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.