Take Empathy Out of the Sales Hiring and Selection Process

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 17, 2008 @ 22:09 PM

If an applicant is a good candidate for a sales management position, does that make the applicant a good candidate for a sales position?

A very strong sales management candidate was assessed - as a sales manager - and was recommended.  The client, with a very small sales force, wants the sales manager to sell 50% of the time and wishes to know whether the sales manager would have been recommended for a sales position at his company.

There are two sides to this argument.  On the positive side, if a candidate is strong (lots of supporting strengths) then the candidate is strong and the candidate is skilled then the candidate is skilled. On the negative side of the argument, it doesn't correlate that if one has strong desire and commitment for sales management success that one would also have strong desire and commitment for sales success.  In fact, the individual probably would not have them.  If an individual felt strongly enough about success in sales, then that person would be looking for a sales, and not a sales management position.

We see many avoidable hiring mistakes like:

  • not recommended but we'll take a chance (75% fail in six months)
  • not recomended but let's create a junior position for bench strength (really bench weakness)
  • not recommended for this role so let's hire for another sales role (not very brilliant)
  • recommended but with conditions, they ignore the conditions (if we don't look are the conditions still there?) 
  • not assessed because they know the candidate (and the familiarity makes the candidate more likely to succeed?)
  • assess only one candidate every quarter or so (no pool? not even best available? Chronic compromising)

 Smart, effective, consistent sales hiring is a best practice.  You wouldn't dare to deviate from your operational best practices so why deviate when it comes to salespeople?

In tonight's Red Sox-Rays game the Rays Manager, Joe Madden, pulled his starting pitcher, Matt Garza, with a five-run lead, with two outs in the fifth inning.  Garza was only one out away from qualifying for the win but Madden didn't care whether his starter got the statistic he wanted.  Garza had already allowed two home runs to David Ortiz, the next batter, and Madden was more interested in winning the game.  Empathy was not a factor.

Take empathy out of your sales recruiting and selection process and you'll be more consistent than ever.

Topics: sales assessment, sales hiring, sales recruiting, Sales Candidate, sales selection

Subscribe via Email

View All 1,700 Articles

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.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile

Subscribe 

Receive new articles via email
Subscribe
 to the Blog on your Kindle 

 

 

Most Recent Articles

Awards

Vendor Neutral Certified 100 SalesTech Vendor Objective Management Group

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Individual Blog -  Silver

Top Sales Awards 2018 - Article/Post -  Silver


Top Sales Awards 2018 - Assessment Tool -  Gold

 2016 Top Sales & Marketing Individual Blog - Bronze

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 -  Bronze - Thought Leader

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Podcast - Gold

2016 Top Sales & Marketing Webinar - Gold

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2015 - Bronze - eBook/White Paper

Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blog 2019

Dave Kurlan Top 50 Sales Influencer 2015

Sales Pro Insider Blog

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers

Top100Strategic

Top100SalesInfluencersOnTwitter



Hubspot Top 25 Blogs

 

Free Tools

Sales Process Grader

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Sales Ghost Calculator

Sales Force Grader

Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator

FREE Recruiting Process Grader