When a person is purchasing a sports car, they do not go to the dealership and randomly test drive every single car on the lot until one feels right. They do not test drive a minivan, nor a SUV. They go directly to the sports cars. Why? Because they came to purchase a sports car! To test drive other vehicles would be a WASTE OF TIME.
Yet in the sales hiring process, we have all kinds of inefficiencies for God only knows what reason. I believe this is due to disorganization, lack of business acumen and power intoxication. What gets measured gets improved. Most sales hiring is done in a very ad hoc manner.
Unfortunately, there is some level of ego involved during the sales selection process that originates in HR and / or in sales management where the need to be valued or viewed as important trumps the need to continuously improve the sales hiring outcome.
This must stop.
The best way for a business to attract a Sales Wolf is to have a reputation of only selecting, hiring, onboarding, coaching and developing Sales Wolves. This requires emotionally intelligent Sales Wolf management and CEO leadership.
Start with your job ads.
Job ads must speak the language of a Sales Wolf. Most ads are soft and attract mostly sales candidates rolling the dice hoping to get a shot. For your ads to successfully attract Sales Wolves, they must repel posers and suck in Sales Wolves.
Interested sales candidates do what is convenient - they submit their resumes.
Committed sales candidates do whatever it takes – they attack.
Pull-no-punches descriptions that speak directly to candidates and challenge them to bring their best while demonstrating your organization is above the status quo call the attention of a Sales Wolf.
Include word combinations like the following in your job ads to attract Wolves:
“Do you have what it takes?”
“You are constitutionally dissatisfied with the status quo.”
But ads are not enough.
Effective sales recruitment is essential. The best Sales Wolf recruiters are themselves, Sales Wolves. This is a universal principal.
Putting up an ad is never enough. Your best sales candidates are not necessarily seeking a new job opportunity. Many (if not most) Sales Wolves are being well-loved by their current employers if their employer gets “it” and the Sales Wolf is performing.
Recruiting is NOT waiting for a Sales Wolf to read your ad and then respond. Sales Wolf recruiters hunt Sales Wolves. Recruiting Sales Wolves requires the use of powerful platforms like LinkedIn to identify and engage potential Sales Wolves who are currently not reading your ads.
Change your interviews, change your results.
Your approach to interviews needs to change if you are going to successfully attract and hire Sales Wolves. An inability or lack of desire to change will kill your organization.
The problem is twofold.
Sales Wolves do not always interview well.
Non-Sales Wolf interviewers miss many of the telltale signs of a true Sales Wolf.
Sales Wolves do not always interview well.
Sales Wolves do not always interview well because they do not always have solid interview experience / skills. And sometimes, Sales Wolves are not on top of their energy – they lose their mojo and may come across as low energy.
Just as important as it is to ensure future low performers are not allowed on the sales bus via the sales hiring process, it is absolutely essential to ensure that hidden Sales Wolves are not turned away due to a poor interview.
More often than not, those individuals interviewing Sales Wolves are not Sales Wolves themselves. This means there is a moderate to complete lack of connection between the candidate and the interviewer.
Furthermore, the more opposite the Behavioral Style between the Sales Wolf and the interviewer, the more likely the interviewer actually gets bad vibes about a strong Sales Wolf. The Behavioral Style of the Sales Wolf often does not mesh well with the person(s) interviewing them.
The anatomy of a successful interview.
Start with the Sales Scorecard.
The best way to minimize the hiring of future low performers and to maximize Sales Wolf selection is to use a sales selection process that is as unbiased as possible AND involves true Sales Wolves in the interview process. Interviews are essential to understanding the mindset of a sales candidate but only if the sales candidate is qualified to actually be in the interview and is being interviewed by a true Sales Wolf.
An essential contributor to successful sales hiring outcomes requires the adoption (and continuous improvement) of a Sales Hiring Scorecard.
A Sales Hiring Scorecard objectifies the measurement of relevant background, experience, education, certification(s) and sales personality combination necessary to perform in the sales role.
The single most important level-jump strategy in the selection of Sales Wolves is to develop a Sales Hiring Scorecard and USE IT.
Does the candidate fit the education requirement? Yes or no?
Does the candidate fit the experience requirement? Yes or no?
Does the candidate’s sales personality (Behaviors, Driving Forces (Motivators), Acumen and Competencies) match the Job Benchmark? Yes or no?
If ANY of the above questions is answered with, “No,” do NOT proceed with the candidate. In other words, do not interview them! Why waste the time interviewing them? It would be like going to the dealership seeking a sports car and actually test driving a minivan!
Do not put your business at risk by hiring with your gut.
Over the past 20 years, the use of sales personality testing has exploded. Yet, there are still apparently holdouts who think they have some magic ability to identify sales talent without the use of valid sales personality and aptitude testing.
Look, human beings are biased as hell. It is in our DNA. It will be in our DNA for several million more years. This DNA allowed the human race to survive to this point.
Unfortunately, the human gut is a very poor predictor of future sales performance and quite frankly, really any future human performance.
What gets objectively measured gets improved. Get a valid sales personality test in your sales hiring scorecard now. Do not interview candidates beyond the resume confirmation stage without a job match. Otherwise you are wasting your and their time.
Have a match? The key is to make sure the sales candidate has every potential to be a true Sales Wolf by possessing the education, experience and SALES PERSONALITY necessary to perform well in the sales role.
Companies who do this select and hire more Sales Wolves, who produce and make money. Sales Wolves who produce and make money attract Sales Wolves who want to excel and be rewarded for it.
Sales wolves attract sales wolves.
Sales Wolves like to be interviewed by Sales Wolves. It is intoxicating for a Sales Wolf candidate to engage a true Sales Wolf during the interview process. Like attracts like.
A true Sales Wolf is more likely to identify with a true Sales Wolf candidate as well as sniff out the posers. Power questions like the following should be asked:
What do you do when you lose?
Tell me about your first job?
How have you performed in prior sales roles?
When structured questions are asked by true Sales Wolves and then scored and entered into a Sales Hiring Scorecard, interviews can be a powerful contribution to the sales selection process. Unfortunately, many (if not most) sales candidate interviews are ad hoc, filled with human bias and the wrong people are involved. The result is Sales Wolves are missed.
That is a shame.
Stop missing out.