGRAPH…
Assuming you had the skills to identify the core selling competencies, it would take more time than humanly possible. Only the right sales specific assessment can identify these elements up front for you. Fortunately, there is one sales specific assessment that allows you unlimited candidate assessments until your “A” player hire is identified and on board. Therefore, all the upfront screening is done through technology, at one manageable cost. The 90% of unacceptable candidates that apply are filtered out with the use of automation, significantly reducing your risk of making a poor hire while saving an abundance of valuable time. Now, with some strategy & process you can discover which candidate is best versus less.
In absence of technology, here’s a sales candidate screening process that I’ve used for years. It has an interview strategy,step by step guide, interview questions, and a candidate scoring template… you can download it HERE. Enjoy!
Second, expand your net and get all the “A” players you need.
If you want to win the recruiting war to get these candidates on your team, change your strategy by expanding your net and begin looking outside your normal. As an example, only the top 10% in your industry are “A” players. Unfortunately, most “A” players in your industry are not looking to move, they are happy where they are because they are successful. The first fatal flaw in recruiting is settling on someone in your industry because they are easy to train versus being the best. Occasionally you may find one, but don’t expect it to happen often. “A” players are not the norm, they are outliers. You must learn to find “A” players outside your industry that fit your selling environment, e.g. they have the experience that can be easily adapted to your environment.
Third, now that you are only interviewing “A” players look for stability and stellar performance.
When reviewing resumes start by demanding documented stability & consistent top-level success as the first criteria for any sales candidate, Don’t talk to anybody who does not have standout accomplishments. It’s obvious when you see it. “A” players are successful wherever they go! They take less time and produce twice as much and they make you look like a hero!!
Finally. it’s not what they say, it’s what they do – Don’t let emotion get in the way of vetting a top performer.
Many mistakes are made because we personally like a candidate and make an emotional connection prior to determining if the candidate will perform under pressure. Stay objective! The sales environment is packed full of traps and pressures. Put your candidates in a similar scenario to see “what they do, over what they say.” Observe how they perform under job-like pressures. Sales has a lot to do with overcoming obstacles, so be sure they show they can overcome sales specific obstacles before you hire. Strong candidates love the challenge, weak ones get offended and take a job with the competition. Don’t worry, at the end you can encourage them by affirming and praising their performance and value.
Putting it all together is an art and a science!
An internal recruiting process that delivers top level candidates will change your world and skyrocket your top line revenue. This is THE first most important investment you can make towards having a UNSTOPPABLE SALES TEAM.
Obviously there is more to becoming a sales recruiting powerhouse. If you really want to find out what it takes you can schedule a 30-minute session with me HERE.
Good selling & please comment or share below if you found this post helpful… the author needs encouragement!
To learn more about me, go to my LinkedIn Profile or jeffjohnsonsales.com
If your struggling with long sales cycles and deals that won’t close, you can download my eBook on “Why Your Pipeline Sucks and What to Do About It” HERE.
If you’d like to see what a maturing sales organization looks like you can download my “Sales Team Maturity Model” HERE.