Using the Power of a Duracell to Help You Hire Perfect Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Apr 25, 2019 @ 12:04 PM

duracell-9-volt

Apparently, Duracell 9 volt batteries are the picture of consistency. 

Last night, all 7 of our upstairs smoke detecters starting squawking within about 30 minutes of each other to indicate that their batteries needed to be replaced.  Given that the Duracells were installed in those units on the same day 4 years ago, one would hope that there are more things that we could rely upon to be as consistent and predictable.

One of those things is Objective Management Group's sales candidate assessments.

What could bring more peace of mind to the sales hiring process than knowing that it's already been used on 1,853,846 salespeople, from 1,853,847 companies, in industries, and in countries to hire salespeople.  Of the sales candidates who were not recommended by the assessment, but were hired despite the warning, 75% of them failed within the first six months.  That's predictive!

Statistics are great, but what you really want to know is, how hard is it to use, how complicated will it make my sales hiring process, what if a candidate I like isn't recommended, what if a candidate I don't like is recommended, and how do you make it fit my world?

The only people that don't love OMG's sales candidate assessments are recruiters - because the assessment makes recruiters work a lot harder to deliver quality sales candidates.  And today, with so few sales candidates proactively looking for work, it's even more important that you get it right.  After all, you're working from a position of weakness.

Sales leaders, HR directors, CEO's and COO's love the OMG assessments because they are sales specific in that they measure the 21 Sales Core Competencies instead of personality traits and behavioral styles.  Traits and styles are nice to know, fun to have, warm and fuzzy, but they are not predictive of success in sales, and especially not any specific sales role.

Because the assessment measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, there is nothing to interpret making it very easy to use.  And since you'll assess all of your candidates, not just the ones you like, you can focus your time on the candidates who are most likely to succeed in the sales role for which you are hiring.  When it comes to those sales roles, there are 30 variables you can customize to help the assessment identify the right salespeople for the role, and another optional layer of customization allows you to fine-tune another 15-20 requirements.

In companies today, those who hire salespeople using their gut, other assessments, or desperation, tend to get it right about half the time and the cost of getting it wrong has skyrocketed.  Companies that use OMG's sales candidate assessments have found that of the candidates who are recommended for the role and eventually hired, 92% move to the top half of the sales force within 12 months.

If you aren't already using OMG, what's holding you back?  It's not expensive, it's not difficult, it's not scary, and it's not risky. You'll easily be able to hire better salespeople!

You can checkout a sample sales candidate assessment here

You can request a free trial here

You can checkout pricing plans here.

And if you like stats and data, checkout some of the datasets in the 21 Sales Core Competencies here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales recruiting, sales talent, sales assessements, sales hiring tools

The Craziest, Most Unusual Sales Selection Criteria and What Really Works

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Aug 09, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

Crazy.jpg

It was just last month that I wrote this hugely popular article about the tech buyer who hated salespeople.  In the first paragraph I mentioned that I had a crazy case of poison ivy.  At about the one-week point, I started searching Google to find anything that might help ease the itching and discomfort. As you might guess, the remedies I found included some very crazy things that common sense would tell you to stay away from.  Well, in the 31 years I've been in the sales consulting business, I have heard some very crazy sales selection criteria too.  When salespeople are hired but don't work out, executives and in some cases, entire industries, stick their head in the sand and call it normal or acceptable.  Life insurance, where turnover can run as high as 90%, is a perfect example of this.  Insurance industry executives say that it's perfectly normal.  However, outside of the insurance industry, most executives will try just about any remedy to stop the discomfort.  Here are some of the craziest I've seen.

A telecommunications company had to hire 300 salespeople.  By the time they called me they had hired 500 but only employed 150 salespeople.  You can do that math but it comes to 70% turnover.  In their case, it got so bad that they added the following selection criteria:

  • firm handshake
  • good eye contact
  • nice smile showing teeth
  • able to survive a round-trip car ride from upstate NY to Boston with the hiring manager

They did not have a clue as to why their salespeople weren't staying or succeeding and were willing to try anything to fix the problem.  Unfortunately, "anything" did not include identifying the real problem, which was the culture, and the sales managers who were doing the selecting and the on boarding.

