Applicant Tracking and Sales Candidate Assessments Fit Like Ducks Take to Water

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Nov 21, 2016 @ 06:11 AM

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I was reviewing this page which shows the market share for most of the known applicant tracking systems.  I was impressed with the analysis and with how much of the market share is held by Taleo.  I was also disappointed that there isn't a comprarable study available on sales candidate assessments.  But that's a rant for another day.  Back to the Applicant Tracking analysis.  My first takeaway is that it validated what I knew only anecdotally -that just about every mid-market and large company are using cloud-based applicant tracking systems and smaller companies are quickly moving in that direction too.  It makes sense. If companies are using cloud-based job sites to source candidates, then it only makes sense that they would be integrating applicant tracking as well.

My second takeaway is that with all of these companies sourcing from the cloud and tracking from the cloud, why aren't more of them using the best sales candidate assessment in the cloud?  I have 4 possible answers to that question:

(1) Legal groups in some companies warn against using an assessment for selection puproses.  In an effort to protect their company and its CEO from legal action, they fail to recognize that role-specific assessments do not present any vulnerabilities.  While personality assessments present a legal risk when used for selection, role-specific assessments, like Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessments, do not present a risk because they assess to determine whether the candidate has the necessary skills for that specific role.  You can't say that about personality assessmenta.

(2) Some Sales Leaders don't utilize sales candidate assessments because they believe their own instincts and experience will outperform an assessment.  And Sales Leaders do get selection right - about half of the time.  Unfortunately, getting it right doesn't mean that they didn't have turnover. Getting it right should mean that the new salespeople met or exceeded quota.  Using that criteria, 50% right would be a generous number. Ironically, sales leaders could get selection right close to 90% of the time if they used OMG's accurate and predictive Sales Candidate Assessments.

(3) Some HR Leaders won't use sales candidate assessments because they have a sense of familiarity with some of the popular personality and behavioral styles assessments.  Ironically, they don't need to stop using those assessments as they do provide some nice information about candidates.  However, those assessments weren't built for or intended for sales and they aren't predictive of sales performance.  Using a predictive sales candidate assessment along side of a familiar personality or behavioral styles assessment will vastly improve sales selection accuracy.

(4) Some CEO's don't use any assessments because they don't belive in them!  I can understand that.  If their only experience with assessments was with a "lighter" assessment - like one of the many versions of the popular DISC behavioral styles assessment, it makes sense that they don't believe that one of those will help improve selection.  But they need to look beyond what they themselves are comfortable with and have experience with and trust their HR and Sales Leaders and do what's best for their company, not what's best for themselves.

Why should a company use applicant tracking and sales candidate assessments to improve their sales selection consistency?  To avoid the cost of a hiring mistake.  For sales hiring mistakes, estimates run from between $100,000 to over $1,000,000. Of course it depends on the role, salary, length of the sales cycle, recruiting, training and development costs, and whether or not a company includes lost opportunities in its calculations.  If you don't know how much a sales hiring mistake costs at your company, you can use this free sales hiring mistake calculatorto figure it out.

Our statistics show that just one hiring mistake will cost between 20 and 50 times the investment you made in a predictive sales assessment.  

For example, let's say that you were going to hire one salesperson.  If you get selection right half of the time, you'll actually hire 2 salespeople to get the 1 that performs.  Your cost to use the assessment was no more than $2,500 and your cost to recruit, hire, train, develop and compensate the salesperson who failed was $65,000 for six months - 26 times the cost of the assessment.

Let's try it with 10 salespeople.  Let's say that you are better than average and only 3 of the 10 didn't make it.  You paid no more than $10,000 to use the assessment and your hard costs for the 3 salespeople who failed totaled $195,000 - 20 times the cost of the assessment.

There really aren't any good reasons to avoid using a proven, accurate, customizable, predictive sales candidate assessment.  What's holding you back?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales candidates, sales assessements, hiring mistake, sales selection, personality test

Top 5 Keys to Select and Hire Great Salespeople in 2015

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Dec 08, 2014 @ 06:12 AM

selection3

Copyright: swingvoodoo / 123RF Stock Photo

I'm always amused when an email comes through with a message that says something like, "Maybe we should target candidates that aren't recommended" or "Why do so many candidates lack Commitment?" or "Your assessments are only recommending 1 out of every 5 candidates!" or "The questions don't fit the role!" or "Thanks for saving us so much time - we would have hired some of these losers last year!"

