Sales Candidate Doesn’t Qualify

I see this one happen way too often: Based on the results of the assessment, the sales candidate is not recommended for failure to meet the client’s criteria. I repeat; the client’s criteria. What does the client do? They suggest that the criteria the candidate failed to meet should not rule out a candidate. Huh? They set the criteria based on what a salesperson must be able to do in their business in order to succeed and then, when the candidate can’t do it, they question, not the candidate, but the criteria.

The problem is that managers just can’t stand to have candidates – any candidate – eliminated by an outside expert or process. They want to do it. They want to eliminate candidates they dislike and validate candidates they like. Unfortunately, the criteria for liking and disliking have little to do with the criteria for success. When managers like a candidate, it’s often for just two reasons. They have a likable personality and they have industry experience. And the reverse is usually true when they dislike a candidate.

That’s the reason we have assessments. Managers prove, consistently over time, that their criteria for selecting salespeople is ineffective yet, despite their dreadful track record, they actually believe that their gut instinct will be more accurate than an assessment with a predictive validity of 95%.

Welcome to the wonderful world of salesperson selection and sales assessments.

So what should you do to improve your selection consistency? Use a process like OMG’s STAR, a world class recruiting process for consistently hiring and retaining strong salespeople. And use their Sales Candidate Assessments to help with selection. But the key is to follow the process and not make exceptions. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by your feelings when the evidence suggests otherwise.