Why The Conventional Wisdom of Hiring Sales People Is All Wrong

by Chris Young

sales hiring process resized 600When do AVERAGE companies hire sales people?  Answer...  When they need a new or replacement sales person. This is what conventional wisdom would suggest.  However, if you are committed to being an ABOVE AVERAGE company, you will continually hunt for Top Sales People using a solid hiring process.

That is what average (aka mediocre) companies do.

Unfortunately, most businesses use sketchy information when it comes to hiring and retaining the best sales talent.  This contributes to their mediocrity.  

There are three contributing factors to why most companies do poorly when it comes to hiring and retaining sales talent...  

  • They do not know the talent potential of the candidate...  Most businesses know more about tomorrow's weather forecast than they do about the potential of a sales candidate.  Most companies do not use a valid sales personality assessment to predict future sales potential.
  • Speed and guts...  Most businesses rush the hiring process and use their "gut instincts" during the interview process to determine whether a sales candidate can actually sell.  Mediocrity on top of mediocrity.
  • Most businesses are not data-driven...  Most businesses know little about where sales revenues are coming from and actually why the Client bought.  The result is - average and mediocre sales people are getting WAY MORE CREDIT THAN THEY DESERVE.  Does the brand sell or the sales person selling it?  Most of the time - the brand does the selling.  

The result for most companies is they get lucky sometimes but most of the time they end up hiring and retaining sales people who suck.  Under the "gut hiring" approach typically used by most companies, the benefit of hiring a sales person is questionable - really a cost more than a benefit.  Companies are naturally careful about hiring when the sales people they hire are average at best.  

What do "Rainmaker companies" do?  

When a Rainmaker company uses a data-driven sales hiring approach, they naturally hire top twenty percentile "freaks of nature" sales professionals.  The top twenty percentile sales professional delivers far more marginal benefit than they cost.

Rainmaker companies are committed to growing sales revenues and are always, always, always on the hunt for the best-of-the-very-best sales talent. 

What are you committed to?