I can usually determine, just from the comment of the email, exactly who, by title, must have sent it to us.  Here are some funny examples:

If it's a comment about how few candidates are being recommended, then the message is probably from an internal or external recruiter. 

All but the savviest of recruiters hate Objective Management Group (OMG) because we make their jobs more difficult.  Their job is to find great sales or sales management candidates and OMG only recommends those who are most likely to succeed in the role so, from their perspective, we are "knocking out" too many of their "awesome" candidates.  We do help them succeed at their jobs, but they must deliver more candidates than before to achieve that success.

A comment about how much time we have saved them is usually from the HR Director or VP.  Those Individuals easily recognize how good the recommended candidates are and really appreciate how much time they saved by not having to engage with undesirable candidates.  We make their jobs much easier!

When we read a comment about the assessment questions not fitting a sales role, the email is definitely from a candidate that is either a fish out of water, very inexperienced, or very misguided about professional selling.  Good salespeople never have a problem with fit or context.

Sarcastic comments, like the one above about targeting 'not recommended' candidates, usually come from frustrated CEOs that haven't met with enough good candidates.  Of course, it's easy to place the blame on OMG for quality of candidates because, well, who are they going to blame, their own people?  The quality of the candidates is directly related to the effectiveness of their job posting, where they placed their ads, and how well those postings are working.  OMG assessment recommendations essentially become the feedback on the quality of their sales candidate pool.

Testimonials often come from Sales VPs or Directors that have begun to hire great salespeople.  They recognize how good the candidates have been, they have made their first hires, and the new salepeople that OMG recommended have gotten off to great starts.

Depending on their roles and whether or not achieving their goals has become easier or more difficult, everyone has a different context and perspective of the exact same instrument.

As of this writing, there are some indisputable conditions that everyone must contend with:

  • There is a shortage of good candidates, but they do exist.
  • The more difficult the role and the more capable and expert the salesperson must be, the harder it will be to find "the one".
  • It is taking between 60-90 days to complete the hiring process.
  • The best job sites depend on a combination of geography and the desired capabilities of the salespeople you are hoping to hire.
    • The best candidate, who I personally interviewed in the past 30 days, was sourced from Craigslist.
    • The best overall candidates for a specific geography, that I interviewed in the past 90 days, were sourced from Indeed.
    • The best overall candidates for a non-specific geography, that I interviewed in the past 90 days, were from LinkedIn.
    • The best overall value for sourcing candidates was from ZipRecruiter.
  • You may conduct 5-minute phone interviews with ONLY the candidates that were recommended for the role by the OMG Assessment.
  • You may interview only the best of those candidates from the phone interviews.

Managing your own expectations is key to making this process work.  You must exercise:

  • Patience.  You may have to repeat the process several times to find who you are looking for.
  • No Compromises. If you compromise, you'll be starting all over again in 6 months.
  • Discipline.  Never consider a candidate that is not recommended by the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment regardless of fit.  
  • No Exceptions.  Exceptions compromise the integrity of the sales recruiting process.
  • Speed. Once you have identified a desirable candidate, act swiftly or you will lose that candidate!  I interviewed a great candidate at 2PM on Thursday and recommended him to my client at 3 PM.  At 5:45 PM I received a call and learned that my client had already contacted, met with, interviewed the candidate, and presented a job offer that the candidate accepted.

Finding, selecting, hiring and onboarding great salespeople is more difficult than at any time in the past 20 years.  The only thing that will make it easier is something for which you absolutely won't want to be wishing - a huge economic downturn.  As long as the economy is growing and things are going relatively well, we can deal with it being more difficult to hire.  After all, what good is a glut of candidates if you can't afford to hire them?

