If you struggle to hire top sales talent consistently, you are not alone. Because most sales hiring processes produce an A-player salesperson less than 25% of the time, many companies keep their marginal, C-players. In fact, since 2009, 54% of salespeople rated as Weak when evaluated with the leading Sales Evaluation Tool. Because the Weak 54% have poor sales capabilities, it's not surprising that so many salespeople struggle to make quota. These Weak salespeople cannot win the customers you really want; when your company keeps its weak salespeople, those C-players cost you millions in lost sales and tons of aggravation.
When you cannot consistently hire top sales talent that fits your company, you often suffer from high sales person turnover. And according to the Wall Street Journal, this turnover costs $150,000 per sales person on average. Here is the good news: you can fix these problems when you implement a proven process for hiring top sales people.
Here is a proven 7-step process for hiring top sales talent:
- Determine Your Ideal Salesperson Criteria. What skills, habits, strengths, and motivations do you need? What do top salespeople who sell to your ideal customers actually do? (You can know the differences between your Top and Bottom salespeople, and you can know quickly. Ask us how.)
- Attract Top Salespeople. The best online job sites are a great place to start. Write an ad that describes the top salesperson, their experiences and their accomplishments; you want top salespeople to say “that's me”. For example, “You must have successfully sold services like ____… to people like____. You have earned at least _____. You are good at ___, ____, and _____. You're looking for a company that ___, ___, and ___.”
- Assess All Candidates. Let the sales capability assessment perform the first screen. Don't even look at the resumes of NOT HIRABLE candidates. A good assessment not only saves time, but also delivers more hirable candidates! A proven assessment is critical to getting 90% or more of your sales hires to be top salespeople.
- Qualify and Challenge. By phone, conduct a tough, very brief interview to further qualify hirable candidates.
- Interview. Like the qualify step, this longer, preferably in-person interview needs to challenge the candidate to confirm they are truly qualified and a fit for your company. Include at least two people in this step to minimize personal bias, and make sure they develop the skills to interview effectively.
- Persuade and Offer. Now you go from being purposely tough like a prospect to being a top salesperson. You need to sell your preferred candidate on their vital role, on its rewards, on the company, and on the company's leadership.
- Onboard. You need a comprehensive plan for your new salesperson's first 90 days. Go beyond product training and orientation and use a Fast Start plan that includes goal setting, sales training, coaching, accountability and other actions. A good 90-day training plan can improve your success rate with your new “top” salespeople from over 90% to near 100%.
Assess Before The Interview
You may have noticed that the assessment occurs before the interview . You may be thinking this process would be too expensive or would not get you enough candidates. Fortunately, assessing before interviewing is actually less expensive, you can get up to 50% more qualified candidates, and you are EEOC compliant.
Criteria for Selecting an Assessment
This proven salesperson hiring process solves the problems of the typical process, and it depends on a good assessment to screen candidates. Use an assessment that measures sales capabilities, not personality traits. Look at this proven, top-rated assessment first.
Stop Hiring Sales Duds – Act Now
If you do not have a consistent sales hiring process that helps you hire top sales talent, your business suffers. Your weaker sales people lose to better salespeople. You have to discount to win. You have trouble getting the bigger, better, more profitable customers. Your business does not grow like you know it should.
How do I know? I've been there. I've been through the frustration and the aggravation that the wrong sales hires cause. I've lost business I know we should have won.
The good news is this: we do not have to wonder whether a sales candidate will sell for us. We can know if a sales candidate WILL SELL for us or not. We can attract and hire top sales talent consistently, and we can help them be successful quickly. When you hire top sales talent, you can gain market share and thrive.
Imagine your company with top sales people. You now win the bigger, better, more profitable customers. You are not only surviving, you are thriving. If you like this picture for your business, find out how to implement a proven sales hiring process in your business. You have options:
1. Go to Hiring Sales People to learn more. There, you can request our special report, How to Hire Top Sales Talent.
2. Calclate the Cost of your Sales Hiring mistakes using our Free Sales Hiring Mistake Calculator.
Edited in 2018 by Tuck Mixon. Originally published by Tuck Mixon in 2008 on the Trinity Sales Partners blog: http://www.trinitysalespartners.com/blog/implement-this-proven-seven-step-process-to-hire-sales-winners.html
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