Are you tired of investing time and money into new sales hires only to see them fail within the first 9 months? The truth is, it's a common problem that many companies face. In this blog post, we'll be exploring the top 5 reasons why new sales hires fail and provide actionable steps to ensure your next round of sales hires succeed. So grab a cup of coffee and let's dive in!
Sales is one of the most important functions in any company – it’s the lifeblood that keeps the lights on and drives growth. That’s why it’s so critical to hire the right salespeople, and yet so many companies fail at this. In fact, according to a study by OMG, only 20% of sales people do well and 6% fall into an elite category. That means 74% are not successful!
There are many reasons why new sales hires fail, but here are some of the top ones:
1) They don’t have the right skill set – This is perhaps the most common reason why new sales hires fail. They simply don’t have the skills necessary to be successful in sales. This could be because they lack experience, or they just plain are not cut out to do the job – it’s not for everyone!
2) They’re not a good fit for the company – Another common reason for failure is that the new hire is just not a good fit for the company. This could be because of culture mismatch, or because their values and goals aren’t aligned with those of the company.
3) They don’t have enough motivation – A successful salesperson needs to be highly motivated to succeed. If a new hire doesn’t have that drive, then they’re likely to fail. They will need to be able to do the little things needed when a boss isn’t watching to be successful!
4) They can’t handle rejection – Sales is a tough business, and rejection is a part of it. Not everyone is ok with hearing NO! frequently, especially when they are new!
Reason 1: Poor Training and Onboarding
One of the top reasons that new sales hires fail within the first few months is poor training and a poor onboarding process. Without a proper foundation, it can be difficult for new sales reps to succeed. Furthermore, if they are not properly supported during this crucial time, they are more likely to become frustrated and quit.
To avoid this, it is important to make sure that new sales hires receive comprehensive training on your products or services, as well as your company's sales process. Additionally, they should be given ample opportunities to shadow experienced sales reps and ask questions. Finally, they should be assigned a mentor who can provide ongoing support and guidance. I like to have them site with key people that interact with sales in other departments to learn about how we all need to collaborate and work together. By taking these steps, you can set new sales reps up for success from the start.
Reason 2: Lack of Motivation
Sales is a notoriously tough job. It requires long hours, regular rejections, and an intense focus on results. For many people, these conditions are simply too much to handle on a day-to-day basis. As a result, they lack the motivation needed to succeed in sales.
This is one of the most common reasons that new sales hires fail within the first few months. If you're not motivated to sell, it's very difficult to achieve success. Top performers in sales are typically those who have a strong desire to win and are willing to put in the extra effort required to close deals. You need to make sure your interviewing process is seeking this key element so you can be confident that this new hire has the necessary motivation levels to be successful at your company.
Reason 3: Inability to Adapt
One of the most common reasons that new sales hires fail is because they are unable to adapt to the changing needs of the market and their customers. In order to be successful in sales, you need to be able to constantly evolve and change your approach based on the latest information. If you're not able to do this, you'll quickly fall behind your competition and will likely end up losing clients.
Being able to understand objections and knowing how to overcome them is critical the long term success of your reps. Make sure this is a part of your training and on-boarding process so they can have success early in the role.
Reason 4: Poor Communication Skills
If you can’t communicate effectively, you won’t be able to sell effectively. Sales is all about communication – whether it’s communicating your value proposition to potential customers or negotiating with them to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
If you’re not good at communicating, it will be very difficult for you to succeed in sales. You need to be able to clearly and concisely articulate your thoughts and ideas, and you need to be able to do it in a way that resonates with your audience. There’s no room for ambiguity or vagueness in sales; you need to be able to get your point across quickly and efficiently.
Again, this should be a key area that you are looking for in your hiring process.
Reason 5: Poor Time Management
The last of the most common reasons new sales hires fail within the first few months is poor time management. Without a good system in place, it's easy to get bogged down in administrative tasks or spend too much time on low-priority activities.
If you're not careful, your day can fill up with meetings, emails, and other distractions without leaving any time for actual selling. To be successful, you need to be proactive about managing your time and prioritizing your activities. Some studies have shown that the average sales rep only sells 20% of the available time each week. Review your processes to remove any non-product selling tasks.
New sales hires come with hopes of success and achieving their goals, but unfortunately that isn't always the case. Hiring new sales reps is a big investment and one you can’t afford to get right. Remember, 74% of them fail! Knowing what can cause these new sales hires to fail within their first nine months on the job is essential in order for them to succeed and reach those goals. By being aware of these key reasons, managers and supervisors can provide guidance throughout the process and ensure that new sales employees have all the tools they need to be successful.