A SaaS company was turning over SDR's at a rate of 50% and wanted to improve their retention.  They had been hiring from the 25 and under demographic and and decided that young was not quite enough. They "improved" on young by adding recent college graduates to their criteria and turnover went from 50% to 70%.  Apparently the recent grads were a lot smarter than the high school grads and most of them determined that the role wasn't for them earlier in their employment.

A technology company was turning over 100% of its territory sales reps.  They were a startup, with a brand new technology, higher prices than traditional companies in their space, and definitely not the safe decision for tech buyers.  Prospects were resistant to meet with them , resistant to change, and resistant to paying more.  The company's primary selection criteria was to hire salespeople from their top competitors where, they had never faced resistance, always had the lowest prices, and never had any difficulty scheduling meetings. Needless to say, at this new tech company, the salespeople failed with tremendous consistency.

But the winners of the worst sales selection criteria competition are the thousands of companies who believe that hiring people with good personalities will get the job done. While it could get the job done it would be a complete accident, not their personality making a difference.  Sales is more difficult than at any time in our history.  It has changed dramatically in the past 7 years.  Even professional salespeople who were successful ten years ago, are struggling to those results today.  Why would someone who possesses a resume of "great personality" be able to achieve sales success where professionals have failed?

Suppose you need to boil water for your dinner.  While there are many ways to do that, most of us will stick to the method where you simply apply heat to a pot.  You could burn some wood, but the timing would be more predictable if you place the pot on the stove.  Sure, you could add in lighter fluid, gun powder, or dynamite and throw in a match. While those 3 methods will certainly boil the water in a hurry, you won't be very happy with the overall results as you look down upon what's left of your house from your comfortable perch in Heaven.  You boiled the water - congratulations over your complete stupidity and carelessness.

Yesterday, in a LinkedIn group discussion about evaluating salespeople, members were requesting some home-grown survey form from one of the contributors, rather than looking at a professional, time-tested solution.  Stupidity!

Like I wrote in the forum, there are many ways to select salespeople and they all provide some benefit.  However, when there is already a proven, time-tested, accurate and predictable tool available, why would anyone consider the dynamite option?  It's completely customizable, easy to use, and a lot more affordable than adding the equivalent of gun powder - making a sales hiring mistake which, on average, can cost $250,000 or more in soft and hard costs. 

Topics: sales assessment, Dave Kurlan, omg, sales hiring tools, sales selection

Not the 3 Most Important Sales Hiring Attributes

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 06:10 AM

Sales Selection

Image Copyright: Lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo

One topic that never gets stale is how to make sure that you nail sales selection.  Whether or not salespeople actually fail, or they simply stick around, but fail to have an impact,  the common theme is still failure to select the right salespeople.  Recently, I stumbled upon this article about 3 Uncoachable Sales Attributes that you should focus on to get hiring right.  

The author is correct in that the 3 attributes she chose to write about are not really coachable.  However, it seemed she meant to imply that by hiring salespeople with these 3 attributes, you'll get hiring right. While those 3 attributes may be good ones to focus on for the general employee candidate pool,  she is way off base with that approach for hiring salespeople.  Let's discuss the many ways where this approach goes off the tracks.

 

At Objective Management Group (OMG), we are always conducting analyses between top and bottom sales performers, and I can tell you that when someone veers away from the data and begins to compare personality and/or behavioral styles, there is typicially no difference between the top and bottom performers.

The author identified Drive as one of her big three and she defined it as having motivation and competitiveness.  OMG measures motivation, and both top and bottom performers usually appear to be equally motivated.  OMG measures Desire - how badly a salesperson wants to achieve greater success in their sales role.  OMG also measures Commitment - their willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve that success.  Together, they form a very strong representation of competetiveness.  Guess what?  There isn't much of a difference between top and bottom performers with these findings either.  However, we never recommend that a company hire a salesperson lacking in either one.