Finally, don't forget about EEOC Guidelines.  if you are using OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments, current guidelines require you to assess all of your candidates.  Clients simply purchase a flat-fee license for unlimited use and send the link to every candidate that submits a resume.  Easy!  You're EEOC compliant.

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Want to hear more?  Listen to this BizTalkRadio interview of me talking about getting sales selection right.

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, Sales Candidate, hiring salespeople, sales test, personality test, interviewing salespeople

Keys to Improved Sales Performance - Part 2 of 4

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Sep 03, 2014 @ 07:09 AM

sales potential

This is the second in a four-part series that will run this week.

See Part 1 here. This is Part 2.

If you are like most folks, you were away for at least part of the summer, took as many long weekends as you could, and worked fewer hours on the days you actually did work.  As part of getting the work done, you deleted as many emails as you could where a reply wasn't required and visited fewer websites and blogs.

That means you missed a lot of what we were discussing this summer.  This series will catch you up in a hurry.

Four days, four categories, with related articles.  Easy.

The Sales Recruiting and Selection Articles

Sales Selection and Recruiting remain a crucial function in improving sales performance.  After all, don't most of the sales performance problems just go away when you get hiring right?  And if that's true, why are so many leaders and companies so resistant and cautious about employing time-tested and proven best practices to improve in this area?  Read on for more...

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Great New Salesperson Might Fail 

Top 10 Sales Recruiting Lessons to Hire Great Salespeople 

What Percentage of Sales Candidates Are Hired? 

Look for Potential in the Next Generation of Sales Hires 

As Good as Your Last Successful Hire - 10 Tips for Consistency 

Share your opinions and let us know what you think about the challenges of recruiting and selection, the shortage of candidates, and the importance of getting it right.

 

Image Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, Sales Candidate, sales test, personality test

What Percentage of Sales Candidates Are Hired?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 @ 21:07 PM

sales selection

 

Do you know what percentage of sales candidates eventually get hired?  I posed that very question to Google search and none of the results, that appeared on the first page, answered my question.  Two results pointed to my article from earlier in 2014 that answered the question, "How Many Sales Candidates are Worthy of Being Hired?"

That article addressed several classifications and roles and revealed that, on average, 28% of all sales, sales management and sales leadership candidates assessed were recommended using Objective Management Group's (OMG) assessment.  

 

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It's not quite as simple to figure out how many were actually hired, but we have our ways.  I'll spare you our steps and calculations, but when all was said and done, the data showed that 6% of all candidates assessed were hired.

What Does 6% Mean for You?

In very simple terms, 6% means that 20 candidates must be assessed for each one who is hired.  With an overall recommendation rate of 28%, those 20 assessments will yield approximately 6 candidates who are worthy of your time.  But there is much more to consider.

In order for 20 candidates to take the assessment, you'll probably need 40 to submit their resumes and at least 30 of them to complete an online application.  

We instruct our clients to run a 5-step process where the first 2 steps are to follow a link to an online application, and after completing that, follow another link to the online sales assessment.  The most casual of the applicants will drop out at the online application.  Too much work.  If they can submit a resume and get an interview, they'll take it, but any more effort than that and they'll remain with the company for which they are currently working.  The least qualified will drop out at the online assessment.  Too role-specific.  When they begin to complete the assessment and have difficulty answering all sales-specific questions, they quit, knowing they aren't qualified.

What if You Don't Get 40 Resumes Per Role?

If your flow of resumes is poor, you are probably doing several things wrong.  It's likely a combination of things including, but not limited to your ad title, the ad itself, the compensation, the geography, too much information, the wrong information, who you are targeting, where you are targeting them, etc.  The assessment is only as good as the pool of candidates you find and attract.  That's why a lot of recruiters become frustrated with OMG.  

Why Do Recruiters Get So Frustrated When Their Clients Use OMG?

Recruiters don't want to work any harder than they need to and when an OMG Candidate Assessment is involved, they quickly learn that, of the candidates they send to their clients, the majority (72%) are not recommended.  Recruiting is a lot like real estate sales.  Recruiters tend to send candidates who have curb appeal and a relevant resume, as opposed to candidates who have the required skills and competencies, but might be a harder sell because they lack curb appeal or their resume doesn't scream "hire me!"  The OMG Candidate Assessment differentiates between those candidates quite well, and its accuracy and predictive qualities are legendary.