Don’t be afraid to use a sales recruiter or a sales skill assessment like the one OMG offers to increase the chances of a successful hire.
If you would like to discuss your hiring needs, email me for a free consultation!
Sales teams are the backbone of any business, and their success is directly linked to the company's growth. But what sets high-performing sales teams apart from average ones? Is it just luck or natural talent that drives their success? In this blog post, we'll be delving into the key drivers behind high-performing sales teams and uncovering some valuable insights on how you can take your team's performance to new heights. From effective communication strategies to data-driven decision-making processes, get ready to discover the secrets of successful sales teams!
Sales teams are the backbone of any organization - they are responsible for generating revenue and driving growth. However, not all sales teams are created equal. There are several factors that can contribute to a sales team's success or failure. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key drivers behind high-performing sales teams.
The first driver is a clear and attainable goal. Without a goal, it is difficult for a sales team to measure its progress and identify areas of improvement. A good goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
The second driver is effective leadership. A good leader will provide guidance and support to their team, while also holding them accountable for results. Leaders need to be able to motivate their team and create a positive working environment.
The third driver is strong relationships within the team. Sales teams need to be able to trust and rely on each other in order to function effectively. Good communication and collaboration are essential for building strong relationships within the team.
The fourth driver is the right mix of skills and experience. A successful sales team needs individuals with different skill sets who can complement each other's strengths. For example, some members may be better at prospecting new customers while others may excel at closing deals. It is important to have a balance of skills in order to maximize the team's effectiveness. Diversity is key!
Finally, high-performing sales teams need access to quality data and resources.
What are the Key Drivers Behind High-Performing Sales Teams?
There are many factors that contribute to the success of a sales team. However, there are a few key drivers that have a major impact on team performance.
One of the most important drivers is having a clear and attainable goal. There should be a Team Goal that everyone is working towards and individual goals so that each contributor can see how they fit into the overall big picture. Without a goal, it’s difficult to measure success and identify areas for improvement.
Another key driver is effective communication. Sales teams need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely with one another in order to coordinate their efforts and stay on the same page. This includes both verbal and written communication. As well as the team that supports your sales organization which may include a customer success team, application engineers, sales operations, etc.
Finally, high-performing sales teams always have a sense of urgency and high level of motivation. They’re constantly hustling to reach their goals and they never give up. This tenacity is what separates the best sales teams from the rest.
Sales teams are the backbone of any organization - they are responsible for generating revenue and driving growth. But what separates the best sales teams from the rest? Let’s dive deeper into each area.
There are many factors that contribute to a high-performing sales team, but one of the most important is leadership. Strong leadership is essential for setting direction, motivating employees, coaching for improvement, and achieving results.
The best sales leaders are those who possess a combination of key skills and attributes, including:
• The ability to set clear goals and expectations
• The ability to coach and develop employees
• The ability to motivate employees
• The ability to manage conflict effectively
• The ability to build team unity and camaraderie
The second key driver of high-performing sales teams is technology. To be successful, sales teams must have access to the latest and greatest technology tools now more than ever. This allows them to be more efficient and effective in their work. We live in a world of instant knowledge and your reps and customers demand that today. The right technology also allows sales teams to better collaborate with each other and with other departments within the company.
Some of the most important technology tools for sales teams include customer relationship management (CRM) software, sales intelligence software, and proposal generation software. These tools help sales teams keep track of their customers, prospects, and leads; gather data about their buyers; and create professional-looking proposals.
Other important technology tools for sales teams include social media monitoring platforms and mobile apps. Social media monitoring platforms allow sales teams to listen to conversations about their brand on social media and identify potential customers and leads. Mobile apps help sales reps stay connected to their CRM while they're on the go.
Investing in the right technology is essential for any company that wants to build a high-performing sales team. By giving your sales team access to the best tools, you'll set them up for success. Make sure that the technology you add works well together for seamless integration.
#3: Compensation Structures
Sales compensation is a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to building a high-performing sales team. The right compensation structure can incentivize your salespeople to sell more, and help you attract and retain top talent.
There are a few things to keep in mind when designing a sales compensation plan:
1. What are you trying to achieve?
Are you looking to increase revenue with new logos or penetrating your market share? Make sure your compensation plan aligns with your overall business goals. You should review this every year.
