Why More Salespeople Are Being Recommended for Difficult Selling Roles

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Jun 24, 2021 @ 15:06 PM

recommended

We are finally doing things we haven't done for quite a while including dining inside restaurants, flying, staying in hotels, going to and hosting parties, attending packed stadiums for sporting events and more.  Something else we haven't done for quite a while is revisit Objective Management Group's (OMG) sales selection statistics on the percentage of people that are recommended for various selling and sales management roles.

The last time we looked at recommendation data was in 2014!  In the seven years since we have seen a sluggish economy (2014-2016) with lots of candidates to choose from, a robust economy where candidates were very difficult to find and attract (mid-2017 to early 2020), a non-existent economy hammered by COVID (2nd quarter 2020- through the 1st quarter of 2021) with a decent supply of good candidates, and now back to a robust economy with good candidates scarce once again (2nd quarter 2021).

I was interested to learn how the recent recommendation data compared with the recommendation data from seven years ago.

First, let's define what a recommendation means.

Every OMG sales, sales management and sales leadership assessment has some criteria that is set in stone, some that varies with the difficulty of the role, and some that is client-side specific.  Candidates must meet the criteria in all three areas to be recommended.  Good salespeople are sometimes not recommended for certain roles because they aren't a good fit while mediocre salespeople are sometimes recommended for certain roles because they are a great fit.  It's too complicated to get into customization criteria in an article like this but the goal of OMG's candidate assessment is to get the right people into the right roles and there is a huge difference between all the possible selling roles in all the companies in all the industries where OMG assessments are utilized.

To get a sense for differences, even in the same industry, please refer to this article.

OMG allows five levels of difficulty for its sales roles, three for its sales management roles, and two for its sales leadership roles.  To give you a sense for how those difficulty levels differ, consider the following examples:

  • Little to No Difficulty - salesperson checks stock, fills stock with order updates.  An order-taker.
  • Some Difficulty - industrial sales of supplies used in maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) A better order-taker.
  • Moderate Difficulty - government sales, mostly bid work, but selling the reason to choose you at a higher price.
  • Considerable Difficulty - 6 or 7 figure consultative sale of capital equipment against formidable competition.
  • Significant Difficulty - 6 and 7 figure consultative sale of services to the C Suite in a long sales cycle competing against formidable competition

Now that you have some context for the difficulty levels, let's take a look at the before and after data and.

 

                                               2014                                                                                  2021

So what are the noteworthy changes?

The percentage of candidates being recommended for the most difficult and challenging sales roles has almost doubled!!  That's right.  Two exclamation points on that one.  Unfortunately, it doesn't mean that there are more strong candidates than seven years ago, but it does mean that companies are improving their ability to target and attract the good salespeople into their candidate pool.

Similarly, a higher percentage of sales managers are being recommended at the higher levels.  As with sales candidates, I attribute this to better targeting and attraction tactics.

The percentage of sales leadership candidates being recommended has dropped - a lot.  There are a lot more sales leadership candidates out there today than in 2014 and most of the candidates don't meet the significantly higher bar that exists for sales leaders today.

Finally, some HR and Sales Leaders are horrified and all recruiters are pissed when so many of their candidates are not recommended.  But isn't that why you choose an accurate and predictive assessment like OMG in the first place?  You choose OMG to AVOID making the mistake of hiring someone who can sell but won't,  who sounds good but isn't, who sells you but doesn't sell anyone else, or who simply isn't a good fit for the role.

Check out OMG's accurate and predictive sales candidate assessments.

Image copyright 123 RF

Topics: Dave Kurlan, HR, hiring salespeople, sales assessment tools, top sales assessment, right salespeople right seats, OMG Assessment

How Companies Routinely Screw Up Hiring the Right Salespeople

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:10 PM

The way that most people watch television these days is to fall in love with a continuing series, and then watch the episodes, on demand, when they want to.  I believe that when it comes to reading, Blogs work the same way as TV.  You find a Blogger whose work you like, who writes about things that interest you and you check back often or subscribe via email or RSS.  That is the case with the sales selection series that I've been sharing for a couple of weeks.  This series of articles is about crazy, stupid sales selection and how some executives say that they want to get it right, but won't allow themselves the leeway to actually get it right.  5 articles have already been posted about this and this article represents the sixth chapter.

Let's catch up.  If you haven't read each of the previous installments, you can find them here:

Sales Selection Case History of BigBrains
Benchmarking Misapplied to Sales Selection at BigBrains
Why Companies Always Get Sales Selection Wrong 
The SalesHack Weighs in on the Sales Selection Issue at BigBrains
The Follow Up Conversation with BigBrains Revealed

Why are so many people interested in this particular case history?  Is it because they can laugh at an executive's inability to see the obvious?  Is it because they could possibly be that executive?  Is it because they like all of the data and science?  Is it the comedy?

I am hosting a Webinar on Wednesday, October 28 at 11 AM when we will discuss this case history and how to improve sales selection.  If you would like to listen in and/or participate, you can register to attend here.

This is all very related to sales selection and sales coaching. If you haven't done a great job on selection, there will be much more pressure on the sales manager to perform great coaching instead!  I led a 40-minute presentation on coaching for Handshake and you can view/listen to the archived recording here.

It appears that I'm promoting things so as long as I'm at it, you absolutely must read this article by Hiplead.  They emailed me a link to this article and I wanted to share what they had to say about how you can get significantly more people to read your emails.

