Chuck Martin, the bestselling author,syndicated business columnist and man behind NFI Research, has determined through his surveys that managers make their hiring decisions on the following basis:
64.8% - Personality/Likability
58.6% - Skills
53.9% - Track Record
18.8% Knowledge of their Organization
14.1% - Diversity
Notable by its absence is the ability to execute. Until management gets it - that they must be able to predict whether salespeople will succeed, in their business, to their market, and with their particular challenges, they will continue to be ineffective at consistently identifying, hiring and retaining top sales talent. When a salesperson doesn't quit or isn't terminated, it doesn't necessarily mean that the salesperson was a successful hire. A sales hire is considered successful only when that salesperson achieves success!
The high turnover industries, like insurance, telecommunications, real estate, mortgages, copiers, office supplies, etc., must learn that their high turnover is due to their expectations, process, selection methods and development programs. Fix only one of those pieces, such as selection (by using the appropriate assessment at the first step in the process), and the ineffective process and development will continue to haunt them. Fix only the development and they'll be developing the wrong people. Fix only the process and they won't have a pool of qualified, interested candidates to assess and interview.
Companies with little turnover on their sales force must learn to terminate underachievers when those C and D players won't commit to being overachievers. Management must eliminate its chronic acceptance of mediocrity and attract good, strong, fresh, new talent for their sales organizations.
The solutions must be integrated and include all four pieces of the puzzle. Companies must reengineer their recruiting process, modify their selection process, overhaul their development programs and set higher expectations. Only then will the wasted time, money and effort from inconsistent and ineffective sales hiring end.
© Copyright 2006 Objective Management Group, Inc.