How to Eliminate the Need for Sales Motivation, Accountability and More!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 14:04 PM

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Image Copyright Sezer66

Sales Management is challenging.  With coaching accounting for 50% of the role, it doesn't leave much time for anything else.  Yet pipeline management, along with the ability to motivate, recruit and hold salespeople accountable are also required.  For many sales managers, those four activities simply aren't much fun.  But what if I told you there was a way to completely eliminate the need to manage the pipeline, motivate, recruit and hold salespeople accountable?  There is and I'm going to share it with you!

When 100% of your sales force is comprised of salespeople from the top 23% of the sales population, you won't have to motivate them because they are all self-motivated.  You won't have to hold them accountable either because they'll hold themselves to a higher standard than you would.  And because they will all perform, they will meet and exceed quota, goals and expectations so they won't need to be replaced.  That means you won't have to spend any time recruiting.

So how do you develop a sales force made up of only the top 23 percent?

Coaching.  Very easy for me to say but siginificantly more difficult to execute.

In this article I wrote about why sales coaching is so scary.

In this article I discussed why sales coaching is so difficult.

And this article explains why great salespeople struggle with becoming great sales managers.

Please read read those three articles.

Done? Then you probably know how you compare in the area of being able to utilize role-playing as a primary means to effective coaching salespeople.  Fewer than 10% of sales leaders can do this effectively.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, Sales Coaching, sales motivation, sales management training, sales leadership training, Sales Accountability

How to Get Prospects to Buy from You More Frequently!

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Dec 01, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

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It's a simple concept, really, but 74% of all salespeople aren't very good at getting most people to buy from them.  Even though the concept is simple, it seems really complicated to the group that can't do it.  Of course, most salespeople wouldn't agree that they can't do it, even when their win rates are below 50%.  And in some tech businesses, salespeople seem to be happy with win rates under 20%.  It's incredible that people can become so darn comfortable with mediocrity!  Solving the problem is easy when we have willing participants, so let's discuss how to solve it once and for all.

My article in the December 2015 issue of Top Sales Magazine addresses the issue head on and provides a very simple solution.  You can read how to get prospects to buy from you more often right here and the article is on page 22.

If your challenge is on the sales selection side of things, this article on LinkedIn was named Top Sales Article of the week and this article on LinkedIn addresses willing participants as it relates to sales recruiting and selection.  Frank Visgatis, of Customer Centric Selling, interviewed me for his Sales Rehabs podcast and we talked about -  you guessed it - sales recruiting and selection.  They said it was a great episode.

Top Sales World announced the final nominations for the 2015 Top Sales & Marketing Awards and you can see those nominations here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, sales tips, sales assessments

The Phony Baloney Sales Superstar

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Apr 20, 2015 @ 06:04 AM

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I was in the car when the call was forwarded to my cell phone.  I didn't recognize the caller and his first statement was, "I have some questions about Objective Management Group (OMG)."  Very Dry.  Very Abrasive.

I was thinking detective, maybe researcher.  I asked, "What kind of questions?" Keep in mind that he hadn't said hello, introduced himself, or explained why he was calling so I was wondering what this was about.

He said, "I took one of your assessments and it prevented me from getting a job.  Is this based on the Myers-Briggs?"

I calmly explained that Myers-Briggs was a personality assessment that reported on 16 dimensions of personality but the OMG assessment he took was sales specific and looked at 21 Sales Core Competencies.

He told me he had problems with the Myers-Briggs preventing him from getting a job once before so it must be based on that. He repeated that it prevented him from getting this job so I asked what led him to that conclusion.  His answers will blow your mind! 

He didn't ask permission or whether or not I had time, but took the next several minutes to tell me what a great salesperson he is, the multi-million dollar deals he has closed, and the quotas he has exceeded by 800%.  He said he had a great interview with this company, but after the assessment, he wasn't called back, so it had to be the assessment that knocked him out.

I explained that the assessment is only a single data point and wouldn't knock out a great salesperson like him.  I asked how he knew it was a good interview and he mentioned a recruiter telling him so.  I asked how many salespeople the company was hiring and he said one.  I asked if it was possible that they had more than one good candidate and if another candidate could have been more qualified or a better fit than he was.  Believe it or not he said, "No."

Then he asked to see his results.

I explained that he wasn't the client and in the United States, clients - employers - were not obligated to share assessment results with candidates.  

He didn't like that answer and asked if there was some other way to get his results.  I explained that if he wanted them badly enough, he could simply pay $400 and retake the assessment on his own.

That's when he said, "That's a lot of money. I'm in between jobs.  That's not fair."

I mentioned that with all of those big deals he sold and quotas he busted, it seemed odd that $400 was a problem for him.