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

What is the Most Effective Way of Using the Assessment?

The assessment is most effective when used very early in the process - as a first or second step prior to reviewing a resume or speaking with a candidate by phone.  Years ago, I observed that most employers used assessments incorrectly.  They were using personality and behavioral styles tests which are not in any way, shape or form predictive of sales success, and they were not being utilized until after they had narrowed the field down to the final 5 candidates.  Unfortunately for them, the 5 they identified were usually not the best 5 to consider.

Used early in the process, companies eliminate the candidates who won't succeed, don't waste time talking with them, and can invest all of their time speaking with and interviewing the strongest sales candidates.  Best of all, those top candidates are identified using a customized, scientific and objective analysis, not one based on resumes and industry experience.  As a bonus, companies who assess all of their candidates are EEOC Compliant, while companies who cherry-pick to assess are being discriminatory.

Isn't it Expensive to Use That Many Assessments?

Several years ago, OMG moved to a subscription model that offered unlimited assessments, providing employers with a financial incentive to use the assessments correctly and efficiently at the beginning of the process.  Subscriptions control costs, get the actual per assessment price to a ridiculously low number, and allow companies to assess every candidate.

Companies, who use OMG for sales selection, enjoy incredible consistencies, reduce their turnover, improve their on-boarding time, and significantly increase their success rate.  That could be you...

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales candidates, sales selection, sales assessments, sales test, personality test

Top 10 Sales Recruiting Lessons to Hire Great Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 08:07 AM

sales candidatesOne of the first emails I came across this morning was a LinkedIn update telling me that 16% of my network had started new jobs.  16%.  That's one of every 6.25 people I am connected to.

That brings us to this question.  Who's in a LinkedIn network?

I'm very selective about who I connect to on LinkedIn.  Some would suggest that you should connect with as many people as possible.  I'm of the belief that you should connect with people who you know and who know you.  I believe that you should also connect with those who fit the profile of your customers and/or clients as well as the people who can connect you with them.  

I receive twenty requests to join someone else's network for every one I send out, and I don't accept invitations from people I don't know unless they are connected to my target audience. I admit it, I'm a LinkedIn snob.

So with all that said, 16% of my small network, with fewer than 1,000 connections, still means that after we account for those people who I know, but aren't in my target demographic, more than 125 CEO's, Presidents, HR Directors, Sales Directors and Salespeople took new jobs.  2 of them left my company, a bunch of them left clients, and another bunch took jobs with clients.

This is actually very consistent with what we see and what our clients see when recruiting for positions.  There are plenty of senior sales candidates out and about, getting fed up, discouraged, mistreated, and terminated.  At the same time, very few of them have the competencies required to be effective in sales management and sales leadership roles.  You must be extremely selective and that's where it helps to have an awesome Sales Management or Sales Leadership Candidate Assessment like Objective Management Group (OMG) offers.  It is of enormous help in filtering the good-looking candidates from the strong, competent candidates.

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When it comes to sales candidates, there is a certifiable shortage.  Sure, if you post an ad, you'll get resumes, but most of the available (I can't call it talent) candidates are of poor quality.  

 

We have several tricks that we use to find and attract top talent (I share an awful lot in my blog posts, but we get paid for our best stuff), but the real lessons are these 10:

  1. You must be patient.  Wait for the right one and don't compromise.
  2. Don't hire because of a resume or references.  The success may not be transferrable.
  3. Don't disqualify because of a resume.  It may not be their fault.
  4. Don't disqualify because of a failure.  It could have been cultural or industry-specific.
  5. Track record is good, but not a guarantee of future performance.
  6. It comes down to Motivation, Competencies, Capabilities, Sales DNA and Fit and those must be measured, not claimed or guessed at.
  7. Everything you think you know about recruiting salespeople is probably only half right.
  8. If you don't use an accurate, predictive, sales-specific Candidate Assessment, you'll have better luck spinning the wheel.
  9. Most recruiters are no better at spotting and/or recommending good sales candidates than you.
  10. A good, new salesperson, without formal, structured on-boarding, direction, accountability and coaching, is just as likely to fail as a lousy salesperson.

