In my 25+ years as a sales coach and management consultant, I have had the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented and driven salespeople – the kind who make an immediate and lasting bottom-line difference in any company. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen many more who didn’t have the skills, drive, passion, or DNA to become great at sales.
I think of that second group from time to time. That’s because they aren’t just wasting their own years; they are costing their employers millions of dollars over the course of their careers, under-selling (or completely destroying) accounts and territories by not being persuasive enough, not servicing accounts, and not making the most of each opportunity.
Business owners, sales managers, and executives realize the weight that falls on them to make great hiring decisions. They tell me again and again that those are the dilemmas that keep them up at night, the ones they have to get right if they’re going to grow in an unpredictable economy.
Why is it, then, that they don’t use the most important tools available to them?
I’m talking about validated sales hiring assessments, which have decades of research behind them and can help you identify the best – and worst – candidates for a sales opening.
They are quick to administer, require no waiting (reports are generated instantly) and can save you from making a bad decision that could cripple your department or organization. So why isn’t every employer taking advantage of them?
I’m convinced that much of it has to do with old habits. A lot of sales managers haven’t used assessments in the past, so they are reluctant to start now. That’s not a good enough reason, though, especially when a good validated sales hiring assessment can tell you three important details:
1) Whether the candidate has good sales DNA.
Given the amount of money that’s ultimately involved in training, benefits, and commissions, it makes sense to get the most information you can about every new hire. Fortunately, the traits of successful salespeople have been benchmarked, and can be identified with a high degree of reliability. In other words, a certified assessment can tell you whether your candidate has the right DNA to be a star salesperson, so you can make the right decision.
2) How the candidate sells.
It isn’t enough to simply know whether your candidate is driven to open new accounts, or whether they have the social skills needed to exceed their quota. By looking at their behavior assessment, you can also use a verified report to determine whether the way they are going to sell will be a good fit for your opening, and your organization.
3) Why the candidate sells.
As important as abilities and traits are, we all know that it’s motivation and internal drive that separate sales superstars from the pack. By scientifically assessing for motivational factors, you can learn whether (or if) your candidate is driven to sell by a desire for more money, increased prestige and personal power, to gain more knowledge, or for other reasons. These details make all the difference when it comes to finding the right person, and the right fit.
It’s not hard to see how having this kind of detailed information about the salesperson before you hire them could help your company grow, and reduce turnover and hiring costs, in a very short period of time. The insight that business owners, executives, and sales managers need is out there, and it’s easy to gain access to. It’s up to you, though, to start taking advantage of it.
About the Author:
Carl Henry is a sales educator, keynote speaker and corporate consultant. He is the author of Hiring Top Talent for Sales and Customer Service and has helped hundreds of clients to recognize superstar salespeople. He can be reached at 704-847-7390 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.
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