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

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Great New Salesperson Might Fail

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

failure

When a great salesperson is recommended by Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment, and this star has a great track record, and great references, should we expect this person to succeed?

Most executives do.

But even though salespeople will tell you that "If you can sell, you can sell anything", that statement is only true some of the time.  Here are some examples of salespeople who are successful in one environment, but usually fail in another:

  1. They were the best in their business at selling high-volume, low-cost products until they went to work for a value-based company and the "beat their best price" tactics were no longer available.
  2. They were the best at selling programs to procurement until they went to work for a company where the sale had to be made in the C-Suite where they were intimidated, unable to speak the language and unable to grasp the importance of strategy, profit and return.
  3. They were the best at selling components to OEM's until they went to work for a company where they had to sell conceptual services and were lost without a product to demonstrate.
  4. They were the best at finding and selling new accounts for a local company until they went to work for a national firm and had to do the same thing, in a brand new territory, working from their home.
  5. They were the best at selling 5-cent parts by the thousand until they went to work for a company where they had to sell 6-figure programs and choked over the amount of money they had to ask for.
  6. They were the best when they were managing, retaining and growing key accounts, and now that they work for a company where they must hunt for new business, they are sucking wind.
  7. They were on top of the pack when they sold services with a six-month sales cycle, but now that they work for a company selling a product in a very short sales cycle, nothing is getting closed.
  8. They were #1 at the last company, working under a hands-on sales manager who was a stickler for coaching and accountability, but the results just aren't there with the new company where they are reporting directly to the President who only responds to the proactive requests of his salespeople.
  9. There was nobody better at getting contracts signed when they sold the product that everyone buys and it was only a matter of who they would buy it from, but now that they are selling things that companies could either do themselves or not do at all, they can't overcome the ambivalence.
  10. They were at the top of the heap working for the large, well-known industry leader where prospects rolled out the red carpet and eagerly bought their products.  Now that they are working for a lesser known company, they aren't able to overcome the resistance that is always there now, but never there before.

Skills and experience are terrific, but track record is extremely misleading!

For example, if you go back and take another look at #4, this is where great salespeople, selling the exact same thing, can suddenly fail because they aren't able to succeed when working remotely from a sales manager who doesn't manage her salespeople very closely.

I reviewed OMG's data on a random set of 4,500 recent sales candidate assessments and only 12% were suitable for working remotely.  BUT…upon closer look, 12% was not representative of the findings for any one company!

Of the companies that required both a remote seller and had enough candidates to make up an appropriate sample size, the distribution of candidates suitable for working remotely ranged from 2% to 75%.  I thought that was rather strange and looked again, but with different filters.  I found that the variations in suitability had more to do with the company, and the difficulty level of the role, than anything else.  When the role was more difficult and their job postings reflected that difficulty, stronger candidates applied and were assessed.  When the role was less difficult and the job postings reflected it, all kinds of qualified and unqualified candidates applied and the assessments reflected that change in candidate quality.  For example, look at these 5 companies, their percentage of suitable candidates, and the difficulty level of the role:

Company Difficulty Level Suitable for Remote
 A  Considerable  75%
 B  Considerable  67%
 C  Some  50%
 D  Moderate  25%
 E  Moderate  2% 

If you throw out company E, the average is 60% suitable, but we also lose 75% of the candidates in the sample, so you can’t do that… 

When the role is not very difficult, the company will attract lower level salespeople, and they will be much less likely to be suitable for working remotely than their much stronger peers.

When you look at all 10 of my examples, you should be able to recognize why it is so important to use a sales-specific candidate assessment that is customized to your company's requirements, determines whether candidates possess the required selling skills, digs into the Sales DNA to determine whether candidates will succeed in your business, and in this role, and makes an accurate, predictive recommendation.

 

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales candidates, omg, sales assessment test, sales selection

Case History - Achieve Lowest Turnover in the Entire Sales Force

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, May 27, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

turnoverFrom time to time, I get pretty cool emails that make me want to write positive articles instead of negative ones.  Today, I got one from an OMG (Objective Management Group) Partner, who wanted to let me know what he learned from one of his clients at a company that you all know quite well (but whose name will be withheld).