He said that one company still owed him $2.3 million in commissions.  I asked whether his lawyer expected to collect that money and he said his lawyer didn't think he had a case - something about a stupid lawyer...

It's not terribly rare for a candidate to send an email or make a call to their potential employer to whine or complain when they don't think they should have to take an assessment, don't get an interview, or don't get the job.  It is almost unheard of for a candidate to call OMG or me directly.  This is only the second time in the past 8 months!  Just the same, I love this part - it's my favorite.  After the call, I attempt to guess which findings I will see on their assessments, based on how they behaved on the call or in their email.  In this guy's case, I KNEW that I would see:

  • Unlikely to develop relationships early in the sales process (weakness)
  • Doesn't need to be liked (strength)
  • Difficulty recovering from rejection (weakness)
  • Arrogant (weakness)
  • Low Money Tolerance (Weakness)
  • Excuse Maker (weakness)
  • Dillusional (we don't test for this, but if we did...)
  • Poor Outlook (weakness)
  • Low Sales Posturing Score 
  • High Hunting Score
  • Strong Commitment (strength)

While those findings jumped off the pages for me, there was also a low confidence score, meaning that OMG wasn't confident with its overall score for him because he was so inconsistent in his approach to the assessment.  He also had very few selling skills beyond his ability to hunt, only a serviceable Sales Quotient, and he was a poor fit for the selling environment he applied for.  If you want to see a sample of this Sales Candidate Assessment so that you can put all of this into context, you can request a sample here.  If you want to skip right to a free trial, you can request that here.

In most cases, the more insistent that sales candidates are about their sales capabilities, the more likely it is that they are in the bottom 74% and they suck.  In most cases, the only sale they ever make is to the gullible sales manager or HR Director that falls for their lies, claims and exaggerations.

The funny thing is that this candidate was probably right.  In this case, the assessment and its 150 or so sales findings painted an accurate picture of him and alerted the employer that this was a Phony Baloney Sales Candidate who should not be considered for this role.

 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, HR, sales weaknesses, omg, objective management group

Top 5 Keys to Select and Hire Great Salespeople in 2015

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

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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

Why My Golfing May be Just Like Your Sales Recruiting

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 @ 07:10 AM

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Image Copyright: deklofenak / 123RF Stock Photo

On the rare occasion that I have the opportunity to golf, it doesn't matter what I choose for clubs, balls, gloves, tees or clothing.  At this point in my life and very short golfing career, just being out with a friend is good enough for me and if we count his strokes, and my lost balls, our final scores might even be competitive!

That's how some companies recruit salespeople.  It doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, if they have selling skills, and whether or not they have any experience.  These companies treat sales recruiting like the instructions on their shampoo bottle - they rinse and repeat.  

This approach is a self-fulfilling prophecy which, because of their willingness to accept anyone who will take the job, is guaranteed to fail. Nearly every recruit will fail quickly and they will find themselves restarting the recruiting process again a short while later.

When it comes to finding and selecting new salespeople, you can choose the easy path and have consistently poor outcomes, or take the more challenging path and have consistently good outcomes.

When you look at it that way - easy gets you bad and difficult gets you good - there isn't much reason for continuing to do it the easy way.  Of course, if you have always done it that way you may not be willing to change...

What makes the difficult way so difficult?

You'll need a lot more of the right candidates, and a few great tools to help with selection.  

One client, hiring for an inbound sales role, assessed nearly 1,000 candidates in the past 12 months and that was just the beginning!  

Another client needed to identify a needle in a haystack.  They needed an extremely capable salesperson that could sell big deals to the C-suite of enterprise size companies AND the winning candidates would also need to have highly evolved technical skills.  Nearly 200 candidates were assessed for that role.

A third client assessed around 250 sales candidates for an inside sales role while a fourth client assessed more than 2,000 candidates for a traditional outside sales role.

Each of these clients saved huge amounts of time by doing the following 10 things:

  1. They assessed first and asked questions later.
  2. They used a very accurate, sales-specific assessment that is incredibly predictive of success in a sales role.
  3. They did not look at the resumes or contact any candidate that was not recommended by the assessment.
  4. They used online applicant tracking for candidates to collect experience-based information to further filter which candidates would be contacted.
  5. They interviewed the recommended candidates with the right experiences by phone for 5 minutes.
  6. They scheduled face-to-face interviews with the best of those candidates and only then ran their normal recruiting processes.
  7. They selected, hired and on-boarded great salespeople.
  8. They coached, directed and guided these great salespeople, holding them accountable to appropriate KPI's from day 1.
  9. They significantly reduced turnover, increased ramp-up time and exceeded goals for sales revenue.
  10. They did not have to start the recruiting process again.

This was all made possible by the use of one, very customizable, very useful and accurate sales candidate assessment.  It works for every sales role.  It works in every industry.  It will work for you too.  If you would like to take a test drive, click the image below for a free trial!

