Data Shows That Only 14% are Qualified for the Easiest Selling Roles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 @ 06:11 AM

qualify-candidates

Lays Potato Chips.  Movie Theater Popcorn.  Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.  BBQ Ribs.  Fudge Brownies.  Rolos (a personal favorite from years ago).  All junk food which, after having the first one, you just can't stop there. You must have more.  Lays even had that as a slogan back in the late 60's - "Bet you can't eat just one."  Back then I couldn't stop at one.

Last week I wrote an article that said companies are hiring the wrong salespeople 77% of the time.  It was very popular and there was a great discussion on LinkedIn but similar to the junk food, you couldn't read that one article and move to another subject.  You need to have some more.

That article was filled with data to illustrate the differences between good salespeople versus those who actually get hired most of the time.  It was ugly and there were questions about the 77% like, "Where does that come from?"

Some of the supporting data came from the CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study.  Some of it came from Objective Management Group's evaluations and assessments of 1.8 million salespeople.  And I'm going to show you some data that most people never get to see.  Take a look at these wild numbers!

In the first graph, you can see the overall recommendation rate from 2014 through mid-November of 2018 from OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments.  

recommendation-rates-overall

While the overall rate varies by no more than 4 percentage points over the past 5 years, from a low of 37% to a high of 41% the overall rate is very deceiving.

OMG has 5 levels of difficulty and the criteria for a recommendation becomes more rigorous as the difficulty of the role increases.  There are as many as 11 second-level customizations that could cause a candidate to be not recommended if their sales DNA doesn't support a required selling activity.  And there is a third-level  of customization that can override the criteria and customizations above to alter a recommendation.

Between the sliding scale and two additional levels of customization, it's very impressive that the overall rate hasn't varied by more than 4% over the past 5 years.  Let's review the recommendation rates for all 5 difficulty levels.

recommend-rates

The first two columns on the left show the overall recommendation rates that appeared in the graph above.  The overall rates are the averages across all ten columns for each year.  There are 2 types of recommendations - recommended (continue with the interview process) and worthy of consideration (continue if there aren't enough candidates that were recommended) - for each difficulty level.  So that's 10 ratios to track per year.  These are some of the ratios that stand out for me:

  • Notice the low recommendation rates for the last three years for the roles with the least difficulty (columns 3-4).  You would think that it should be like the 2014 rate when 47% or nearly half of the candidates for those easy roles were recommended.  Why is it so different now?  One possible reason is that in the past 4 years, thousands of BDR (top of the funnel) roles were filled with recent college graduates and a much smaller percentage of them qualify for any sales role than experienced salespeople.  It's not their lack of skills; it's their unsuitable Sales DNA and/or their unsuitable Desire and Commitment for sales success.  
  • The recommended rate for the most difficult roles has increased by 5% over the past 5 years and the biggest increase has occurred in 2018.  With our help, companies have become more effective at targeting the caliber of salespeople that are required to perform in the most difficult roles.  Their candidate pool is filled with many more top tier candidates than you would expect given the overall shortage of salespeople and the even more acute lack of great salespeople.
  • Most companies seek salespeople for roles of moderate difficulty yet only 19% of the candidates are recommended. When the company lacks the required number of recommended candidates, they dip into the bucket of worthies, thereby doubling the size of the candidate pool from which they can interview.  The problem is that with sales candidates in such short supply, companies who aren't using OMG's sales candidate assessments are actually hiring the other 60% who, as you should be aware by now, are all weak, score in the lowest 50 percentile, and under the best of circumstances, will not hit quota.

Most companies are unhappy that half of their salespeople suck but to a certain extent, they have accepted it as fact - the new normal.  They look at the recommendation rates shown above and rationalize their situation by saying to themselves, "There aren't many candidates out there and most of them won't be recommended anyway so we'll just keep doing what we've always done."  The definition of stupidity.