2. What type of sale do you want to incentivize?
Do you want to encourage one-time transactions, or long-term, strategic relationships? Figure out what type of sale will help you achieve your business goals and design your plan accordingly.
3. How much can you afford to pay out in commissions?
Your budget will play a big role in determining how much you can pay out in commissions. Make sure you have enough room in your budget to make competitive offers that will attract top talent. Understand your profit margins too.
#4: Clear Goals and Expectations
Setting clear goals and expectations is crucial for any sales team, but it is especially important for high-performing teams. Without clear goals, team members will be unclear on what they are supposed to achieve and how their individual performance contributes to the team’s success. This can lead to poor motivation and ultimately lower sales. It can also make them more difficult to manage without clear goals.
High-performing sales teams have a shared understanding of what they are trying to achieve, and each member knows how their role fits into the bigger picture. This enables them to work together effectively towards a common goal. Furthermore, setting clear goals gives team members a sense of ownership and responsibility for their results. It also allows managers to hold team members accountable and provide targeted feedback that can help them improve.
#5: Team Culture and Environment
A strong team culture and healthy work environment are critical drivers of success for any sales team. Here are a few ways to create a positive team culture and foster a productive environment:
1. Encourage open communication and collaboration: Encourage your team to openly communicate with each other and collaborate on projects. This will help build trust and respect amongst team members.
2. Promote a positive attitude: A positive attitude is contagious, so promote it on your sales team! Encourage your team members to stay positive, even during challenging times.
3. Offer support and feedback: Offer support and feedback to your team members regularly. This will show that you care about their development and help them stay motivated. Regularly scheduled coaching calls can set the tone for this.
4. Celebrate successes: Be sure to celebrate your team’s successes, both big and small. This will boost morale and keep everyone focused on achieving even more.
High-performing sales teams are a critical piece of any business’s success. Understanding the key drivers behind these teams is critical in order to maximize their potential and put them on a path towards success. By taking into account factors such as communication, motivation, leadership strategies, data analysis, and team dynamics, you can ensure that your sales team will be well-positioned to achieve its goals and objectives. With the right approach and dedication from both management and employees alike, high-performing sales teams can become a powerful asset for driving organizational growth.
Want to learn more? Email Scott Yelle to set-up a time for a free consultation.
Are you struggling to find top talent for your sales team? Do you feel like you've hit a roadblock in your hiring strategy? It's time to revamp your approach and overcome the obstacles hindering your success. Hiring salespeople can be a challenging task, but with the right mindset, tools, and tactics, it is possible to attract and retain high-performing professionals who will drive revenue growth for your business. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common hurdles in hiring salespeople and share practical tips on how to navigate them successfully. Get ready to transform your recruitment process and elevate your sales team's performance!
Introduction: Hiring Challenges in the 2023 Economy
As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, businesses are starting to think about hiring again. There is concern still with the recession, frequent reports on the news about layoffs at well-known companies, and the lack of people looking for full time employment.
Another challenge is the skills gap. Many of the sales jobs that are available require some new skills that candidates don’t have always have. This means that employers need to either invest in training their employees or find candidates who already have the necessary skills which could take longer to find. If you have a highly technical sale, this can be very difficult.
Finally, there is the issue of pay. With inflation on the rise, employers need to be conscious about how much they structure their sales compensation programs to give them the best chance to retain top talent. They also need to consider other benefits and perks that will make their employees happy and keep them from leaving for another job. This takes creative thought from the team.
All these challenges can make hiring salespeople seem like a daunting task. However, by being strategic and taking these challenges into account, businesses can find the right salespeople for their needs.
Assessing the Job Requirements
When it comes to hiring great salespeople, it's important to assess the job requirements for the role that you are trying to fill very carefully. This means considering the specific skills and experience that the position requires.
It's also important to consider the type of personality that will be a good fit for the role and the culture of your company.
Once you have a good understanding of the skills and experience that are required for the job, you can start to narrow down your candidates. This will help you ensure that you hire the best possible person for the job.
Identifying Key Skills and Qualifications
In order to identify the key skills and qualifications needed for a sales position, it is important to first understand the specific goals and objectives of the position. Once these are understood, you can then assess what skills and qualifications will be necessary to best meet those goals. For example, If you need to add a lot of new customers, then you want someone who is strong in business development and starting new relationships. If you need to further penetrate your existing customer base, then your goal is to hire a salesperson who has strong people skills.