He wrote, "They have the lowest turnover of all the departments."

That's good, right?  Maybe not.

The Question That Must be Asked

Why would an enterprise (that has standardized on OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment, had OMG customize it for every sales role in the company, and has terrific data from its first year of use) have one department with significantly lower turnover than all the others?

Could it be any of the following 10 Reasons?

  1. Difficulty of the Role,
  2. Capabilities of the Different Sales Managers,
  3. Differences in the Various Selling Profiles,
  4. Differences in the Criteria for a Recommendation on the Assessment,
  5. Varying Interviewing Skills,
  6. Varying Expectations,
  7. Differences in Team/Department Cultures,
  8. Demand for the Different Products/Services,
  9. Varying Degrees of Competition Across Departments, and/or
  10. Luck of the Draw.

In most companies, each of those possibilities are always in play.  However, in this particular company, it wasn't any of them.

The Actual Reason

In reality, it was a very simple difference and you could say that this department was being really smart or that the other departments were being stupid.  

OMG's customized Sales Candidate Assessments could say that a candidate is recommended, not recommended or worthy of consideration.  They could also indicate that a candidate is recommended ideal or recommended perfect.  Each of these 5 possible recommendations is extremely accurate and predictive.

The department with the lowest turnover followed the recommendations, remained patient, and did not hire any candidates that were not recommended.  The other departments thought they knew better despite very strong statistical evidence to the contrary.  Our statistics AND THEIRS showed that 75% of the candidates who were not recommended, but hired anyway, failed within 6 months.  Why would anyone, anywhere go against a powerful statistic like that?  They're Smarter-Than-Us-Professionals, I declare - or STUPID.

You don't have to reinvent the wheel.  You don't have to be creative.  You don't need magical powers.  And you don't need to perfect your gut instinct.  Just use a tool that is proven to work consistently and reliably, and use it the way it was intended to be used.  And when it comes to sales selection, you'll be in good shape.

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, sales candidates, sales turnover, objective management, sales selection

Finding the Right Sales and Sales Management Candidates

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, May 22, 2014 @ 12:05 PM

selectionI read this terrific post from our friends at New-Hire.com about the best sources for candidates in general.  It certainly applies to sales candidates as well.  Not only are the best sources a moving target, but the candidates themselves can be looked at the same way.

Five years ago, we may have started with Monster.com, two years ago, CareerBuilder.com and today, we may start with Indeed.com.  That represents two major sourcing shifts in just 5 years.  In the same period of time, there have been major shifts in the quality of sales candidates, in the roles those candidates will fill, and the capabilities we need those salespeople to possess.

For example, just 7 years ago, a company may have needed salespeople who could hunt and/or close.  While that still could be true today, it's also possible that inside sales might replace the need for hunting, and a good consultative seller could add enough value to the prospect, his/her business, and the buying process so that great closing skills aren't required.  The competencies of an inside salesperson, hunter, closer, consultative seller and even account manager are vastly different, so it is imperative that we not only define those competencies, but use tools to measure them.  Assessments are the logical choice, but it should be more and more obvious that a personality assessment can't possibly measure the different sales capabilities that would cause one to be effective in one of these roles and ineffective in another.  Objective Management Group (OMG) measures sales-specific capabilities, has configurations for all of the various sales roles, and further customizes those configurations for the specific business, market, competition and decision maker to be called or visited.  Its recommendations are extremely accurate and today it even identifies the intangibles that could cause an otherwise mediocre salesperson to succeed.  

If you would like to learn more about how OMG's sales candidate assessments can help you select the right salespeople, I am leading a complimentary webinar on the magic of the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment.

June 5
11:00 AM Eastern
Register here

Seven years ago, a company may have wanted sales managers who were task masters, holding salespeople accountable to top of the funnel metrics.  While that could still be true today, a company should be looking for a sales manager who is an extremely effective sales coach, who spends 50% of the available time coaching and developing salespeople.

