The Numbers Don't Lie - Why Companies Suck at Hiring Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 02, 2006 @ 14:11 PM


Chuck Martin, the bestselling author,syndicated business columnist and man behind NFI Research, has determined through his surveys that managers make their hiring decisions on the following basis:

64.8% - Personality/Likability

58.6% - Skills

53.9% - Track Record

18.8% Knowledge of their Organization

14.1% - Diversity

Notable by its absence is the ability to execute.  Until management gets it - that they must be able to predict whether salespeople will succeed, in their business, to their market, and with their particular challenges, they will continue to be ineffective at consistently identifying, hiring and retaining top sales talent.  When a salesperson doesn't quit or isn't terminated, it doesn't necessarily mean that the salesperson was a successful hire.  A sales hire is considered successful only when that salesperson achieves success!

The high turnover industries, like insurance, telecommunications, real estate, mortgages, copiers, office supplies, etc., must learn that their high turnover is due to their expectations, process, selection methods and development programs.  Fix only one of those pieces, such as selection (by using the appropriate assessment at the first step in the process), and the ineffective process and development will continue to haunt them.  Fix only the development and they'll be developing the wrong people.  Fix only the process and they won't have a pool of qualified, interested candidates to assess and interview.

Companies with little turnover on their sales force must learn to terminate underachievers when those C and D players won't commit to being overachievers.  Management must eliminate its chronic acceptance of mediocrity and attract good, strong, fresh, new talent for their sales organizations.

The solutions must be integrated and include all four pieces of the puzzle.  Companies must reengineer their recruiting process, modify their selection process, overhaul their development programs and set higher expectations.  Only then will the wasted time, money and effort from inconsistent and ineffective sales hiring end.

© Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.

Topics: recruiting

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About Dave

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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