Once you have a good understanding of the skills and qualifications needed for the position, you can start revamping your hiring strategy. One way to do this is by using behavioral-based interviewing techniques and assessments. This type of interviewing focuses on assessing a candidate's past behavior in order to predict their future behavior.
Another way to revamp your hiring strategy is by using assessment tools such as aptitude tests or personality tests. These types of tests can help you identify candidates who have the potential to be successful in a sales role.
Recruitment Strategies for Finding Sales Talent
There are several recruitment strategies you can use to find sales talent. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn to reach out to potential candidates.
2. Connect with sales professionals through professional networking events and job fairs.
3. Post job openings on online job boards and company websites.
4. Create an employee referral bonus program where you reward your employees for helping you find top talent.
5. Conduct phone screens or video interviews with candidates to get a better sense of their sales skills and abilities. This allows you to react quickly with great candidates.
6. Invite finalist candidates to come in for an in-person interview so you can further assess their fit for the role.
Training and Onboarding of New Employees
An important step in revamping your hiring strategy is to ensure that you have a comprehensive training and onboarding program for new employees. This will not only help to ensure that new hires are properly prepared for their role, but will also help to build a foundation of trust and respect between the new hire and the company. 63% of companies are not effective at onboarding or have a structured training program.
When it comes to training, it is important to provide both class room and practical instruction. Classroom instruction can be delivered through power point presentations, 1-1 coaching sessions or online courses. Practical instruction, on the other hand, should involve actual hands-on experience with their manager or another successful sales rep that is a strong coach. This should include shadowing experienced employees, participating in role-playing exercises, or working on real-life projects.
Onboarding is just as important as training, and often times the two-go hand-in-hand. Onboarding helps to acclimate new hires into the company culture and expectations. It can also be used as a tool to continue building trust and respect between the new hire and the organization. There are a variety of ways to approach onboarding, but some common methods include orientations, mentorship programs, and job shadowing.
Both training and onboarding are essential components of any successful hiring strategy. By taking the time to invest in these areas, you can overcome any obstacles you may face when trying to hire salespeople (or any other type of employee).
Retaining Sales People Through Incentives
In order to keep your sales people motivated and incentivized, you need to offer them a competitive compensation package. This should include a base salary, commission, and bonuses. You also need to offer them a clear career path with opportunities for advancement.
The best way to retain your sales people is to create a positive and supportive work environment. This includes providing them with the resources they need to succeed, such as training and development opportunities. You should also give them regular feedback so they know how they are performing and where they can improve.
Finally, you need to show your sales people that you value their contributions by recognizing their achievements. This can be done through formal awards, such as Sales Person of the Month, or informal acknowledgement, such as public praise at team meetings.
Revamping your hiring strategy is an important step to ensure that you are bringing on the right salespeople for your team. The cost to hire a great sales rep is twice as much as you think, so taking the time to look at your process and investing the time to revamp it can really pay off. By focusing on the candidate’s strengths, conducting thorough interviews and reference checks, and creating a comprehensive onboarding program, you can hire successful salespeople who will have a positive impact on your business. With these steps in place, you can rest assured that the next time you hire someone for the sales team—it won’t be another disappointment.
New England Sales Solutions can help you in revamping your process or conduct the searches for you. Reach out to syelleNESS@gmail.com to learn more.
Why You Should Consider Hiring A Sales Recruiter For Your Company's Next Sales Hire
As you look to hire the next member of your sales team, you may be wondering whether it’s worth it to invest in a sales recruiter. In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages of using a recruiter for your next sales hire and why it might be worth considering for your company.
Sales is one of the most important functions in any company. The success or failure of a company often depends on its sales team and their ability to win business for the company. Given the importance of sales, it is critical that companies invest in finding and hiring the best sales talent to fit their organization.
There are many ways to find and hire sales talent. One option is to use a sales recruiter versus tasking your team to hire someone. A sales recruiter can help you find and hire the best sales talent for your company. Here are some reasons why you should consider using a sales recruiter for your next hire:
1. Sales recruiters have a deep understanding of the sales function. They know what skills and experience are needed to be successful in sales. This allows them to identify top talent and match them with open positions at your company.
2. Sales recruiters have access to a large pool of candidates. They use their networks and databases to connect you with qualified candidates who may not be actively looking for a new job.
3. Sales recruiters save you time and resources. Hiring is a time-consuming process, but working with a recruiter can help you speed up the process by identifying and screening candidates quickly.
4. Sales recruiters can help you assess candidates objectively. It can be difficult to assess candidates objectively, but recruiters are trained to look for key qualities that make someone successful in sales. This helps ensure that you make the best possible hiring decision for your company. They are also aware of the current market conditions and can help you in being objective.