As sources shift, requirements change, and the capabilities of the available candidates become less than what we require, it's more important to develop a sound sales recruiting process that is repeatable, transferrable and delivers consistent results.  In this case, results must equate to successful salespeople and sales managers who achieve and even overachieve.  

This level of consistency and success requires a change in beliefs, a desire to change the status quo, an exasperation with previous attempts and results, and embracing new ways to improve results.  Unfortunately, there are still many executives who have unrealistic expectations about their ability to recruit and select, and that if they do what they have done before, the result will change for the better.

It's not that difficult to get sales selection right, but it does require discipline, patience, process, tools and tremendous sales interviewing skills.

Let us know when you're ready to take that plunge.

Image Copyright: harishmarnad / 123RF Stock Photo

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

Your Next Sales Candidate: Looking for "The One"

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Mar 05, 2014 @ 08:03 AM

the oneA couple of questions from the mail bag concerned finding that special someone; you know, "The One."

In the first case, the client had hired a few salespeople who didn't work out and wanted to know if Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment was capable of identifying and recommending what they were calling a crusader.  They believe that their business is different because people don't know that they need what this particular company is selling.

Their business is different - a little - from most businesses, but certainly not unique by any definition.  Most companies sell products and services to a saturated market - companies and consumers that already buy "stuff" like that and the only thing a customer or prospect must determine is which company they will buy from this time.  A great example of this is your copier lease.  At or before lease expiration, you will lease one or more new machines and the only decision that you might need to make could be to which brand, company or salesperson you will give the business.

There are also products and services that aren't automatically purchased, with any regularity or certainty, by anyone.  Budgets may not exist, they don't appear as line items, and it's quite possible that nobody has ever given it a thought.  In most cases, when we recommend evaluating a sales force as a way to provide an executive the answers he needs to explain why performance isn't where it needs to be and make the decisions to get the organization performing at a higher level, it's the first time that executive had ever given thought to a sales force evaluation.  In this case, it's not "Who do we buy from?", it's "Do we buy?", a completely different kind of sale.  But like I said before, it's certainly not unique.

So this company wanted a crusader, something OMG calls an evangelizer.  That the company had little success before was only partly due to not having properly set its selection criteria.  The other issue with small companies like this is that very frequently, they are not set-up in such a way that will support the hiring of new salespeople.  Many small companies do not have sales managers, leaving the Presidents, CEO's and owners serving in that role on-demand.  New salespeople require knowledge, onboarding, training, coaching, direction, training, coaching, support, training, coaching, accountability and attention.  (I know that there are 3 instances of training and coaching.)  When sales management is provided only as required, new salespeople will take 3 times longer to ramp-up (now do you understand the importance of the 3 instances of coaching and training?)  If they even survive that long.

The other mail bag question was from a Sales VP who had his final 3 candidates lined up.  They had already completed comprehensive online applications, taken OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment and were recommended, had been interviewed by phone and again via video conference by me, and had been interviewed via video conference a second time by the VP and Sales Director.  Their final criteria for selection was about finding "the one."  I told them that "the one' should never be the goal…nobody ever lives up to that label.  After putting a candidate through all of those steps in the process, you already know they have the capabiity to succeed in this sales role.  The final step is when it's finally OK to choose someone you like.   You should also be favoring someone who really gets what you do – who understands how to hunt for and create applications, relentlessly drives the sales process, and will get up to speed quickly.  "The one" is probably earning $250,000 or more selling something more conceptual to CEO's…

You can get sales selection right, but it takes the right process, tools, interviewing skills, and selection criteria.  As with the sales process, you can't skip steps, take anything for granted, or be too casual about your role in any part of the process.

I'll be talking more about selection criteria when I speak at The EcSell Institute Sales Coaching Summit in Charlotte on April 15.  Their Summit is always a terrific program and if you're available, you would benefit from attending.

We'll also be talking about sales selection when I host part 2 of Leading the Ideal Sales Force on March 12 at 11 AM ET.  We'll discuss the following 3 topics:

Blindspots - When Salespeople Finally Have Better Conversations
Blindspots - Fighting for The Candidate You Love
Blindspots - We Finally Have a Working Pipeline

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales candidates, omg, sales selection, sales assessments

Are You Any Good at Evaluating Sales Talent?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 17:02 PM

MLB Hall of FameWell, are you?