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, Sales Candidate, sales test, personality test

The Sales Conversation CEO's & Sales VP's Must Have with HR

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 02, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

HR heroHR Directors love our sales candidate assessments because when they finally learn to select the right salespeople, their job becomes easier and they become heroes!

Promises of great success would lead you to believe that this is not a difficult sale, but it doesn't always go that smoothly.  

Today, there are two classes of HR Directors working at companies.  The first class is made up of great ones who have a seat at the executive table, understand the business issues that need to be solved, and strategize with the leadership team to integrate appropriate and effective solutions to help the company grow.  HR Directors in the second class are administrators of recruiting, compensation and benefits and they justify their existence by getting in the way, defending their turf, taking tactical rather than strategic approaches and staying with what they are familiar.   

Once in a while, an HR Director from the second class knows so much more than me about assessments that they take it upon themselves to make sure I know how smart they are.  They make sure that I'm aware of the letters that appear after their names, their experience with assessments, they dig their heels in with anti-assessment or anti-OMG (Objective Management Group) biases, and then they ask all of the wrong questions.  When HR Directors are more interested in how the assessment works and how it could be so accurate than problem solving and learning whether or not it will help them select great salespeople for their company, it's a pretty good clue that we are heading up the creek instead of getting down to their challenges.  Sometimes, these HR Directors need to take OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment themselves in an attempt to somehow disprove its accuracy and predictive ability.

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Recently, I had one of those extremely productive, uplifting conversations.  This particular class 2 HR Director wanted to take our assessment as well as the one her company was currently using.  The other assessment was a personality test disguised as a sales assessment.  Even more ironic, it was the assessment that wasn't working, as only 11% of the salespeople who were selected with it were hitting their numbers and 40% had failed and turned over.

I had to laugh when I was told that our assessment was "correct in not recommending" her for the sales position at her company, but "the other assessment was a more accurate description" of her.

Of course it more accurately described her - it's a personality assessment, not a sales assessment, so it described what she is like and she was able to relate to the description of herself.

OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment does not describe a personality or a person or a type.  It answers business questions that are far more important, like:

Will this candidate succeed in this particular sales position, selling these particular products or services, into this particular market, calling on this particular decision-maker, in this size company, against this kind of competition, at these price points, in a sales cycle of this length, with this level of difficulty and resistance, these challenges, and your expectations?

Which information is more useful when determining which candidates to interview - the kind of personality they have, or whether they will succeed in the role?

When HR Directors don't understand business and the challenges of selling, they can much more easily relate to a known (albeit useless) personality assessment for the purpose of pre-employment testing.  This is why it is so important for CEO's and sales VP's to work with HR and help them understand why the sales role is so completely different than every other role in the company.  Help them understand that while the information from personality assessments is nice to have, the accurate, predictive findings of a reliable sales-specific assessment like OMG's is a must have to get sales selection right.

I'll be hosting a free webinar this Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 11 AM Eastern time.  I will discuss the Magic of the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment.  Register here

Image Copyright: hjalmeida / 123RF Stock Photo

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, HR Director, Pre Employment Tests, sales selection, personality test

Is the "Lack of Commitment to Sales Success" Finding Predictive?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, May 06, 2013 @ 23:05 PM

over and outSo you have your sales force evaluated and in addition to learning why you are getting the results you are getting, and what you can do to significantly improve those results, you are suprised by some of the individual findings on some of your salespeople.  One of the findings that generates the most push-back is Lack of Commitment to sales success.