The Benefits of Hiring a Sales Recruiter
Sales recruiters can be extremely beneficial to companies when it comes time to hire a new salesperson. Not only do sales recruiters have access to a larger pool of potential candidates, but they also have the necessary skills and experience to properly evaluate each candidate. In addition, sales recruiters typically have established relationships with top sales professionals in the industry, which gives them an inside track on who is available and interested in new opportunities.
Hiring a sales recruiter can save your company time and money in the long run. By entrusting the hiring process to a professional who is focused on recruiting every day, you can avoid costly mistakes that could jeopardize your company's success in the future.
How to Find the Right Recruiter for the Job
There are a few key things to keep in mind when searching for a recruiter to help you with your company's next sales hire. First, consider the size of your company and the scope of the role you're looking to fill. If you're a small business, you may want to work with a boutique firm that specializes in sales recruiting. If you're looking for a VP of Sales for a large enterprise, you'll need to partner with a search firm that has the resources to conduct an executive-level search.
Second, think about the type of salesperson you're looking for. Do you need someone with experience in a specific industry or vertical? Are you looking for someone with a particular skillset? Once you know what kind of candidate you're seeking, you can start to narrow down your list of potential recruiters.
Finally, take some time to research each recruiter on your shortlist. Look at their website and read testimonials from past clients. See if they have any articles or blog posts that will give you insights into their process and approach. When you've found a few recruiters that seem like a good fit, reach out and see if they're interested in working with your company.
What Questions to Ask Potential Candidates
If you're thinking about hiring a sales recruiter for your company's next sales hire, there are a few key questions you should ask them first. Here are some examples:
Asking these questions will help give you a better idea of whether a particular sales recruiter is a good fit for your company and needs.
Tips for Ensuring Successful Hires
When it comes to hiring salespeople, the process can be daunting. There are a lot of things to consider and it’s easy to make a mistake that could cost your company dearly. Also, realize that the candidates are in sales and are good at selling themselves! It may be difficult to sort through the pool of candidates. This is where working with a sales recruiter can be extremely beneficial. A good sales recruiter will have a deep understanding of the sales process and what it takes to be successful in sales. They can help you identify the key skills and qualities you should be looking for in a candidate, and they can also provide guidance on the best way to assess those skills.
Here are some tips for ensuring successful hires when working with a sales recruiter:
1. Define the role clearly
Before you start your search, it’s important to take some time to define the role you’re looking to fill. What are the key responsibilities of the role? What skills and experience are essential? What would be nice to have but isn’t essential? Having a clear understanding of what you’re looking for will make it much easier for your recruiter to find suitable candidates.
2. Be open-minded
It’s important to keep an open mind when reviewing candidates presented by your recruiter. Just because someone doesn’t have all the experience or qualifications you initially specified doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a great fit for the role. Sometimes the best candidates are those who may not match up perfectly on paper.
A sales recruiter can be a valuable asset when it comes to hiring the right person for your company's next sales position. By utilizing their expertise, they can help you find the best candidate who is not only qualified but also fits in with your team culture and values. Ultimately, investing in a sales recruiter may prove to be an effective way of finding the perfect hire who will make significant contributions to your business’s bottom line and success.
About a year ago, I wrote a very popular article called, Persistence Over Polish, where I discussed the competencies that the top 10% of all salespeople were better at than everyone else. The article identified 5 of the 21 Sales Core Competencies that were the biggest difference makers, showed the gap in capabilities, and explained the impact of having these competencies as weaknesses. You should really take 2-minutes and read it. Then, about a week ago, I wrote another popular article called, How the Rubber Band Sabotages Sales Performance. That article discussed six competencies specific to Sales DNA and the impact those six have on performance when they appear as weaknesses. At the end of last week's article, I promised to introduce a solution to you within a week and true to my promise, the solution follows.
Let's begin with two examples of the problem:
Only 2% of elite salespeople (top 5%) have any weaknesses at all in their Sales DNA, while 98% of weak salespeople (the bottom 50%) have weak Sales DNA overall.
Salespeople who need to be liked are 148% less effective, they are 147% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 151% smaller. That's why elite salespeople are 329% more effective at creating urgency than weak salespeople. Urgency causes action, while a lack of urgency results in an opportunity that gets stuck in the pipeline.
Salespeople who are uncomfortable talking about money are 168% less effective, 129% less likely to reach the decision maker, and their probability of closing is 150% less.
