Look for Potential in the Next Generation of Sales Hires

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

potentialThe Harvard Business Review finally published a relevant article that I agreed with!  Yeah HBR.  Much too frequently, their articles on selling are written by out-of-touch researchers with little field experience and lots of theories.

21st Century Talent Spotting points to coming talent shortage and the importance of hiring for potential.  The article also instructs readers to evaluate using a predictive tool.  

Resumes tell you where a candidate has been, how long they stayed, and what they did.  References verify that information.  Interviews spotlight the candidate's presence, show their ability to make first impressions, present, and answer questions.  Track records represent their past performance.  With all of that information about their past, how can you possibly gauge potential when hiring for your sales force?

Objective Management Group (OMG) has three candidate assessments that provide companies with exactly that for sales, sales management, and sales leadership (VP/Sales Director).

While personality and behavioral styles tests tell you about a candidate's make-up, OMG's assessments tell you about their Sales DNA, Sales Competencies, Will to Sell (Desire, Commitment, Motivation), and Potential.  Yes, potential.  Make-up is nice to have.  DNA, Competencies, Will to Sell and Potential are must-haves.  OMG is uniquely able to determine and accurately predict whether or not a candidate's combination of will, competencies, and DNA will allow them to succeed in a particular sales role, in your business and industry, selling to your ideal decision-maker, against your competition, with your pricing, sales cycle and challenges.  It's all about potential.

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Findings Related to Potential 

There are eight findings that point to potential:

  1. Growth Potential - how much improvement we can expect from this point forward.
  2. Trainable - whether or not the candidate has the incentive to change and adapt.
  3. Coachable - whether or not the candidate is open to constructive criticism and believes there is room for improvement.
  4. Competency Scores - 8 scores, competencies and tables show both the gaps in each competency as well as the skills that must be developed.
  5. Sales DNA - 6 scores and findings show the gap for each element of Sales DNA and pave the way for improvement.
  6. FIOF - the Figure it Out factor shows how quickly a particular candidate will ramp up and begin selling consistently.
  7. Compatibility - this shows how compatible a candidate is with your selling environment.  The more compatible, the shorter the learning curve.
  8. Longevity - this predicts the likelihood of the candidate still being with you at the point in time where they produce a 5X Return on your investment in them.
  9. Recommendation - this finding predicts whether or not the candidate will succeed in this role.  It's predictive, accurate and lets you know which candidates are worthy of your time throughout the rest of the sales recruiting process.

We believe that hiring for potential is smart hiring.  But beware, the greater the potential, the longer the wait for results.

If you're looking for a candidate to have an immediate impact, you'll want to select a recommended candidate with a lower score on Growth Potential.


Image Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, hiring sales candidates, sales selection, sales assessments

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Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years. This article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016, this one earned a Silver medal for 2017, and this article earned Silver for 2018. Read more about Dave.

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