If you are disappointed by the lack of exceptional performance when hiring salespeople, you are not alone!

According to a study of over 2 million salespeople by Objective Management Group (OMG), only 26% of salespeople have the sales skills to make them successful. With so many unsuccessful salespeople, it is no wonder so many companies struggle to grow sales revenue as quickly as they would like.

In this article we discuss how you can boost success when hiring salespeople.

Let’s consider different hiring processes:

  1. Résumé plus Interview

The tried and tested method of hiring salespeople involves the following:

  1. Collecting résumés
  2. Based solely on résumés, pick out candidates for a telephone interview
  3. After the telephone interviews, invite the top candidates for a formal interview
  4. Following the first round of interviews, invite the top candidates for a second interview
  5. Select the favourite, check references and make an offer.
  6. Total time: roughly 20 hours

What do the results of this method look like? Only 49% of salespeople will hit their year 1 targets, and 19% will depart the company before the end of 12 months.

Why doesn’t this method work very well? Primarily because it is so hard to get a sense of a salesperson’s selling competencies just by talking to them. Even poor salespeople can be charming in an interview!

  1. Résumé, Interview plus Personality Assessment or Behaviour Assessment

Many managers are rightfully disappointed by the standard method of hiring. To improve hiring results, they bring in a personality or behavioural assessment.

These potential employee assessments identify what type of person they are or their communication style to determine whether someone will perform well as a salesperson.

In this method, candidates selected for an interview will be asked to take one of the many on-line assessments available.

With this method, a similar number of candidates are interviewed, so the time requirement is roughly the same as before – 20 hours.

What do the results of this method look like? They certainly are improved! Roughly 61% of salespeople will hit their year 1 targets, and attrition drops to 14%.

 3. Résumé, Interview plus OMG Assessment

Over 30,000 companies have chosen sales skill assessments from OMG as part of their hiring process.

What’s the difference with OMG assessments? The sales assessment is competency-based – meaning that it measures specific sales skills to predict real-world sales performance. It measures a candidate’s ability to sell, not just whether they have a good personality or communication style. And with 92% predictive validation, it has the highest accuracy rating available.

Another key difference with OMG sales assessments is how it changes the hiring process. Candidates are asked to take the assessment as soon as they have submitted their résumé. The assessment will then recommend whether the candidate should be interviewed. This process will weed out unsuccessful salespeople so that managers only need interview a small number of candidates. Typical hiring times drop from 20 hours down to only 5 hours.

What do the results of this method look like? Of candidates who take the OMG sales competency assessment, 88% of salespeople will hit their year 1 targets and attrition falls to only 8%. Furthermore 92% of recommended candidates perform in the top half of companies’ sales forces within the first year.

Here is the summary of hiring methods:

The results are compelling. To stand a better chance of hiring salespeople who will hit their targets, managers must stop relying solely on résumés and interviews. Assessments are a powerful employment test to improve sales hiring performance. For the most accurate and predictive results, OMG’s sales skill assessments are the best choice in the market.

Sales Dragon Consulting is a proud partner of Objective Management Group. We provide sales management assessments and sales competency assessments in Hong Kong and across Asia.

If you would like to hire great salespeople, speak with us about OMG assessments today.

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