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, sales candidates, sales selection, sales assessments, OMG Assessment

Top 4 Reasons a Great Salesperson Can Fail at Your Company

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 13:10 PM

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Earlier this week, I spoke to a great audience of sales leaders at the EcSell Institute Fall Sales Coaching Summit in Dallas where my topic was, How to Hire a Great Salesperson that Will be Great.
 
I asked the attendees if they had ever hired a great salesperson that still failed and everyone there said, "Yes!"  I asked if anyone could explain how or why a great salesperson could fail, and the group offered up many guesses, but weren’t able to come up with my top 4 reasons. Here they are:


 
1. They can’t replicate the environment in which they had their success.  For example, suppose that Company X is a huge, well-known enterprise with a model that calls for salespeople to visit with buyers, quote on programs, and come in with the lowest price – regardless of margin.  One salesperson, Joe, has the biggest of those accounts and backed by a pricing model without a bottom, he is their best salesperson by far.
 
Now let’s pretend that in order to succeed at your company, your salespeople must call on the C-Suite and your prices are higher than your competition.  To make it even more interesting, your company is not very well-known, and your product offerings are new.  Joe, formerly the best salesperson at Company X, applies for a position in your company, and with his winning personality and track record of #1 finishes, you hire him.  This is how one company’s great salesperson can fail at your company.
 
2. Great is relative.  Let’s use Joe for this example too.  By now, you can see that Joe is more lucky than great.  He was working for the right company, at the right time, and had the best customers.  When compared with the other 150 salespeople in Company X, order takers at best, Joe appears to be great.  I wrote about great being relative earlier this week in this article.

3. They weren’t great at all.  You were feeling some urgency, you needed to fill a position in an important territory, and Joe (with his winning personality, award-winning fictional resume and tremendous interviewing performance) comes along.  It’s love at first meeting.

4. Your Culture is in the way. Sometimes it's just not a good fit and other times the company's on boarding, training, accountability and coaching aren't strong enough to get a new salesperson, even a great one, over the hump to where they are consistently bringing in new business.
 
The thing is that, in 2014, there is absolutely no reason for companies to be so inept when it comes to hiring salespeople.  Sure, you’ve hired some salespeople that have worked out.  But you’ve also hired salespeople that didn’t work out.  Hit or miss is not a model for success.
 
So why do companies continue to go it alone, make the same mistakes and continue to hire the wrong salespeople?
 
Ego.  “I’ve done this a hundred times – I don’t need any help.”  “I know how to recruit salespeople – I don’t need any help.”  Do you know what else this is?  It meets the definition of stupidity.
 
You can get help building a world-class, sales-specific, recruiting process which, when followed, will save time and money, and consistently result in great sales hires.  At Objective Management Group (OMG), we call that process STAR and most of our certified partners can provide that help.
whitepaper banner You can use a predictive, accurate, sales-specific, candidate assessment at the top of the sales candidate pipeline.  This quickly and accurately identifies the candidates that you do want to interview by phone and in-person while eliminating the candidates that will likely fail in the role for which you are hiring.  OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessment has been voted the Top Sales Assessment Tool in the World for 3 consecutive years.
 
In our latest version, we added video camera icons alongside all of the findings on the dashboard.  Click and I’ll explain the finding!  When it comes to the actual recommendation, there are more than 500,000 possible combinations that make up the video you will see!  Even better, if you need to hire great salespeople, click the image below for a free trial.
Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial You can use online applicant tracking to gather additional information to help you streamline the process, and determine which of the recommended candidates have the right background for success.  We partner with New-Hire.com.
 
ALL of your management issues will disappear when you hire the right salespeople. Truly great salespeople don’t need to be managed, they don’t need to be replaced and you don’t need to babysit them!  All of your time can be spent coaching them up and helping them become even greater.
 
Isn’t it time that you stop repeating a process that is broken and get the help and tools that will make you a hiring genius?

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, sales candidates, hiring mistake, sales selection

Keys to Improved Sales Performance - Part 2 of 4

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

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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

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

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jul 31, 2014 @ 13:07 PM

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Most executives struggle at maintaining any kind of successful momentum when it comes to consistently hiring salespeople who actually succeed.  It's easy to hire a great salesperson who, when all is said and done, sucks.  It's difficult to hire any salesperson who, in the end,  performs great.  

Let's leave the world of sales and look at my favorite topic for analogies, baseball, and although it's very difficult this year, my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox.  

Under first-year GM, Ben Cherington, the 2012 Red Sox were horrible.  They finished last after 10 years of playoff appearances and World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.  Ben inherited part of that team, but he engineered the draft, trades, signings, releases and promotions that became the final design of the 2012 Red Sox. 

