How important is it that your new salespeople be great on the phone? Assuming the answer is "very important" then your candidate screening process must begin with the 5-minute interview.
In the 6th blog in our series No Assembly Required Hiring, we discuss the importance of an effective phone screen to help identify great sales talent to help eliminate time spent with unqualified candidates.
As they say in Sales 101, always ask questions that you know the answers to. In today's world of lead generation, social networking, and email blitz, sales organizations overlook the necessity for great phone skills. Regardless of the origin of the lead, eventually, most B2B salespeople, lenders, advisors, and solutions consultants will have to:
- Pick up the phone and dial a number
- Be able to capture a prospect's attention in an instant
- Engage in a meaningful conversation
- Demonstrates a high level of trust and confidence
- Close for a qualified appointment
If that sounds like something your salespeople ought to be able to do, then make sure you interview for those capabilities. The STAR (Sales Talent Acquisition Routine) Program we implement with our clients has the following initial steps:
- Create a profile that will attract the right candidates and discourage the wrong ones
- Post the job attraction post(description), and distribute the job attraction post to those engaged in working with you to find qualified candidates
- Upon interest from a candidate, review the resume, and if it meets your basic requirements to be employed, test them with the sales specific Objective Management Group Pre-hire assessment
- If the assessment comes back as Recommended for hire or Worthy of Consideration, then schedule a 5-minute phone interview with your phone interview specialist
These 4 steps are crucial to your success at hiring more qualified candidates, but none are more important than the phone interview!
Because your salespeople must be great on the phone. And if they must be great on the phone, when do you want to find out that they suck? As soon as possible. An effective phone interview will save you a lot of time interviewing people who are great at the audition but can’t play the role.
It will help you answer these questions immediately and early in the process:
- Would I listen to this person if they called me?
- Will they ask prospects questions?
- When they face a difficult or challenging prospect, do they rattle easily?
- Would I meet with this person just based on how they handled the phone call?
- Did they close me for the next step?
These are all critical findings for you to uncover and the only way to do that is to test their phone skills upfront. This process is not impacted by you already knowing them or if they have a great reputation. It does not matter how many years of experience they have or how often they lead the company in sales. What matters is that when you hire someone, they will be able to pick up the phone, grab a prospect's attention, conduct a conversation, and close for an appointment. That is all you should care about early in the recruiting process.
Have more questions about the 5-minute interview process? Email Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: 5-Minute Interview, and we will be happy
to conduct a demo 5-minute phone interview.