The Lost Gospels - Most Sales Candidates Really Suck!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Aug 06, 2008 @ 17:08 PM

You know how this works.  You're looking for one thing that you can't find and come across another thing that you couldn't find - in this case, three years ago!

I located some lost statistics relating to some of the more than 350,000 salespeople we have assessed, as it applies to sales candidates.  While you (not me) like to look at industry experience, and who they know, and how sharp and friendly they are, I like to look at more objective data points.  Try these on for size:

24% of all candidates will not prospect - at all!
Only 1% of all hunters have the complete Hunter Skill Set.
Only 8% of all candidates could be considered Hunters.  And how many of you want your new salespeople to hunt for new business? 
The typical candidate will have between 27% and 52% of the attributes of a hunter.

Why?  Salespeople who dislike prospecting dislike it for a reason.  They have beliefs and fears that cause anxiety and physical reactions to even the thought of prospecting. So some won't do it at all, some will have difficulty getting started and some will have difficulty finishing.

45% of all candidates will not close - at all!
Less than 1% of all candidates have the complete Closer Skill Set.
The typical candidate will possess less than 23% of the attributes of a closer.

Why? Salespeople confuse asking with getting.  Most salespeople know how to ask for the business but very few salespeople know how to get the business when prospects resist.  As with hunting, there are beliefs and fears that impact their behavior and when salespeople aren't comfortable saying the words you've taught them, they substitute words that make them more comfortable.  What makes them comfortable?  Presenting features and benefits, actions that don't put their prospects on the spot, that don't create stalls, put-offs, objections and excuses, that they absolutely don't want to deal with.

What does all this mean?  You must have a structured, world-class, sales recruiting process that features a world-class sales specific assessment to consistently identify the sales candidates that will prosper at your company.

(c) Copyright 2008 Dave Kurlan 

Topics: recruiting, assessment

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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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