Why Performance-Based Recruiting Produces Top Sales Performers

 

Here is an outline for a recruiting process that focuses on performance-based factors:

  • Write a Performance-Based Recruiting Ad: As you construct your ad, consider the following questions:
    • What kinds of companies or organizations are good prospects for your company's products and services? Your ad should state a preference for job candidates that have existing relationships with these kinds of companies and organizations.
    • Who are the most productive people (job titles) for your salespeople to call on? Your ad should state a preference for candidates that have existing relationships with people that have these titles, and/or a proven ability to prospect successfully to people at similar levels.
    • What specific sales production (such as pipeline dollar volume, sales dollar volume, etc.) do you expect your new salespeople to produce during their first 90 days? Make this expectation crystal clear in your recruiting ad!

  • Scrutinize Resumes for Accomplishments: Smart salespeople know that results sell. When these salespeople prospect, they talk to potential prospects about the results their companies have produced for customers. When they write resumes, they write about the results they have produced and their other accomplishments (awards, recognition, etc.).
  • Conduct Telephone Screening Calls: For candidates that have interesting resumes, schedule a 20-30 minute telephone screening call. This will give you an opportunity to ask performance-based questions related to two critical performance factors: the candidate's relationships and their prospecting activities. Here are sample screening call questions:
    • Who do you know that might be a prospect for our company's products and services?
    • What relationships do you have that could be leveraged for appointments during your first few weeks on the job?
    • What percentage of your time do you spend on each activity?
    • What results have these activities produced for you in the past?
    • How long did it take before you started making quota consistently in your current job?

  • Assess Qualified Candidates: For candidates that pass the telephone screen, gather objective information about their talents via specialized sales assessment tests. The most effective sales assessment tests go beyond personality and behavioral traits and examine attributes such as Learning Rate and Reasoning Ability.
  • Conduct In-Person Interviews: Now you are prepared to conduct thorough, performance-based interviews. Why? Look at the information you have collected! For each candidate that you are going to interview, you should have in your hands:
    • A resume that lists key accomplishments
    • Performance-based information collected during a telephone screening call
    • Objective information about talents critical to sales success

    If you ask performance-based questions and clearly outline your expectations for new hire sales performance, you will attract fewer poor candidates, as some will de-select themselves. You will also attract more strong candidates, as they will no longer be screened out by invalid "knockout factors". The end result will be a steady improvement in the overall quality of your sales organization.

    Copyright 2005 -- Alan Rigg

     



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