We brought home a puppy and we had him completely housebroken in 4 days. He's really smart and we've done this before, a combination that makes it nearly impossible to screw up. To see him go to the door and touch it with his little paw, whimper when he is in his crate, go outside and do his business, and run back to the door is great. But it got me wondering, why is training a puppy relatively fast and easy while it is so much harder and takes so much longer to train salespeople?
The puppy only has to learn a handful of behaviors that he can repeat without the variables that affect salespeople. There's no resistance, objections, competition, fear, rejection, budget or decision-making issues and the puppy is eager to learn and please. Millennials are eager to learn and tend to be less resistant to change while veteran salespeople must first be sold on why they need to change. Even then they may resist for a while. And what they must learn in order to become more effective is quite comprehensive.
I was comparing the average scores in 6 Sales DNA Core Competencies and was very surprised to discover that the scores for sales candidates were a few points higher than the scores for salespeople at companies where we conducted a sales force evaluation. Millennials make up a good portion of the candidates. Typically, they are recent college graduates with no sales experience and applying for BDR roles. My first thought was that if sales candidates had higher scores and millennials were part of that group, then the non-millennials surely have scores that are even higher.
After considering that for a while another thought came to mind.
Most companies complain that there aren't enough sales candidates out there and most who are looking for sales positions suck. The reality is that they aren't all bad and a large percentage of the salespeople who are applying for new positions are passive candidates. They were recruited. It seems that while there are a lot of crappy salespeople out there right now, they don't take the assessment when prompted, but the good sales candidates do!
An unintended benefit of having your sales candidates take OMG's Sales Candidate Assessment is that it is not only accurate and predictive, many of the the bottom 77% filter themselves out by not even completing it. And the millennials? Many of those who apply for sales positions actually have Sales DNA that supports selling even though their scores in the 7 tactical Sales Core Competencies are low. You can always teach the tactical competencies!
You can learn more about the sales candidate assessment here. Once there you can check out samples, start a free trial and sign up.
If you're not hiring salespeople right now but you're interested in learning how your salespeople measure up in the 21 Sales Core Competencies, or you just want to see how salespeople score in each competency, you can check out our data here. Warning: The stats site is very cool and you might not want to leave.