I'll bet you are.  You can probably spot an energetic, motivated, likable, memorable, polished, polite and attractive salesperson from a handshake away.  Aren't those the ones you like best?  Aren't those, especially when they have industry background, the ones you hire?  And don't they all perform just swell?  

No?  Why not?  After all, they met all of your criteria, didn't they?

In baseball, they call it the 5-tool player.  This is the kid who can run, field, throw, hit for average and hit for power.  These kids are the can't miss prospects.  They get drafted in the first round and become perennial All-Stars and Hall-of-Famers.  What's that?  They don't?  Why not?  They have all of the tools...

In the NFL, only 13 players in the Hall of Fame were selected with the first draft pick.  13!

In the NBA, only 8 players, selected with the first pick since 1991, are in the Hall of Fame.

In the MLB, only 5 players, selected in the entire first round (28 picks in the round each year) between 1965 and 1982, are in the Hall of Fame.  That's 5 of 476 first round picks!

There's talent, and then there's the ability to utilize one's talent and most sports talent evaluators are no better at this than most sales managers.

In sports, coaches, GM's and player personnel directors can evaluate skills, but it's more difficult for them to evaluate a player's makeup and how that will translate to performance at the highest levels.

In sales, managers can evaluate soft skills, like the ones I listed in the first paragraph, but not strategic and tactical skills, and not sales DNA, their sales makeup, and how that will translate to performance at their company and in a specific role.

For sales, there are quality tools that can be utilized to help with sales selection.  One such tool is Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment.  It's simply more predictive of sales success in any number of roles and environments than any other tool or assessment.

But the assessment is only as good as the pool of candidates, and that is influenced by the job posting and where that posting is placed.  Most postings are horrible and most are not placed using ideal strategies.

But even the posting is only as good as the role specification and I've never seen a sales manager or HR director get this correct on their own.

Getting selection right depends an awful lot on selection criteria and being able to identify it during a sales interview.  Interviewing salespeople is completely different from interviewing candidates for any other role in a company, so it's no wonder that so few HR professionals and sales managers excel at this.

So, you can evaluate talent.  You just can't predict whether that talent - their personality - will translate.  Use some world-class tools to help you get the job done effectively!

Do you need to transform your sales force?  My article on sales transformation appears on the Selling Power blog.  See it here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, sales candidates, sales assessments, objective management group, sales transformation, selling power

What Percentage of Sales Candidates are Worthy of Being Hired?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 @ 06:01 AM

worthyIt’s an interesting question and one that has more than one answer.  I wrote an article back in September of 2013 that asked the question, Are Sales and Sales Management Candidates Getting Worse?

Consider the way that most companies hire people for sales roles.  They skim through resumes, select only those that have the experience they look for, do some preliminary phone interviewing, and bring in the best for a series of face-to-face interviews.  They may eventually hire 50% of the candidates they interviewed, a group of finalists that represented 75% of the phone interview group, who represented perhaps a third of the resumes collected.  Do the math, and you’ll see that the typical company hires about 37% of the candidates they originally identified as worthy.

Now consider that on average, about half of those new salespeople fail, and half of the successful group fails to meet quota.  Why are companies still getting sales hiring so wrong?

It begins with the skimming of resumes.  This practice causes many of the wrong people to be included in the candidate pool.  They have nice resumes, have the right background, and may even interview well.  But most of these candidates have little in the way of selling capabilities.  According to Objective Management Group’s (OMG) statistics from more than 700,000 sales evaluations, 74% of all salespeople suck.

When OMG’s Sales Candidate assessment is used as a substitute for skimming through resumes, the process is similar.

Each candidate is assessed – before anything else is done.  Depending on the difficulty of the role, and the requirements of the position, and the customization of the assessment, we can expect anywhere from 87% (for the most challenging roles) to 57% (the least challenging roles) of all candidates to be disqualified based on whether or not their selling capabilities meet the requirements for the role.  By the way, that averages out to 72%, which is extremely close to the 74% that you know aren’t very capable.  See the detailed chart below.