Sure, it takes patience and discipline to attract, assess, interview, select and on board salespeople who will succeed in their roles.  But patience and discipline aren't strangers to finance, manufacturing, operations, marketing, R & D, engineering, design, fulfillment, quality control, IT, IS, or most of the other functions and departments in a successful business.  So isn't it time that we stop fooling ourselves and continuing to believe that sales is different and we have to accept the hand we are dealt?  That thinking causes executives to have Cause a Rationalization for Aggravating Performance.  CRAP.  You can read more about CRAP in sales. More importantly, you can have access to the most accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment on the planet.  Named Top Sales Assessment Tool for 7 consecutive years, you can be as confident about the salespeople you select as all of our clients are.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Candidate, sales assessment tool, hiring, sales assessment tests

The Wrong Salespeople are Hired 77% of the Time

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 07:11 AM

fired

94% of sales managers are optimistic about their salespeople.  That's a very surprising statistic for a couple of reasons:

  1. 50% or more of their salespeople won't hit their quotas this year and haven't since at least 2008.
  2. Objective Management Group's (OMG's) findings from the evaluations and assessments of 1.8 million salespeople show that 50% of all salespeople are weak.

Sales managers believe that 50% of their salespeople are good and 44% of their salespeople have potential.  Of course, they are using subjective, rather than objective approaches to measuring what "good" is.

How do you measure good?

  • Salespeople consistently meet or exceed quota or expectations
  • You like your salespeople, they work hard, don't give you any trouble, are positive, don't miss quota by too much, sometimes bring in good customers, are advocates of the company and brand, and are good influences, etc.

Unfortunately, a lot of sales managers choose the second option.

Why? Many sales managers aren't very good at what they do!  Only 10% of all sales managers are effective at  both coaching and coaching consistently and when it comes to holding salespeople accountable, they aren't much better.  Review the table below: 


wrong-hires

  •   60% of all salespeople make excuses for their lack of performance
  •   37% of all salespeople lack commitment for sales success
  •   20% of all salespeople are not motivated to achieve sales success
  •   67% of all salespeople lack the minimum required Sales DNA for success in their roles

It's no wonder that sales managers are ineffective.  While there is clearly work to be done in the area of coaching, the real problem is that they begin with the wrong salespeople!  [Note - Michael Lang asked me to insert a table below with the same data - but for sales managers - so here it is]

mgr

Between sales management and HR, the wrong salespeople are selected as often as 77% of the time!  And then we wonder why their salespeople don't hit quota, why sales managers can't coach them up and why sales managers aren't quicker to terminate and replace under performing salespeople.  There's a fantastic chance that they'll replace them with someone even worse!

The first set of numbers above are for all salespeople.  When we focus on the bottom 50% - the ones that don't hit quota, the ones who make up the majority in all sales organizations, it looks even worse:

  •   67% of weak salespeople make excuses
  •   53% of weak salespeople lack commitment for sales success
  •   30% of weak salespeople are not motivated to achieve sales success
  •   97% of weak salespeople lack the minimum required Sales DNA for success in their roles

Obviously, the biggest difference between all salespeople and the bottom 50% is their Sales DNA.  And the difference between weak and the elite top 5% is 4850%!  That's why when good and bad salespeople interview for sales positions they appear to be essentially the same.  Their Sales DNA, or lack thereof, rarely surfaces unless you know which questions to ask and how to ask them.  So if you're wondering whether you can be fooled when interviewing salespeople, the data would suggest that if half of all salespeople are weak, and 97% of that group have inadequate Sales DNA, then you are being fooled at least half the time.

There are also two huge gaps, one that shows the elite top 5% are highly motivated 2,000% more often and have strong commitment 1766% more often than their weak counterparts.  This amazing article shows the correlation between motivation and performance.

That's the primary reason why more and more companies have turned to assessments. According to CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study, companies that use assessments have 61% quota attainment and 14.6% attrition, versus 49% quota attainment and 19.8% attrition for those who don't use assessments.  Companies that use assessments are 25% more successful at quota achievement and that data is not even for any particular assessment.  Imagine how much better the results are for the companies that use OMG's accurate and predictive sales-specific candidate assessments. Data from companies who have hired salespeople that were recommended by OMG shows an attrition rate of only 8% and quota attainment of 88%.  