We could hear any of the following comments as push-back to this finding:

  • our best salesperson,
  • nobody tries harder,
  • works longer hours than anyone,
  • been here for years,
  • landed our biggest customer,
  • an up-and-comer and/or
  • we really like her.
The list could go on and on, but none of the rebuttals actually addresses commitment - one's willingness to do whatever it takes (ethically of course) to achieve sales success.  For the record, I believe that this particular finding is 100% accurate.
One such example of this occurred last fall, when after a sales force evaluation, one rep's results showed that she lacked commitment.  Their sales manager spoke with her and was cautious, but optimistic that she was committed.  A month or so later, he spoke with her a second time, pointed out a few concerns of his, and after listening to her responses, came away from the meeting feeling more optimistic, but still cautious.  
Today the sales manager - a terrific guy and very effective sales manager - sent me a note saying that this rep is getting married and leaving the company - and sales - to spend more time working in her church ministry.
Sometimes, it takes several months to see what we only can measure, but it always shows up sooner or later.
That's the danger in moving forward with salespeople who lack commitment.  The proof might not be as dramatic as in the example above, but there will always be proof, like:
  • lack of improvement from training,
  • lack of improvement from coaching,
  • inability to change their thinking,
  • inability to change their behaviors,
  • inability to embrace a new sales process,
  • inability to embrace a new sales methodology,
  • inability to embrace a company's new policies,
  • inability to become engaged in a company's new culture and/or
  • many more.
It's one thing to learn that one of your existing salespeople is not committed to their own sales success.  It's another to learn that a sales candidate lacks commitment.  Why would anyone fight that finding?  You're not invested in that candidate and there are other qualified candidates out there; so why would any manager insist on hiring someone with a lack of commitment to sales success?  
The simple answer is that employers fall in love - not in a romantic way as much as a hopeful way - with the wrong candidates all the time.  Sometimes they fall in love because of their:
  • personality,
  • energy,
  • experience,
  • expertise,
  • sense of humor,
  • book of business,
  • previous employers and/or
  • good looks.
Whatever the reason, if they lack Commitment to sales success, they should not, under any circumstances, consider that candidate for a sales position at their company.  Unless of course you like wasting time and starting over.
This is Dave saying over and out.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales management, sales candidates, sales assessments, sales test, personality test, objective management group

What Sales Leaders Don't Know About Ego and Empathy

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 11, 2010 @ 21:05 PM

In the past week, three people had discussions with me about recruiting salespeople and suggested that the difference between successful and unsuccessful salespeople is that effective salespeople have empathy and ego.

These people probably use personality and behavioral styles assessments too.  Those assessments, always poorly adapted for sales, feature empathy and ego.  There are three things you must know when it comes to salespeople and their empathy and ego.

  1. The findings mean nothing when reported in a personality or behavioral styles assessment
  2. Lousy salespeople have empathy and ego too
  3. Empathy and Ego are only assets in the right quantity.

This article will focus on #3. 

Empathy and Ego are both a lot like food - you can't have too much of it or it will make you sick.  And if you don't have enough of it you'll be weak. They are really best plotted on bell curves, not bar graphs!

Let's take empathy.  Salespeople who don't have enough empathy won't be able to relate to the problems they are attempting to find and won't be able to help prospects feel comfortable sharing their frustrations and fears.  In other words, lack of empathy will compromise the listening and questioning competency.  Yet, salespeople with too much empathy will not only relate to the problems they can solve, but they will be empathetic to every stall, put-off, objection, excuse and sob story they hear too.  Here is where an ideal level of empathy can be seen on the bell curve.

Bell Curve

Ego is a very similar story.  Salespeople who don't have enough ego lack confidence and are easily intimidated. As a result, they have difficulty developing strong relationships, showing their expertise, garnering respect and developing credibility.  Yet, salespeople with too much ego appear to be cocky, arrogant, self-centered ass-holes who don't understand that selling is all about their prospects, not them.  I can't tell you how many salespeople each week are forced to hear me say, "John, it's not about you."  Here is where an ideal level of ego is plotted on the bell curve.

Bell  Curve

So there you have it.  If you read it on a personality or behavioral styles assessment, just know that the empathy and ego were measured in a social, not a business or sales context.  That makes it inaccurate and nonpredictive. Many ineffective salespeople have empathy and ego.  Too much empathy and ego is just as bad as not enough.  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales recruiting, sales management functions, empathy, ego, sales assessments, personality test

Case History - How Not to Hire Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Apr 02, 2010 @ 11:04 AM

A company wants to hire 5000 salespeople - but why?

