3 Powerful Excuses for Maintaining Mediocrity in Your Sales Hiring

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 @ 06:01 AM

Yesterday I participated in a Webinar sponsored and hosted by EcSell Institute where I presented my ideas for how not to screw up your 2010 sales hiring.  Most of the attendees had participated in a survey where they said that getting hiring right was extremely important, but only 8% felt they had the skills to do this effectively.

When I answered questions from the audience, the best one, in my opinion, was the most obvious. It went something like this:

"If your recruiting process works so effectively, and your assessments are so predictive, and they save so much time and money and consistently identify top performers, then why don't more companies use them?"

Isn't that just an awesome question?  Without question, it is the question I ask myself every single day.  Why are there only 8,000 companies using this great process and assessment when it could be 8 million companies?

I believe there are three reasons.

  1. Ego.  Most sales managers simply have a mindset that they should know how to do this without asking for help, relying on tools, or following someone else's process.  After all, they've done it before (badly if you measure it by the percentage of over achievers they hire - fewer than half of the last 10 people yesterday's group hired were achieving!).
  2. Money.  Every company pays their worst performer far more than it would cost to get the right process, tools and skills in place. Even though every hiring mistake costs as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars, some companies simply don't view those losses as line items. However, they do see the cost of assessments and consulting as line items and mistakenly believe they can't spend the money.
  3. Fear.  Fear of the unknown, of being wrong, of change, of losing control, of being criticized, and of a learning curve.

These are 3 powerful reasons for not going down this path.  Yet, they are 3 reasons over which executives should be embarrassed and apologize. 

Companies just plain suck at hiring the right salespeople.  How could they do any worse by implementing best practices?

(c) Copyright 2010 Dave Kurlan

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, EcSELL Institute, recruiting process, sales assessments

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About Dave

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

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