If you use OMG's sales-specific candidate assessments to filter and select your salespeople, you are less likely to make a hiring mistake than if you use an assessment that lacks predictive capabilities, and far less likely to make a mistake than if you don't use any assessment.

Assessments are main stream - there are hundreds of them - and companies that ignore them are knowingly adding unnecessary risk and stunted growth to their revenue streams.  According to Forbes, the cost of a bad hire is $240,000.  But that's not for a sales hiring mistake - that's a generic hiring mistake.  Factor in lost opportunities, lost customers and lost revenue and that number can quickly and easily exceed $1 million per salesperson!

Why wouldn't you invest a tiny fraction of that to avoid costly mistakes?  It's not like there's any risk.  Take OMG for instance.  As you can see from the screenshot below, it's been used on more than 1.8 million salespeople to hire more than 76,000 salespeople in more than 26,000 companies in 200 industries from 43 countries since 1990.  That says proven and time tested. 

2018-11-09_12-42-25

As for the accurate and predictive part, consider that of the candidates who are not recommended by OMG, but get hired anyway because the company is either desperate or stubborn, 75% fail within 6 months.  And of the candidates who are recommended and eventually hired, 92% rise to the top half of their sales organizations within 12 moths.  Very accurate and predictive. 

Check out OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments here.

Join the discussion of this article on LinkedIn here.

Image Copyright iStock Photos

Topics: Dave Kurlan, hiring sales candidates, sales recruiting, sales assessment tool

It's Obvious That Sales Excellence is Not Important

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 @ 06:11 AM

excellenceImage Copyright: olivier26 / 123RF Stock Photo

This is an end-of-the-week follow up article on Sales Excellence and why it's really not that important to most salespeople, sales leaders and CEO's.  Would you like to know why nobody seems to care about sales excellence?

I just published Why Nobody Cares About Sales Excellence on Pulse Network at LinkedIn.  Read that first and follow the 3 links!

This week's superb issue of Top Sales Magazine is available for free. Download here.

My brand new White Paper, The Modern Science of Sales Force Excellence, is chock-full of insights and available for free. Download here.

Nominations for the 2014 Top Sales Awards have been announced and you can vote in any or all of 15 categories here.  

I'm honored that OMG has been nominated for Top Sales Assessment Tool after winning the Gold medal each of the last 3 years.  

I'm shocked and honored to be personally nominated for 6 awards!  I would be so appreciative if you would cast a vote for at least Top Sales & Marketing Blog, and if you're feeling generous, any or all of the other 5:

Top Sales & Marketing Article (Increase in Social Selling Yields No Increase in KPI's)

Top Sales & Marketing Blog (The one you're reading - Understanding the Sales Force - which has won a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal for 3 straight years)

2 Top Sales & Marketing Blog Posts (Top 10 Mistakes Salespeople Make on the Phone AND Can These 5 Keys Determine the Fate of Cold Calling?)

Top Sales & Marketing eBook (my new White Paper)

Top Sales & Marketing Video (What Does it Mean for a Salesperson to have SOB Quality?)

Top Sales & Marketing Webinar (How to Master the Art of Sales Coaching)

As I understand it, Dan McDade's video broadcast on Thursday, November 12, was standing room only.  The first 100 people who were lucky enough to get in were treated to a great 30 minutes of lively debate from Dan, Koka Sexton and me.  Check back here next week for a link to the recording!

Finally, be sure to listen to Biz Talk Radio on Sunday, November 16 at 8PM Central Time to hear host Jim Lobaito's interview with me.  Not available on Sunday evening?  Catch the podcast by visiting the home page for the show where you can listen to lots of other good sales podcasts too.

Topics: koka sexton, sales assessment tool, linked in pulse

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 and this one for 2017. 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

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

MVP2018_badge_winner_SPC

Leaading Sales Consultants 2018

Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2017 - Article/Post - Gold
 Top Sales & Marketing Awards 2017 - 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

2018 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs Widget

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