Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a crystal ball when we hired salespeople? We could gaze past the haze to see into the future determining if the candidate can prospect, cold call, close, self -start and work as part of a team. Unfortunately, we don’t have a crystal ball but we do have a proven process:
Step One: Determine the amount of drive your top producers have (we do this by measuring drive points reflected in the Profile). The amount of desired drive varies depending on the market, the type of sale, competition, etc., but our experience indicates that 17-25 drive points is the range where most top sales people score.
Step Two: Target your interview questions for sales. If you were training someone to be successful in sales what advice would you offer them (personally, if the candidate doesn’t mention listening, I question how effective they will be)? Tell me about a time when you made a difficult sale? Lost one? What method do you use to organize your prospects? How many sales calls do you typically make a week? What type of compensation structure do you prefer?
Step Three: Administer the Profiles Sales assessment. It will speak directly to the questions that we wanted the crystal ball to answer (prospecting, call reluctance, etc.).
Step Four: Reference the candidate. Ask where the candidate rated in regard to the rest of the sales force—top third, middle, bottom? Greatest strength? Challenge? How did he/she get along with the inside people? Did he meet his/her sales quota?
Step Five: Background check. Verify secondary education. Check criminal history including driving record.
Most of us agree that sales is the life blood of any business. Do you need a transfusion?
Linda serves as a Principal in MCM’s HR Consulting practice, and has experience working with various-sized companies throughout a variety of industries. Linda’s experience in organizational development, training, executive coaching and hiring assistance spans over 25 years. Previously, Linda was the President and Owner of Personnel Profiling, Inc., an HR consulting company that offered a suite of employment assessments and services to help companies gain a competitive advantage by hiring, retaining and developing great talent. Linda’s formal education includes a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Louisville with a concentration in counseling psychology. Linda and members of her team will be ongoing contributors to the Academy Blog.
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