So now, we have anywhere from 13% to 43% of our original candidate pool to work with.  As in the first example, those candidates are phoned and the best of those candidates are interviewed.  Finally, the best of the best are hired.  The difference with this example is that better than 90% of the salespeople in this group succeed!

I’ll be leading a Webinar on February 26, at 11 AM Eastern, that walks existing OMG clients through our Candidate Analyzer – a web tool for sorting and filtering their candidates that have already been assessed.  You’re welcome to join us and see what all the fuss is…

Register here.

2013 Candidates Recommended by Role and Difficulty  

 Percentages

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales candidates, omg, sales selection, sales assessments, statistics

Sales Candidate Shortage - More Proof That Sales Isn't Dead Yet

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

Death Of SellingAs you probably know, many people have been writing premature obituaries about the impending death of selling.  Of course, that's been going on since at least 2006 when I posted my first rebuttal to this silly claim, and as recently as last month when I posted my latest rebuttal.  It's being perpetuated by extremist marketers who are claiming that inbound will become the be-all end-all.  

It's simply not true.

The latest proof can be found in this July 2013 USA Today article.  I'll give you the important facts, but you should shoot over there and read the entire article.

The article said that in June, "the number of jobs in sales and related occupations jumped a whopping 445,000 to a four-year-high of 15.8 million."  That's in the USA alone.  Those numbers are trending the wrong way for the pro-death-of-selling folks.  Not only that, our company, Objective Management Group, will need to change it's BHAG from 14 million to 16 million salespeople evaluated! 

The article also said that "Thirty-five percent of sales managers couldn't find qualified candidates for open positions."  That's consistent with what clients have been seeing.  

Another important point from the article was that it is now taking three months to fill a sales position.  I should add that that's when standard quality sales managers look for standard quality salespeople.  If we raise the bar and look for high quality salespeople, the timeline can extend to six months!

These developments place an even bigger emphasis on the importance of using a best-in-class, sales-specific, accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment early in your sales recruiting process.  When there is urgency to fill positions and most of the candidates aren't very good, even your hiring managers will have to deal with the case of happy ears.  Consistent use of the assessment will alleviate that.

While this is all disappointing and frustrating news for companies that need to hire salespeople, and especially for those who want to hire great salespeople, it's really bad news for the people who have been holding those messed-up crystal balls!

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, Inbound Marketing, sales candidates, omg, sales recruiting sales assessments, death of selling

Inc Magazine Misses on the 13 Traits of an Outstanding Salesperson

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 @ 10:03 AM

inclogoI just read the 13 Traits of An Outstanding Salesperson, an article that appeared on Inc.com.

As usual, I had several thoughts about this so, in no particular order...

  • Note that it isn't "The" 13 traits; it's simply 13 traits, implying that there are others;
  • It's also not "The Top 13" traits;
  • These are not in any way, shape or form, expert opinions;
  • Charisma?  Really?  If the salesperson will be presenting to audiences, sure it would be a nice plus for them to be charismatic but if you read the actual explanation,  the contributor is simply talking about someone who is likable.  Likable is good, but hear this:  All of the mediocre and horrible salespeople - almost the entire 74% - are likable!
  • Laziness?  Seriously?  A great example of how an executive confuses a behavior with a result.  Great salespeople aren't lazy, they simply know which opportunities to pursue and don't waste their valuable time chasing low percentage, low profit opportunities!
  • Hunter's Mentality?  That's the correct phrase but if you read the contributor's explanation, he got the mentality part wrong.  He's more focused on whether the salesperson is excited enough about a huge opportunity to pursue it.  A true sales Hunter's mentality is to actually find as many sweet spot opportunities as possible and not waste time pursuing those with low odds of closing.
  • Intelligent Fighter?  This contributor mixes motivation with what he calls politely persistent, or assertiveness.  Motivation and assertiveness are not the same things.  There are plenty of highly motivated salespeople that are not nearly assertive enough, and plenty of assertive salespeople who are not very motivated.
  • The Trifecta?  This contributor says it's a combination of Drive, Personality and Intelligence but he describes someone who has the ability to get in front of a buyer and close the deal.  Not so again.  The real requirements for that are Strong Commitment, No Need for Approval, Rejection Proof, and Supportive Beliefs around Prospecting!
  • Existing Relationships and Product Knowledge?  All that will accomplish is assure that there are plenty of prospects who value a good presentation and product knowledge.  We don't need more friends and presenters, we need hunters, consultative salespeople, and closers!
  • People Skills?  This contributor is really describing someone with great listening skills - that's the ticket.
I think Inc. published these because they were the most interesting of all the submissions.  However, because Inc. is a respected business publication, readers are likely to take this crap to heart and actually go out and look for salespeople who exhibit these traits.  Most of these young business people either don't know what they don't know, or know they know it all.  Most importantly, if you are going to be hiring salespeople, it's more important than ever to not make costly mistakes.  Even if their 13 traits were predictive of sales success - and they're not - how would you really know if a candidate had them?  That's why it's so important to use Objective Management Group's Sales Candidate Assessments - legendary for their accuracy and ability to predict sales performance.
Earlier this week, I hosted a 45-minute interactive Webinar and shared the magic behind our assessment.  If you are interested in seeing it, you can click here.