And if salespeople have both of those weaknesses? It's over before they make the call!
All 10 of the tactical selling competencies require salespeople who do not need to be liked. It's most important for effective hunting, consultative selling and selling value. Both selling value and Qualifying require that salespeople be able to have in-depth conversations about finances.
Years ago, Objective Management Group (OMG) had a product called Salesmind. It used self-hypnosis to reprogram a salesperson's limiting beliefs. Beliefs influence behaviors and behaviors impact results. Salesmind was extremely effective, helping salespeople overcome 10 different sales weaknesses, each after just 21 days of use. Compared to coaching and the discomfort associated with change, Salesmind was easy and fast! But Salesmind was a CD and computers stopped shipping with CD drives so the product faded away. Until now!
We have migrated all of the terrific Salesmind programming to an online platform called the Sales DNA Modifier, where it can be used more easily than ever before. We retained the very best content from Salesmind, and added sales affirmations as downloadable audio files for when you are driving in the car.
The 10 best things about the Sales DNA Modifier with Salesmind are:
Apparently, Duracell 9 volt batteries are the picture of consistency.
Last night, all 7 of our upstairs smoke detecters starting squawking within about 30 minutes of each other to indicate that their batteries needed to be replaced. Given that the Duracells were installed in those units on the same day 4 years ago, one would hope that there are more things that we could rely upon to be as consistent and predictable.
One of those things is Objective Management Group's sales candidate assessments.
What could bring more peace of mind to the sales hiring process than knowing that it's already been used on 1,872,733 salespeople, from 28,207 companies, in 200 industries, and in 124 countries to hire 79,784 salespeople. Of the sales candidates who were not recommended by the assessment, but were hired despite the warning, 75% of them failed within the first six months. That's predictive!
Statistics are great, but what you really want to know is, how hard is it to use, how complicated will it make my sales hiring process, what if a candidate I like isn't recommended, what if a candidate I don't like is recommended, and how do you make it fit my world?
The only people that don't love OMG's sales candidate assessments are recruiters - because the assessment makes recruiters work a lot harder to deliver quality sales candidates. And today, with so few sales candidates proactively looking for work, it's even more important that you get it right. After all, you're working from a position of weakness.
Sales leaders, HR directors, CEO's and COO's love the OMG assessments because they are sales specific in that they measure the 21 Sales Core Competencies instead of personality traits and behavioral styles. Traits and styles are nice to know, fun to have, warm and fuzzy, but they are not predictive of success in sales, and especially not any specific sales role.
Because the assessment measures 21 Sales Core Competencies, there is nothing to interpret making it very easy to use. And since you'll assess all of your candidates, not just the ones you like, you can focus your time on the candidates who are most likely to succeed in the sales role for which you are hiring. When it comes to those sales roles, there are 30 variables you can customize to help the assessment identify the right salespeople for the role, and another optional layer of customization allows you to fine-tune another 15-20 requirements.
In companies today, those who hire salespeople using their gut, other assessments, or desperation, tend to get it right about half the time and the cost of getting it wrong has skyrocketed. Companies that use OMG's sales candidate assessments have found that of the candidates who are recommended for the role and eventually hired, 92% move to the top half of the sales force within 12 months.
If you aren't already using OMG, what's holding you back? It's not expensive, it's not difficult, it's not scary, and it's not risky. You'll easily be able to hire better salespeople!
I've written more than 1,400 articles for Understanding the Sales Force and every one of them has been my observation of salespeople, sales managers and sales teams. The observations come from sales force evaluations, sales candidate assessments, sales recruiting projects, sales training and coaching initiatives, and sales leadership training. After 10 years and 1,400 articles and to avoid boredom, we will change things up a bit for this article.
Ken is one of my longtime readers, a former client, and last week he sent this note expressing his frustrations as a buyer of services. I'll add my comments and conclusions at the end of his note.
I just wanted to let you know that your sales training program has ruined me as a buyer. The ineptitude of almost every sales team I have encountered recently is chilling, especially since you have shown me that they can do so much better. I have come to wonder if it would be cost-effective for buyers to provide sales training to their prospective vendors to save us time, effort and aggravation in our purchasing process. Salespeople chasing prospects??? I can’t tell you how much time I spend chasing vendors.
I started a new career in Information Security about 6 years ago and am now Chief Information Security Officer for a fast growing SaaS startup in the expense reporting and expense management space. In my role, I need to purchase compliance services, auditing tools, training products, etc.
