ACTG Sales Management Blog

Sales & Sales Management Expertise Blog  

Recruiting, Hiring and Onboarding Salespeople: It's in the Details

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Jan 14, 2021

In our first blog on How to Hire No Assembly Required Salespeople series, we discussed the four critical steps you must take to minimize hiring mistakes and identify top talent.

In this article, we cover critical selling competencies you must look for when sourcing and interviewing salespeople for your organization.

Indeed produces a series of ads on the radio discussing the value of their recruiting business solution. During the ad, the narrator describes the process as: “looking for a needle in a haystack.” Webster.com defines it as someone or something exceedingly difficult to find. E.g., Searching for an earring at the park is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Suppose you find a needle and it’s the wrong needle?

pexels-pixabay-39548

Not all needles are appropriate for every job. The same is true for salespeople. 

Unfortunately, when companies recruit salespeople, those responsible for profiling, attracting, vetting, interviewing, assessing, and eventually hiring and onboarding, fail to take the time to get the first step right.

Step #1: Know exactly what you are looking for

The primary criteria you should use to define the role/opportunity is: “Someone that will sell vs. someone that has sold or can sell.” The components of Will to Sell, as defined by the worlds #1 Sales Evaluation by The Objective Management Group Sales Assessment, are:

  • Desire
  • Commitment
  • Outlook
  • Motivation
  • Responsibility

Trial the Highly-Predictive  Pre-Hire Sales Assessment

Dave Kurlan and his team have evaluated over 2,000,000 salespeople from over 25,000 different companies. The assessment they have created has a 92.5% predictive validity. The findings indicate that if a candidate does not score well in the Will to Sell then they are less likely to:

  • Succeed compared to those that score well
  • Be coachable and trainable
  • Have the longevity needed to reach profitability

Let's look at the graphic to the left. This is what you should be looking for first and foremost when hiring a “no assembly required” candidate! The Will to Sell is the fuel that drives the engine of a successful salesperson.

For this article, let’s assume that green is good and red is bad. If you knew nothing else about a candidate other than what you see in this chart, what do you know based on the colors? That’s right. This candidate has a strong desire and commitment to be successful in selling, they have a great outlook no matter what, they own their sales outcomes and personal goals, and they have strong motivation.

I assure you that you won’t find this information in the resume, the job application, or during your interview process. Why? Because:

  • A candidate will not admit they are weak in desire and commitment
  • They will not tell you that they make excuses
  • Those responsible for hiring are not asking questions about what motivates them
  • The candidate has one job when they talk to you over coffee or when they show up for the interview – convince you they are the best thing since sliced bread!

Based on the graphic to the right, an example of a candidate with weak Will to Sell competencies, the question I always ask is: how soon would you want to know this information? The answer is as soon as possible.

 

Better yet, how about before you hire them?

 

Let us add another question: when you hire a candidate that has this level of Will to Sell, when do you typically find out? Typically:

  • The first 90 days post-hire
  • Within the first 6 months of employment
  • After they have failed to meet validation requirements
  • When you start having discussions about performance improvement

 

The real answer is when it’s too late and expensive. This first step in your recruiting process is critical. I assure you that if you evaluate your team by doing an Ideal Fit, you would see that your top people, as well as some of your bottom, have a very strong Will to Sell.

 

If that is the case, then why do salespeople with a strong Will to Sell still fail? Stay tuned for part 3 in our series on the impact of Sale DNA.

Click Here for Additional Hiring Tools!

Topics: hiring better sales people, increase sales, onboarding sales people, top sales performers

5 Minute Interview – Hire Salespeople Who Will Sell

Posted by Tony Cole on Thu, Oct 15, 2020

If your salespeople MUST be great on the -phone then why not find out, as early as you can, how GREAT they are on the phone? If your salespeople have to be like most salespeople, they must:

  • Reach out to prospects in the marketplace by phone. Yes, there is email, and LinkedIn and Facebook etc. but eventually to schedule an appointment, most sales people have to pick up the phone to initiate the relationship or continue the relationship beyond a click on an article.
  • Be able to deal with people who are busy and generally don’t like to talk to salespeople, don’t like being interrupted and are not waiting by the phone waiting for your sales expert to call them.
  • Be able to speak clearly and concisely
  • Communicate exactly why the person on the other end of the phone should keep listening and perhaps invite them to visit
  • Have the skills to take control of a conversation by asking meaningful questions that will cause the other person to stop and really listen
  • Be memorable, engaging, thoughtful and easy to talk to
  • Convince the listener that it would be a mistake to not meet or it would be of great benefit if they did meet

    hiring-great-people_

What is the best way to find all of that out and when is the best time to figure that out? As soon as you can. And that is why we recommend the 5-minute interview.

The interview takes about 7 to 10 minutes, but I want you to tell all candidates that it’s only going to be 5 minutes. Why?

  • You want to create an environment that is going to be similar to what they face when they actually call prospects.
  • You want to get a feel for how they respond to pressure and challenging questions:
    • Mary, thanks for calling in, we have about 5 minutes so let’s get started. You saw and read the job attraction post. What makes you think you’re a fit?
      • Mary will give you standard answers about how successful and dedicated she is.
    • To which you replay: Mary I’m going to talk to 3 other people this morning I’m pretty sure I’m going to hear the same thing.
    • The job attraction post requires hunting, so you ask Mary if that describes her.
      • She will give you the right answer and pass the intelligence test with a ‘Yes’.
    • You respond with – how would I know that? If I followed you around for 30 days how many new appointments would we go on?

You get the point. This is uncomfortable for you probably because is sounds so aggressive. Well that is pretty much what the phone call will sound like for Mary, Joe, Bob or Jane when they start making calls for you when you hire them. Again, when do you want to know that they can or cannot handle challenging perhaps difficult prospects?

Finally, you need to find out if your candidate can close. You must close your part of the conversation by informing the candidate that you will be interviewing additional candidates and will be making calls to invite qualified people in for an interview. If they hear from you then they’ve made the cut, if not you wish them the best of success. Stop and wait. If the candidate does anything to continue the conversation or asks something like, what do I have to do to make that cut?, then give them points. Depending on how the resume and the assessment results, you may or may not invite them in. If they do not attempt to close to get invited in for an interview, then chances are they won’t close for an appointment with a prospect.

Click Here for Additional Hiring Tools!

Topics: recruiting sales people, Interviewing, 5 minute interview, hiring better sales people

    Follow #ACTG

     

    About our Blog

    Anthony Cole Training Group has been working with financial firms for close to 30 years helping them become more effective in their markets and closing their sales opportunity gap.  ACTG has mastered the art of using science-based data and finely honed coaching strategies to help build effective sales teams.  Don’t miss our weekly sales management blog insights from our team of expert contributors.

     

    Subscribe Here

    Most Read

    Recent Blogs