Take the Interviewing Guesswork out of Sales Hiring
This program takes the interviewing guesswork out of hiring sales people who will sell for you. Our interviewing process includes interview forms, performance-based scoring system, and training for hiring managers. Identify the candidates with the behaviors you need for consistent, predictable, and productive sales results in your unique selling environment.
Hiring the right salesperson can be a risky proposition. The right person will fit in with the company, be effective with prospects and customers, and “pay for their seat” in no time. On the other hand, hiring the wrong salesperson will alienate customers, waste expensive leads, trash valuable selling opportunities, and frustrate management.
We can help you if you are in one or more of the following situations:
Subjective vs. Objective Interviews
Most of the objective aspects of hiring are based on credentials and testing . Psychological testing is available to evaluate tendencies, perspectives, and beliefs. Other tests can measure skills and knowledge. Credentials tell us where candidates have been, and how well they've done in the past in similar environments. These scientific aspects of the hiring process are valuable, but apparently not complete, as evidenced by the “bad hires” that make it through “the system.”
When it comes to the interview portion of the hiring process, most organizations rely on a much more subjective approach. Several experienced managers apply their own methods and questions to interview the candidate, then ask each other, “Well, what did you think of him/her?” And the quality of the ultimate hiring decision often relies more on art than science.
Many problems are associated with not having an objective approach to the interview process, including:
Using our interviewing approach and tools will solve all these problems, and more!
Hire Confidently, Consistently, and Quickly
At the heart of our interview process are instruments that allow you to conduct interviews that produce meaningful and measurable results . We'll work with you to define a set of questions as well as the answers to listen for. We'll suggest questions that will indicate whether a candidate not only CAN sell, but WILL sell .
Many times a salesperson with the requisite education, industry background, and experience history turns out to be an underperformer. They've been trained and can demonstrate that they know what to do – they CAN sell – but their belief system and emotional baggage prevents them. Maybe they avoid confrontation. Perhaps they need to be liked. Or their buying process is inconsistent with that of your customers. Our interview instruments will help you determine if they WILL sell for you .
These interview instruments are integrated into a scoring system to produce the objective results you need. Top scores indicate the top candidates .
In addition, this objective approach means that multiple interviewers can be involved. For example, each of 3 interviewers can use the instruments to interview one-third of the candidates. The resulting interview scores can be used to identify the top candidates, regardless of who conducted the interview.
Plus, you'll get consistent hiring results independent of location. If you have multiple offices, you'll no longer be solely dependent on the experience level of the local managers to ensure a successful hire. In fact, less experienced managers can use our process and instruments to hire effectively.
Let's take a look at just one structured question and how it can help us in an interview situation.
Many are attracted to sales roles because they consider themselves a “people person.” They like to be around people and interact with people. Often, they get much of their energy from these interactions, and love meeting with prospects. That can be good. The dark side to this could be a need to be validated by others. In other words, they need people to like them so they can like themselves. This puts them in a vulnerable position. Prospects may knowingly manipulate these salespeople to get information and concessions. Often these salespeople will let unproductive relationships with unqualified but “nice” prospects (who aren't really prospects at all) linger rather than tell them “goodbye” and move on. This need for validation wastes precious time and sales opportunities.
So, here's the example question:
“Let's take a hypothetical situation where you're selling anything to anybody. The 3 things you're concerned with are:
- Number one, the commission you're going to earn.
- Number 2, the performance you're going to generate for the Company.
- Number 3, the person you're selling to.
From a purely selfish, self-centered, egotistical, greedy salesperson's point of view, rate those 3 things in their order of importance, 1, 2, and 3.”
Question source: Dave Kurlan
Now we wait to see how they respond.
That was a lot to digest at once, and intentionally a bit confusing. If the candidate has good listening skills, they'll either ask us to repeat all or part of the question to make sure they heard it correctly, or they'll feed back what they thought they heard and ask us if they got it right. That is, if they're not worried about what we'll think of them for asking.
Next, did they follow directions? We began by explaining that this was hypothetical, but we closed with remarks about a greedy, selfish salesperson. They'll get caught up in those last remarks if it's important to them to be liked, because no one likes self-centered and egotistical people, which they certainly are NOT! If they don't follow directions and give us the order of importance ranking back as 1, 2, and 3, we have a red flag.
Lastly, we'll run across those who ignore the rules altogether and INSIST on putting the customer first. This might be an admirable approach in a real situation, but totally outside the hypothetical circumstances proposed. If this candidate can't tell the difference between fiction and reality, and can easily rationalize a deviation from instructions, you'll end up hiring a “management challenge” instead of a salesperson.
By posing structured questions like this and listening for specific responses, anyone on your hiring team can consistently and objectively interview your sales candidates. You'll get the salespeople on board that will deliver for you.
Change the Way You Interview Forever
We use a project approach to tailor our process for your organization and the sales role you define. When we're done, you'll have the objective interview process you need, and the questions and instruments to support it. Plus, once you make our interviewing process a part of your organization's standard hiring procedures, you'll always be able to use our approach whenever you need to hire a salesperson – or employees for any other position, for that matter. You may want to adapt our process to support hiring for other roles within your organization.
Your investment in this program is much less than the cost of one bad hire and the sunk costs for their training, their lag time to quota production, and the ruined opportunities and relationships they'll leave behind. You owe it to your entire organization to make sure you do all you can to safeguard the sales production that ensures everyone's livelihood .
If you and your managers are ready to make the outcomes of your sales hiring interviews sure bets, call us at 770-271-7719 so we can put this powerful program to work for you. We'll be happy to furnish all the information you need to make a positive decision and make Objective Sales Hiring Interviews a part of your continued success .
To make Objective Sales Hiring Interviews a part of your hiring process, please write us at
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