The author identified Brains.  There is a difference here...but it's not about brains.  It's about one's ability to quickly figure things out.  One doesn't have to be smart to succeed in sales, but they do need problem solving ability.  We call it the Figure it Out Factor (FIOF) and it comes into play during ramp-up time.  Those with scores above 74 ramp up significantly more quickly than those with scores below 60.

The author identified character as her third attribute.  Really?  Do you really believe that someone who struggles in sales is lacking in character?  There is zero difference.  Perhaps a better choice of attributes would have been tenacity, resiliance or mental toughness.

There is a huge difference though, in the areas she did not identify.  

At OMG, we measure several Selling Comptencies (Hunting, Consultative Selling, Qualifying, Presenting, Closing, Positioning, Account Management and Farming) that each include dozens of findings (sales-specific strategies, tactics and qualities) that do allow us to differentiate between the top and bottom performers in sales.

We also measure several areas of Sales DNA (strengths that support the use of sales process, sales methodology and sales competencies) that further help us differentiate between top and bottom performers.

The author named three attributes that she believed made a difference.  How many attributes or findings does it really take to differentiate the sales candidates that will succeed from those who won't?  A lot.  At OMG, we utilize more than 500,000 combinations of findings to arrive at our highly accurate and predictive recommendations as to whether various candidates will succeed in the various roles for which companies are hiring.

There are a lot of people who think they have the ability to consistently identify sales winners.  How can one differentiate between all of them who think that way and other assessment companies that claim to have that capability?  OMG has science on its side and it's the science that helps us to consistently get it right.

Most Sales VP's, sales managers, and even sales authors, trainers and coaches, aren't necessarily experts when it comes to sales selection.  Neither are recruiters.  Who and what can you depend on?  Rely on sales-specific tools that are backed by science, use them in a sales-specific, Top-Grading-like recruiting process, and you can't go wrong.

Sales Candidate Assessment Free Trial

Topics: Dave Kurlan, accurate sales assessment, hiring sales candidates, sales hiring tools, sales selection, objective management group

Case History - Read the Latest Sales Assessment to Come to Life

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

screamingAnd now it's time for our regular segment on Assessments That Come to Life!  While nearly every assessment comes to life when we speak with, email or interview candidates, we don't get to hear about them all.  Today's email of the month comes to us courtesy of a sales candidate who let his difficulty controlling emotions, inability to recover from rejection, excuse making and closer skills of 0, contribute to his rant.  He had no need for approval, thus his lack of concern over what his potential employer might think of his email.

A few points prior to sharing:

  • The candidate took the assessment twice - for two different potential employers - and this email came after the 2nd attempt.
  • His Sales Posturing Index - how he presents himself, differentiates himself and becomes a trusted advisor was a 31 on a 0-100 scale.
  • He had 100% of the Hunter Skill Set - the apparent reason he thought he was above it all.
  • The company he refers to did not share any information with him even though he made it sound like they did.
  • The company has a very professional web site and is nothing like the candidate portrayed them to be

Here we go!

"Interesting, I have over 21 years of Sales & Marketing experience, not quite Entry Level! I have also managed large Geographical Areas and Multiple Personnel, who reported to me on a daily basis. I have sold multimillion dollar National Accounts on a regular basis. I have coordinated sales and marketing for multiple companies covering multiple municipalities. Also, high volume sales do not come from a quick close. You need a little time to build relationships and rapport with your customer. Having a large book of repeat customers is a true indication of a successful salesman.

"Looking at your site it looks as if you employ simple minded, handicap, people to stuff boxes. I find that to be quite Entry Level. Furthermore, judging people solely based around the results of an online assessment is quite short-sided and to be honest very unprofessional.

"I wish you luck in your search and honestly after reviewing your site I do not feel you would have been able to afford a quality professional like myself. I truly am not looking to work for a nonprofit organization, too many bleeding heart liberals and individuals educated at the State level."

End of message.

The lesson here is that you don't want people like this working for you!  It doesn't matter that they can hunt.  They will blow up  every person who they think could be rejecting them!  Our candidate assessment accurately identifies folks that you shouldn't even bother talking with, and helps you identify those who will succeed in sales at your company.

 

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Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales candidates, sales hiring tools, sales assessments

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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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