Here is the scenario that prompted this email:
A few weeks ago, I got a blast email to participate in a Webinar for a new auditing tool which was being offered by a well-known information security vendor. I attended the Webinar but no salesperson followed up. I went to the company website and filled out the ‘request evaluation’ form. No salesperson followed up. I sent an email to email@example.com requesting a conversation.
About 5 days later I got an email and a voicemail: ‘Would you like to set up a conversation?’ I responded to the email, ‘ I am available tomorrow morning from 10 a.m. to noon.’ The voicemail asked ME to call the rep. There has been no successive follow up. I then reached out to some consultants I know in the industry asking for intros. One gave me a name but no introduction. Finally, my auditor set up a call for today.
The call started out promising, (i.e., I didn’t have to sit through 50 NASCAR slides telling me how great the company was and all the other companies they have done business with.) The rep asked me what I hoped to learn. After I told them, he handed the call off to his Sales Engineer for the ‘demo.’ Unfortunately, the SE had no capacity to show me or discuss with me the auditing tool that I was interested in. After 2 minutes the rep broke in and suggested we re-schedule for another time. We’ll see if I hear back.
This is probably the worst example of about a half dozen similar ones where I have a need, I would like to buy something, and I end up doing all of the work.
Anyway thanks for allowing me to vent.
You're probably thinking, well, that's not what would happen if I was the salesperson or sales manager or sales VP or CEO. Believe it or not, this is fairly common! These are the very same companies that believe they have effective sales processes in place, that their 10% win rates are acceptable, and that they need to get people interested by conducting demos. These are the companies that don't think they need help, have everything under control, have ineffective sales selection and even more ineffective sales management.
If the sales managers were decent, the very first time they debriefed a salesperson, listened to a call, observed a meeting, or discussed an upcoming call, they would have been able to identify ineffective follow-up, ineffective qualifying, ineffective listening and questioning, etc.
It's most likely that the sales managers are former salespeople who, like those they manage, specialized in conducting demos, creating proposals, and finding the 10% that will stick.
Monday, Pete Caputa, VP at Hubspot, posted a great article on qualifying, why so many salespeople suck at qualifying, and how that ultimately leads back to ineffective sales management (read the comments too).
This article on Linkedin Pulse questions whether it's really sales managers who are to blame or someone else.
Written by Dave Kurlan, Founder of Objective Management Group
Lays Potato Chips. Movie Theater Popcorn. Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. BBQ Ribs. Fudge Brownies. Rolos (a personal favorite from years ago). All junk food which, after having the first one, you just can't stop there. You must have more. Lays even had that as a slogan back in the late 60's - "Bet you can't eat just one." Back then I couldn't stop at one.
Last week I wrote an article that said companies are hiring the wrong salespeople 77% of the time. It was very popular and there was a great discussion on LinkedIn but similar to the junk food, you couldn't read that one article and move to another subject. You need to have some more.
That article was filled with data to illustrate the differences between good salespeople versus those who actually get hired most of the time. It was ugly and there were questions about the 77% like, "Where does that come from?"
Some of the supporting data came from the CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study. Some of it came from Objective Management Group's evaluations and assessments of 1.8 million salespeople. And I'm going to show you some data that most people never get to see. Take a look at these wild numbers!
In the first graph, you can see the overall recommendation rate from 2014 through mid-November of 2018 from OMG's Sales Candidate Assessments.
While the overall rate varies by no more than 4 percentage points over the past 5 years, from a low of 37% to a high of 41% the overall rate is very deceiving.
OMG has 5 levels of difficulty and the criteria for a recommendation becomes more rigorous as the difficulty of the role increases. There are as many as 11 second-level customizations that could cause a candidate to be not recommended if their sales DNA doesn't support a required selling activity. And there is a third-level of customization that can override the criteria and customizations above to alter a recommendation.
Between the sliding scale and two additional levels of customization, it's very impressive that the overall rate hasn't varied by more than 4% over the past 5 years. Let's review the recommendation rates for all 5 difficulty levels.
