How to Identify Candidates Who Will Succeed in Your Sales Roles

Suppose you have a project or task that you don’t particularly enjoy doing, but despite your lackluster feeling about the project, it must be completed. Do you seek out the most efficient way to complete that dreaded project or task, or default to the most inefficient way to complete it?

Let’s take recruiting, selecting and hiring salespeople.  For HR, that’s part of their job.  Despite how important new salespeople are to the future of a sales organization and the company, Sales Leadership attempts to get the dreaded sales recruiting completed as quickly as possible, often prioritizing speed to hire over cost to hire, talent and capabilities.  To make matters worse, they aren’t using the most efficient process or tools attract, assess, select and hire the best salespeople.

I’m hiring a salesperson for a client using my time-tested process that we not only train clients to use, we prefer that they do their own recruiting (so we don’t have to!).  My experience shows that only 10% of all the candidates will be viable but, of more importance, how do we know which 10% to focus on?  The stats for the first week were:

42 resumes received
15 video views at the opportunity landing page
7 completed applications
7 completed sales assessments
4 recommended candidates by the assessment
4 five-minute phone chats
4 30-minute Zoom interviews
4 great candidates recommended to the client

I’m done.  The client will hire one of those four candidates because they are all perfect fits for the role, and the client.  They have great selling capabilities, as well as the desired experience calling on industrial decision makers.

I spent around three hours:

  • Customizing the applicant tracking with the questions I wanted answered
  • Configuring the OMG sales candidate assessment
  • Recording the landing site video
  • Recording the assessment welcome video
  • Writing and posting on the job site
  • Writing short, templated messages to communicate with candidates

I spent less than three additional hours on phone calls and interviews.

I guarantee that HR and Sales Leaders spend way more than the combined six hours to hire their salespeople and overall statistics show that only 50% those new salespeople will succeed.  Using my process and tools, 92% of the salespeople our clients hire will rise to the top half of their sales teams.  Our process and tools out perform what most companies achieve by 84%!

Consider these statistics from using assessments for hiring salespeople:

attrition and quota achievement

Our clients who use OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessments (download free sample) to hire their new salespeople outperform those who do not use an assessment by 80% for quota attainment, and 238% for reducing turnover.

Reverting back to how we identify the 10%, and to show that the data above isn’t an outlier, I’ll have stats from ten clients that are actively hiring salespeople right now.  In the last three days, from among the candidates that began taking their OMG sales candidate assessments:

  • 21% did not finish the assessments they started (lack of commitment or they knew they weren’t qualified)
  • 46% were Not Recommended for the particular roles they applied for ( a huge time saver for you and these would have been hiring mistakes)
  • 19% were Worthy of Consideration (quality group of backup candidates)
  • 10% were Recommended (the group you focus on)

Since the data for the three days is a small sample size, I sampled the data for two more random three-day periods over the past 30 days and found no variation.  I also discovered that:

  • 92% of the candidates that started but did not complete their assessments were all candidates for the same company.  They are probably not setting proper expectations for how long it will take to complete the assessment!
  • The not recommended candidates were spread over just four clients – their job postings are probably not written to attract the desired salespeople and should be rewritten to more accurately describe and appeal to the salespeople they want to attract

The 10% that were recommended are the only candidates those clients should focus their attention on.  It is much more efficient AND it results in significantly better hires.  How are you feeling about your sales hiring efficiency and effectiveness?

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