There is no argument among sales leaders that finding, hiring, and retaining good sales reps is the biggest challenge in leading an organization to higher profits. But how to hire the right sales reps?
I've said many times that when I was a sales leader, in various companies, I never had a better than 50% accuracy rate in predicting who would be right for my team, and who would make money for the company. It turns out that I was about average for hiring on "gut" feel.
Now, many tools will help you through assessments and there are books available to help walk newer managers through this.
First, a couple of tools, then a book. (Note: We are not an affiliate of any of these companies - just sharing what I know works)
Assessment Tool: Roundpegg
The data scientists at Roundpegg can prove how better culture fits make better revenues for your organization. With their assessment approach, you'll hire reps who fit in. Ever have that feeling that you had a good seller but they just didn't fit into the company culture, or to your remote office culture? You can download Roundpegg's Culture Book to learn more - they will require your name and email in exchange. They help manage the entire life-cycle of employees for you.
Assessment Tool: Objective Management Group Sales Candidate Assessment
I've followed OMG's Dave Kurlan for a number of years and finally got to meet him at INBOUND 2014 in Boston this year. OMG's products are backed by years of research and in working with hundreds of thousands of sales reps. See their free assessment offer in exchange for your basic info and a greeting from Dave here. The blog is exceptional - I encourage you to regularly read it.
Book: Hire Right, Higher Profits - The Executive's Guide to Building a World-Class Sales Force by Lee B. Salz
I love this book because it is only 140 pages, but packed full of information, ideas, insight, and actual questions your sales managers can use in interviews. There are also some great questions you can go through in the form of a Revenue Investment 360 to determine factors leading to success or failure in any sales role.
Salz writes that 5% of sales reps will always find a way to be successful, and 5% will always fail no matter what. His focus for you is in that 90% who will succeed due to one of these two factors:
- The strength of the match between the candidate and their sales role
- A well-developed and well running new-hire on-boarding program to help them get up to speed rapidly and smoothly
The top 100 salesperson interview questions are worth the price of the book. You can find it on Amazon or from the author here.
What tools do you or your company use to improve your success in hiring sales reps?
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the "Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.