The very same GM made questionable moves during the following off-season, and most experts predicted that the Red Sox would continue to be a team that wasn't very competitive.  The Red Sox fooled everyone and finished first, winning the American League championship and 2013 World Series.  Boston Strong.

A few more off-season moves led to the 2014 team, destined to finish last again.  It will be the first time in Major League Baseball history when a team would go from worst to first and back to worst during three consecutive seasons.

Most fans are wondering how the genius of 2013 could have ended up with such a horrible team just one year later.  Experts point to a lot of possible reasons, but most neglect that this was the same GM who led the 2012 team to a last place finish.

Is he the genius of 2013, or the incapable GM of 2012 and 2014? 

The answer is probably neither, but only time will allow us to judge fully.  [This just in, today he traded Jon Lester and Johnny Gomes for Yuenis Cespedes]

Back to sales.

When a company hires a salesperson who turns out to be awesome, the sales leader is a genius for knowing this person would succeed.  When a company hires a salesperson who turns out to be horrible, the sales leader couldn't have known things would end up this way.  After all, the candidate had a track record of success.

There are 10 things you can do to hedge your bets:

  1. Create and stick to a best practices, sales-specific, recruiting process.
  2. Use and don't vary from a validated, predictive, sales-specific, candidate assessment.
  3. Attract the right candidates with a killer job posting.
  4. Develop strong, sales-specific, interviewing skills.
  5. Identify specific selection criteria and stick to them.
  6. Design a powerful, meaningful, structured, onboarding program for new salespeople.
  7. Improve sales coaching skills and spend more time coaching.
  8. Improve your ability to hold salespeople accountable to agreed-upon KPI's.
  9. Check references.
  10. Prepare new salespeople for success instead of setting them up for failure.
In the end, you're only as good as your last successful hire.  Just ask Ben Cherington!
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Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, sales hiring, sales recruiting, Sales Candidate, red sox, ben cherington, sales selection

Look for Potential in the Next Generation of Sales Hires

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

potentialThe Harvard Business Review finally published a relevant article that I agreed with!  Yeah HBR.  Much too frequently, their articles on selling are written by out-of-touch researchers with little field experience and lots of theories.

21st Century Talent Spotting points to coming talent shortage and the importance of hiring for potential.  The article also instructs readers to evaluate using a predictive tool.  

Resumes tell you where a candidate has been, how long they stayed, and what they did.  References verify that information.  Interviews spotlight the candidate's presence, show their ability to make first impressions, present, and answer questions.  Track records represent their past performance.  With all of that information about their past, how can you possibly gauge potential when hiring for your sales force?

Objective Management Group (OMG) has three candidate assessments that provide companies with exactly that for sales, sales management, and sales leadership (VP/Sales Director).

While personality and behavioral styles tests tell you about a candidate's make-up, OMG's assessments tell you about their Sales DNA, Sales Competencies, Will to Sell (Desire, Commitment, Motivation), and Potential.  Yes, potential.  Make-up is nice to have.  DNA, Competencies, Will to Sell and Potential are must-haves.  OMG is uniquely able to determine and accurately predict whether or not a candidate's combination of will, competencies, and DNA will allow them to succeed in a particular sales role, in your business and industry, selling to your ideal decision-maker, against your competition, with your pricing, sales cycle and challenges.  It's all about potential.

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Findings Related to Potential 

There are eight findings that point to potential:

  1. Growth Potential - how much improvement we can expect from this point forward.
  2. Trainable - whether or not the candidate has the incentive to change and adapt.
  3. Coachable - whether or not the candidate is open to constructive criticism and believes there is room for improvement.
  4. Competency Scores - 8 scores, competencies and tables show both the gaps in each competency as well as the skills that must be developed.
  5. Sales DNA - 6 scores and findings show the gap for each element of Sales DNA and pave the way for improvement.
  6. FIOF - the Figure it Out factor shows how quickly a particular candidate will ramp up and begin selling consistently.
  7. Compatibility - this shows how compatible a candidate is with your selling environment.  The more compatible, the shorter the learning curve.
  8. Longevity - this predicts the likelihood of the candidate still being with you at the point in time where they produce a 5X Return on your investment in them.
  9. Recommendation - this finding predicts whether or not the candidate will succeed in this role.  It's predictive, accurate and lets you know which candidates are worthy of your time throughout the rest of the sales recruiting process.

We believe that hiring for potential is smart hiring.  But beware, the greater the potential, the longer the wait for results.

If you're looking for a candidate to have an immediate impact, you'll want to select a recommended candidate with a lower score on Growth Potential.


Image Copyright: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

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

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

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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 a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award for six consecutive years.  Dave's Blog earned a Bronze Medal in 2016 and this article earned a Bronze Medal for Top Sales Blog post in 2016. Read more about Dave.

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