2000 drop out before completing training, and another 2000 drop out during the first 90 days in the field. Another 500 drop out during the first 6 months, and at the end of the year they only have 500 of the original 5000 standing.  What would it be worth to them from a cost, time, resources and practicality standpoint for us to simply identify, in advance, the final 500, before anyone is hired?

Can we do that?  Yes.

Are they likely to do that?  No.

Why?  Because that's the way it's always been done in their industry.  The Status Quo prevents improved outcomes and nobody wants to make a change that might not work.  Well what about the way they're doing it now?  Does anybody really believe that it works the way it is?  They do!

Let's take a closer look at why their turnover - at 90% the first year - is so high?  Let's look at how they select salespeople since that's one of the things that we could change.

They use a behavioral styles assessment.  They're OK, but (obviously!!) not predictive of sales success.

This particular assessment is marketed as a sales assessment but it's the same old story.  Behavioral Styles assessment that uses some sales terminology and marketing but under the hood it's a behavioral styles assessment.  Here are some examples:

The Assessment reports "Prospecting Ability" but they can't actually measure that.  They can only measure how extroverted, social and persistent the individual is - in a social context!  It has nothing to do with prospecting ability!

The Assessment reports "Closing Style/Ability" but they can't actually measure that.  They can only measure assertiveness and sensitivity to rejection - in  a social context!  It has nothing to do with closing ability!

The Assessment report "Commitment to Sales" but they can't actually measure that.  They can only measure self-esteem and how favorable the individual is to a sales profession.  It has nothing to do with Commitment to Sales!

And on and on and on it goes...

What would you do?

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, Sales Candidate, Behavioral Styles Test, Sales Recruiting Process, personality test, objective management group

Sales Assessment Comparison - Objective Management Group versus Devine

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 @ 13:09 PM

It's not often that we get to compare the assessment results of an individual that took our assessment and another.  Why?  Because most companies don't use multiple assessments that report on similar findings.  Notice that I said "report on" and not "look at".  While other assessments report on findings similar to ours, they don't look at or measure the same information to draw their conclusions.  That's why the reports I received today make for such an enjoyable comparison.

The candidate was assessed by Objective Management Group AND Devine, a company that produces behavioral styles assessments that are marketed and sold as sales assessments.  Because their questions are not asked in a sales context, they get findings that, while likely accurate in social situations, are usually out of context, and  less accurate for sales.  That is why, as is often the case, the results between ours and behavioral styles assessments are contradictory.

Below, you'll see how this candidate scored on ten of the key findings for each assessment:

Variation
OMG Finding
Devine Finding
Conflicting Finding
Strong Desire
Questionable - Ambition & Drive
Conflicting Finding
Strong Responsibility
Questionable - Accepts Responsibility
Conflicting Finding
Strong Outlook
Questionable Outlook
Conflicting Finding
Is Trainable
Questionable - Challenge/Growth/Change
Similar Finding
Gets Emotionally Involved
Questionable Emotionally Objective
Conflicting Finding
74% Hunter Skills
Poor Sales Prospecting
Conflicting Finding
Decision Maker
Poor - Resists Think it Overs
Similar Finding
Some Need for ApprovalPoor - Lacks Need for Approval
Similar Finding
75% Ambassador Skills
Excellent Relationship Effectiveness
Conflicting Finding
Ineffective Selling System
Excellent Process Orientation

 

Seven out of ten findings shown here are in conflict.  Knowing that our accuracy is legendary (95% predictive validity), which assessment would you rather base your decision on?

There are two more findings that you should know about:

OMG also measures commitment - the candidate's commitment was weak and the finding was Lacks Commitment.  Behavioral styles assessments can't measure commitment to sales success.

OMG's recommendation was "not hirable".  Devine's recommendation was "Good Overall Job Fit".  Now which assessment would you rather base your decision on?

If you want to read more about the difference between assessments that were built for sales versus those that were adapted - and not too effectively - for sales, here are three on the subject:

This was the first in the series.

Then came this follow up with more detail.

Then came this article after certain PHD's had their world rocked.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan

 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, Sales Candidate, sales evaluation, Devine, personality test

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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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