I am often asked, "What is the one thing companies should do to make sure they hire only the best salespeople." My answer is typically - "Use a powerful multi-science sales aptitude personality test to ensure you have the right Behaviors, Motivators, Acumen, and Skills to hire the best salespeople possible."
I also recommend that crappy sales managers should never be allowed to hire crappy salespeople. Because crappy sales managers often hire losers. This is a universal truth.
I was recently in a conference call with a VP of Sales charged with dramatically growing sales. He desperately needs to grow his sales team. He wants strong candidates and he wants them now.
HR is recruiting as fast as they can.
First... A distinction.
"Get it" sales managers have an "edge" - they are profoundly results-oriented.
"Get it" sales managers are constitutionally dissatisfied with the status quo. They love winning and they hate losing. They make mistakes once and they fix the source of their error. "Get it" sales managers are a model of Personal Accountability - they look in the mirror when something goes wrong. They are data-driven. They use a valid sales personality test to ensure they are hiring only the very best sales talent possible.
The opposite of a "get it" sales manager is "crappy". Crappy sales managers have no "edge" - they are profoundly not focused on results.
In fact, crappy sales managers often favor personal relationships, protecting the status quo, and protecting their egos over results.
Crappy sales managers hire based on "gut instincts". When they lose, they make excuses when something goes wrong - they blame others. They do not make many mistakes because they rarely take risks. They do not change their strategy in the face of better information because they are crappy by definition and default. Crappy sales managers believe they have what few people have - the "magic touch" - they can interview a sales candidate and get a good "feel" for them.
In this particular Client situation, the VP of Sales "gets it". The CEO "gets it". But some regional sales managers do not "get it". In fact, it is like some regional sales managers are trying to do exactly the opposite of what we are working hard at - identifying and hiring rock star sales talent. These particular sales managers are "crappy sales managers" who should not be in charge of a sales team of any size.
Eighteen months ago, when this particular Client came to us based on a recommendation from another Client, they wanted to see what we had "under the hood". We sample assessed high and low performers and picked them out with incredible accuracy using our sales personality test and hiring algorithm. We clearly demonstrated the high correlation between our sales personality test results and past sales performance. There was/is no denying the predictability of our sales personality assessment - yet a select few sales managers will occasionally decide they are smarter than pure science.
Five Critical Ways to Ensure Your Crappy Sales Manager Does Not Hire Crappy Salespeople:
- Accurately Inventory Your Sales Talent - Know Thy Sales Talent. Your most valuable asset is your human capital. Just make sure the Ferrari you think you have in sales talent is not a cheap knockoff. Inventory your sales talent. Know the true potential of your sales talent. Identify where sales is really coming from.
- Only retain "wolf class" sales managers. Weed out your crappy sales managers as quickly as possible. Have them work for a competitor. It is the ultimate revenge. Remember... Sales wolves - the real kind - they smell out your crappy sales managers. They cannot stand them. Wolf class sales managers fit the job benchmark.
- Require sales managers to use the recommended sales hiring process. Create and use a hiring scorecard without question. Stick to it. Commit to no one but "sales wolves" being hired.
- Know that the interview process is a song and dance. You have to do the interview but realize that you are being sold and sometimes - you are not being sold well. Trust but verify the interview with number 5 (following).
- Trust a multi-science sales personality test backed by brain research to identify the best salespeople. There is only one that can say this without lying.