Finally, Top Sales Magazine is going from weekly to monthly and from small to big.  The premier issue is available now and you can download it here.  I contributed a feature article on the state of selling.  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, objective management, top sales assessment, sales selection

Sales Traditions and Rituals - They're Not Just for December

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 05:12 AM

holiday traditionFor some salespeople, selling is as caked in tradition and ritual as any religious ceremony.  To get a sense of this, consider the many inside sales roles, demo-centric salespeople, and low-level, in-home salespeople.   Many inside salespeople repeatedly read from the same script.  Most demo-centric salespeople must cover all of the features and benefits.  And many in-home salespeople perform a mini-show on every sales call.

I have several rituals that I can share with you below.  I always:

  • visit their website to get a sense for what they do,
  • prepare to take lots of notes,
  • visualize the outcome,
  • guide them through a conversation that they've never had with anyone before,
  • hit the milestones of our sales process, and
  • discuss and agree to next steps.

December is also the time of year when companies and salespeople send cards, pretzels, brownies, cookies, popcorn, wine, champagne, and other gifts.  These actions are very kind and generous, but not unexpected.  A nice note, card or gift, at a time of year when it's not expected, can differentiate you and your company even more!

Along with the holiday traditions celebrated by you, your family and friends, my Blog has three traditions in December:

  1. I ask readers to vote for their favorite article from the past 12 months (coming next week). 
  2. I am honored to have won one or more of  the annual Top Sales & Marketing Awards since the event's inception several years ago.  This year I was nominated for 3 awards and Objective Management Group was nominated for 1 award.   
  3. I always repost this very popular article from several Decembers ago, Only 11% of Salespeople Do This at the End of a Call.  There are 3 great lessons in this article that are still true today.

Do you have any sales rituals or traditions that you would like to share in the comments?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales tips, top sales blog, Nutcracker, top sales thought leader, top sales assessment, Top Sales Article

The Latest and Greatest in Sales Force Effectiveness

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Apr 23, 2013 @ 21:04 PM

Spoiler Warning:  This article is about my company and its new product.  Stick around though and I think you'll realize that it's just as much about your company as it is mine.

One of the proudest moments of my professional career occurred Sunday, April 21, 2013, when my team at Objective Management Group (OMG) introduced our brand new Sales Force Evaluation product to 120 OMG Partners from around the world.  That we were in Boston, just one day after the second bombing suspect was captured, made it even more incredible!

OMG's New Sales Force Evaluation Tool Introduced on April 21, 2013

Partners getting their first look and using their phones to vote their approval.

OMG's New Sales Force Evaluation Tool Introduced April 21, 2013

We have introduced our share of evaluation and assessment tools during the past 23 years, but this introduction was completely different.  My team worked tirelessly for nearly an entire year on our latest gem and our Partners received it, with even more enthusiasm than we felt, when we completed the project just 48 hours earlier.

Why all the excitement?

Forget for just a minute how incredibly impressive the product looks.  It's the information that sets it apart from, well, even our previous sales force evaluation product, which was already the best on the planet.  Of the many differences between our new and old products, the one I like the most is this one:  While our old product was findings-centric; the new product is answer-centric.  Why should you care about any of this?

Our Sales Effectiveness and Improvement Analysis answers 4 critical questions about your company:

  • Can our sales force be more effective?
  • How much more effective can we be?
  • What will it take to accomplish that?
  • How long will it take to accomplish that?

If you don't care about the answers to those 4 questions, then you must have already cashed out or retired.

In order to answer those 4 questions, we answer these additional 19 questions along the way: 

  • How Does Sales Leadership Impact Our Sales Force?
  • What Are Our Current Sales Capabilities?  (here is an image of the summary page of this chapter)
OMG Sales Force Evaluation
  • How Motivated Are Our Salespeople and How Are They Motivated?
  • Can We Generate More New Business?
  • Can We Be Better at Reaching Actual Decision Makers?
  • Can We Shorten Our Sales Cycle? 
  • Can We Sell More Consultatively? 
  • Are We Selling on Price and Who Can Become a Value Seller? 
  • Is Our Value Proposition Consistent? 
  • Can We Close More Sales? 
  • Do Our Systems and Processes Support a High Performance Sales Organization?
  • Can We Be More Consistent with Our Sales Process? 
  • How Well Are Our Sales Leadership Strategies Aligned? 
  • Do We Need to Change Our Selection Criteria?
  • Can We Improve Ramp-Up?
  • Can We Improve Our Pipeline and Forecasting Accuracy?
  • Can We Improve Our Sales Culture?
  • Who Can Become More Effective in Their Roles?
  • What Are the Short-term Priorities for Accelerated Growth?
Each thoughtful explanation is supported by plentiful data points.  It's all about the science and if our science can explain the sales performance taking place at your company and how you can improve it, you would have to be an overconfident know-it-all not to be excited about this turn of events.
 
Speaking of science, if you weren't already following me and OMG, our highly accurate and predictive sales specific tools are legendary.  Our "old" tool won the Gold Medal for Top Sales Assessment Tool in 2011 and 2012.  Our sales-specific evaluations and assessments have been used to evaluate and assess more than 1831615 salespeople and sales leaders in more than 10,000 companies.
 
 
If you would like to get in line and explore whether it makes sense to have your sales force evaluated in the 2nd quarter, click here and I'll have the appropriate partner follow-up with you.
 
 
Thanks for reading today - I appreciate it.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales force evaluation, sales improvement, omg, best sales assessment, top sales assessment, sales development tool

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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 nine 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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