How do you know if that sales candidate you or your sales
manager fell in love with is really the superstar you hope they are? Before you pin your hopes on your managers’
ability to screen, recruit, interview and hire…you should know how
pre-employment testing can raise your success rate in hiring new salespeople.
The keys to pre-employment testing is to make sure you’re
testing for the right things.
Example: Do you want
to hire salespeople who know how to sell? Or do you want to hire people who will
sell? Understanding the difference can
make or break your career as an executive.
The right test will give you an accurate, honest assessment about your
candidate and list them into the following four categories:
# 1. Can Sell and
Will Sell: Know what to do and
consistently execute in selling situations.
Hire and train these and you’ll never need to worry about hitting
#2. Can Sell but
Won’t Sell: This is the most dangerous person to have on your team. They know what do in selling situations but
don’t consistently execute. We keep
giving them more time because “they’re just so good”. If you’ve got these on
your team, find out quick if they’re fixable.
If not, replace them.
#3. Cannot Sell But
Will Sell: This person is the one that may pleasantly surprises you. They don’t look or act like they could sell
their way out of a paper bag, but they sell anyway. Hire these, provide the right type of
on-going training and you can guarantee superstar performance.
#4. Cannot and Won’t Sell: Hopefully you
don’t have any of these. They’re
easiest to spot and you should deal with them quickly and decisively.
What’s the right type of test? There are so many sales pre-employment tests
which fall into four types. Here are the
characteristics and limitations of each.
Personality Tests: Determines personality type and
stability. Cannot accurately predict
whether or not people can or will sell. It
also brings up old beliefs that an outgoing personality, a real “people person”
will be a good salesperson. After doing this for years, that is not a predictor
of strong sale ability at all.
Benchmark Tests: These
are an analysis of your “best salesperson(s) and taking the “characteristics of
this person to try to hire in their image. In my opinion it is the combination
of each person that makes them successful or not and to try to mirror that is
setting up for failure.
Tests: Assess what people know
about selling. They won’t necessarily tell
you whether or not someone will execute is a selling situation. There’s a huge gap between knowing and doing.
Test: Measures strengths and hidden
weaknesses that more accurately predicts whether or not someone will sell. Measures guts, goals, selling system
effectiveness, willingness to prospect, and their willingness to do whatever it
takes even if it’s uncomfortable.
If you want to know how someone will fit in your company’s
culture or how to manage them, use a behavioral test. If you want to predict future sales
performance, use an Internal belief
When combined with a strong recruiting process, you can
virtually eliminate bad sales force hires.
Hold your managers accountable for their hiring mistakes. Sales training
should come only when you have hired the right people.
Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton knew how to hold his managers
accountable for their hiring recommendations.
When his executives hired a candidate, Walton asked each to write a page
outlining the candidate’s strengths and why they were hiring the
candidate. In the event that employee
ever needed to be fired, Walton required the manager to write a page explaining
why. Then the manager had to travel to
see Walton to personally explain the differences in the two memos. After one of these sessions, few managers
repeated a hiring mistake.
There is nothing more important than hiring the right
people. It should be an ongoing process. When you have a good strong group,
then and only then should you spend time and money on training. You need the
right ingredients to make a great meal even if the recipe is good, right!
Email me if you would like a sample; email@example.com. And ask!
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