The first two columns on the left show the overall recommendation rates that appeared in the graph above. The overall rates are the averages across all ten columns for each year. There are 2 types of recommendations - recommended (continue with the interview process) and worthy of consideration (continue if there aren't enough candidates that were recommended) - for each difficulty level. So that's 10 ratios to track per year. These are some of the ratios that stand out for me:
Sure, it takes patience and discipline to attract, assess, interview, select and on board salespeople who will succeed in their roles. But patience and discipline aren't strangers to finance, manufacturing, operations, marketing, R & D, engineering, design, fulfillment, quality control, IT, IS, or most of the other functions and departments in a successful business. So isn't it time that we stop fooling ourselves and continuing to believe that sales is different and we have to accept the hand we are dealt? That thinking causes executives to have Cause a Rationalization for Aggravating Performance. CRAP. You can read more about CRAP in sales. More importantly, you can have access to the most accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment on the planet. Named Top Sales Assessment Tool for 7 consecutive years, you can be as confident about the salespeople you select as all of our clients are.
When a great salesperson is recommended by Objective Management Group's (OMG) Sales Candidate Assessment, and this star has a great track record, and great references, should we expect this person to succeed?
Most executives do.
But even though salespeople will tell you that "If you can sell, you can sell anything", that statement is only true some of the time. Here are some examples of salespeople who are successful in one environment, but usually fail in another:
For example, if you go back and take another look at #4, this is where great salespeople, selling the exact same thing, can suddenly fail because they aren't able to succeed when working remotely from a sales manager who doesn't manage her salespeople very closely.
I reviewed OMG's data on a random set of 4,500 recent sales candidate assessments and only 12% were suitable for working remotely. BUT…upon closer look, 12% was not representative of the findings for any one company!
Of the companies that required both a remote seller and had enough candidates to make up an appropriate sample size, the distribution of candidates suitable for working remotely ranged from 2% to 75%. I thought that was rather strange and looked again, but with different filters. I found that the variations in suitability had more to do with the company, and the difficulty level of the role, than anything else. When the role was more difficult and their job postings reflected that difficulty, stronger candidates applied and were assessed. When the role was less difficult and the job postings reflected it, all kinds of qualified and unqualified candidates applied and the assessments reflected that change in candidate quality. For example, look at these 5 companies, their percentage of suitable candidates, and the difficulty level of the role:
CompanyDifficulty LevelSuitable for Remote
A Considerable 75%
B Considerable 67%
C Some 50%
D Moderate 25%
E Moderate 2% If you throw out company E, the average is 60% suitable, but we also lose 75% of the candidates in the sample, so you can’t do that…
When the role is not very difficult, the company will attract lower level salespeople, and they will be much less likely to be suitable for working remotely than their much stronger peers.
When you look at all 10 of my examples, you should be able to recognize why it is so important to use a sales-specific candidate assessment that is customized to your company's requirements, determines whether candidates possess the required selling skills, digs into the Sales DNA to determine whether candidates will succeed in your business, and in this role, and makes an accurate, predictive recommendation.
Recently, I was asked to explain what a company can do with the bottom 74% that I write about so frequently. It's a great question...and I will share several examples...Depending on the size of your sales force, the relative effectiveness of your sales coaching, the degree to which you embrace sales best practices, and your track record at selecting and hiring only A players, your sales force might not have a top 6%, next 20% and bottom 74%. Nope. It could be better - or worse. Your sales force might have salespeople that are all in the top 26% or all of your salespeople might belong to the bottom 74%. What's interesting is how that plays out.
For example, let's look at a business where the sale is fairly easy, like providing snack food to convenience stores, where salespeople in the bottom 74% can get that job accomplished without a problem. Take another business, where the salesperson must sell a 7-figure consulting deal, to the C-Suite, against formidable competition, with a sales cycle that could take 12 months or more, and a salesperson from the top 26% probably won't be good enough. For this scenario, a person will need to come from the top 6%!
With that as a foundation, let's take a deeper look at the bottom 74%. First, there are two things we need to acknowledge:
Focusing on the data representing the bottom 74% of the 1,854,765 salespeople that we evaluated and studied, it shows that 14% of this group should not be in sales at all. 30% of this group are not trainable, can't be saved and won't ever change - no matter what you do. Take a look at this sample slide below, which has an analysis of one company's non-performing salespeople and you'll see that in this particular company, 70% of the underperforming salespeople can't be saved, while 1 (green check) and perhaps 2 others (yellow flags) are savable.
There is good news though. Statistically, 56% of the bottom 74% can be saved under the following circumstances. The company must have:
Sometimes, talking about the bottom 74% makes the state of sales seem a lot worse than it is. If improved performance is one of the things that you need to achieve, it's entirely possible with salespeople in the bottom 74%. You simply need the data to make a good decision. Learn more about a sales force evaluation by clicking the image below.
Scott Yelle, Founder of NE Sales Solutions