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

Sales Hiring Chronicles: The Doctor, The Drug Dealer and The User

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 @ 23:01 PM

drug dealerGot you on that title, didn't I?

Did you ever find yourself in a position where you needed to hire salespeople?  Of course you did.

Did you use Objective Management Group's (OMG) incredibly accurate and predictive sales candidate assessments as part of your filtering and selection process?  Perhaps you did.

Did you decide to augment the candidates whom you were finding and hire a recruiter?  Perhaps you did that too.

That's when all the fun starts!

Recruiters think that all of their candidates walk on water.  Clients think that because of our assessment, quality advice and guidance that we walk on water.

So the recruiter sends 5 of the best candidates ever to the client, who has them assessed, and 3 are not recommended.  The recruiter is upset, "Why are you using that stupid assessment? You don't need that! I know these candidates and they're awesome."  

We simply explain to our client why the recruiter has such a high opinion of the candidate (they represent a commission) and why we don't share that opinion.  There are always excellent reasons why a candidate may not be recommended for a particular client, and in some cases, for any client.  

The client feels stuck between a rock and a hard place.

It's just like the title of this article.

You hurt your back and feel tremendous pain.  Your doctor tells you that you'll require surgery to repair a bulging disc.  He suggests bed rest until the following month's surgery.  A friend introduces you to his brother-in-law's, girlfriend's, cousin's nutritionist, who has a yellow pill that will make all of your pain go away.  Today.  Right now.  Decisions, decisions.  Do you listen to your doctor who knows what's best or go for the drug dealer's quick fix? 

To complete this sales analogy, OMG is the doctor, the recruiter is the drug dealer and the client is the user.  It's so easy to get and take the drug for temporary relief.  It's only money.  But the surgery provides the proper long-term solution.  If you take the drug (recruiter's candidate) which wasn't recommended by the doctor (OMG), you'll be back for more when the euphoria wears off, realizing that you still have the disc problem (ineffective salesperson) and ultimately need the surgery (be selective and listen to the expert advice).

I don't mean to upset recruiters, but let's face it.  They don't go nearly as wide and deep on their candidates as we do.  Most aren't sales experts, and really don't know if the salesperson who succeeded at XYZ can succeed at ABC.  We, on the other hand, do know and can show you why, explain the science and provide accurate advice 95% of the time.

The doctor or the drug dealer?  The choice is always yours!

Use this free tool to calculate the cost of your sales hiring mistakes.  If you aren't already an OMG client, you can get a free 72-hour trial of our award-winning sales candidate assesment.  OMG was awarded the Gold Medal for Top Sales Assessment Tool in 2011 and 2012.  And if you'd like to see what hiring salespeople looks like when you work with us, compared with doing it the traditional way, check out this infographic.

 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales management, omg, hiring salespeople, sales candidate assessment

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About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader.  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog has earned medals for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for eight 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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