Hiring sales talent is often a costly, difficult, and time-consuming task. However, it's mandatory in order to grow an organization and sales team.
In this blog, we discuss how to identify top talent and minimize hiring mistakes by following a 4 step process.
Hiring mistakes are expensive. Before we dive further into this topic, let's consider the following:
- According to the Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hire can be as high as 30% of first-year earnings
- Additionally, the CEO of Link Humans estimated the average cost to be as high as $240,000 plus expenses
- A study of CFOs said that not only do bad hires cost them productivity, but managers spend 17% of their time supervising underperforming employees
- Lastly, CareerBuilder reports that 74% of employers state they hired the wrong person for the job
If you have a salesforce of 25 people and 20% of your new hires fail due to lack of performance, the cost can be $100,000.00+. In a conversation with Roy Riley, President of Peel and Holland Insurance Agency, he stated that hiring mistakes are a 2-comma problem.
Maybe you are part of the 26% that have not admitted to making hiring mistakes. Perhaps a better piece to read would be this article, What Elite Salespeople Do Better, by David Kurlan.
Otherwise, here are four steps that, if followed and executed effectively, will cause you great excitement, create a more positive impact on revenue from new hires and drive a more profitable margin for your business.
Step #1: Hire for Will to Sell rather than Can Sell
Most personality evaluations will tell you if a candidate has the personality traits consistent with successful salespeople. This information will tell you about characteristics like building relationships, being solution orientation, etc.
What you want to know is their:
- Desire and commitment to be successful specifically in selling
- Ownership of outcomes
- Motivation to succeed (specifically what motivates them)
- Outlook when things aren’t going well
Step #2: Hire those that are big, fast, and strong
In other words, hire for specific sales DNA such as:
- Ability to Recover from rejection
- Beliefs about selling that support success in sales
- Not inhibited by their own need for approval
- Comfort asking about and discussing money
- Can overcome their own buying beliefs so that they can execute a milestone centric sales approach
Step #3: Always be prospecting
100% of the time, when I ask if a company is pro-active or re-active in their recruiting, they will tell me re-active. Yes, they go into the market and talk to candidates. But hiring people when they don't need them or hiring people that they can’t afford are not consistent traits. Here are my recommendations:
- Schedule at least 20% of your time to focus on prospecting new sales candidates
- Have a system in your organization where key people are responsible for setting prospecting activity goals and asking for introductions to other talented salespeople
- Report recruiting activity just like you ask your salespeople to report sales activity in huddles or sales meetings
Step #4: Eliminate variability in the performance of your recruiting process
Too often, companies with a large footprint allow market executives to sway from the recruiting processes established by Human Resources. Companies assume that the local executive needs to have the flexibility to maximize the recruiting opportunities specific to their area. Which is causing ineffective results. Instead:
- All job attraction posts must work from the same format
- The first step is always to evaluate the potential candidate using a sales-specific skills assessment
- The next step is to do a 5-10 phone interview (unless phone skills are not important)
- The initial interview must operate like an audition
- Use scorecards for the assessment, phone interview, and initial interview so that decisions to move forward are objective
- Provide the next person in the selection process an interview guide with key focus points
- Make offers to only those candidates that are committed to making a transformational career change
- Prepare candidates to decide at the time of the offer by eliminating think it overs after you present your offer
- Confirm with the candidate that they are prepared to go through your 3-to-6-month onboarding process in its entirety. No Exceptions.
In the next article, I will go through the steps and provide some more detail about each, and share with you how data can help you select candidates so that you can improve your success rate to 92% and grow your business!