Hiring salespeople is tricky. For starters, there’s immense pressure to fill the role quickly because open territories and uncovered accounts bleed quota contribution. On top of that, you want quality hires, but salespeople by nature are persuasive and will sell you in an interview – thus, you’re never really sure what you’re going to get. Even applicants who have been successful before in your industry aren’t guaranteed future success in your organization.
Not to be a downer, but all of that is really just the tip of the iceberg. More often than not, sales managers are notoriously overwhelmed by their dual role of leading the interviewing and hiring process while at the same time driving their teams to hit quota.
As a result, they’re often underprepared and favor candidates they connect with personally.
The result is that only 1 in 3 new sales hires are successful and last longer than two years.
What’s the answer?
It all goes back to interviewing. Simply put, it is crucial to making good sales hires – and it is more important than ever to do so with consistency, quality, and efficiency.
Let’s look at those three areas a bit deeper:
It’s difficult to compare candidates without a consistent process, especially across different hiring managers. Consistent hiring and interviewing process is fairer and can protect you from bias against potentially qualified candidates. So here are a few tips:
- Establish stages for your hiring process, just as you do for marketing and sales, and define the activities at each stage and the entrance and exit criteria.
- This includes standardizing the interview agenda, interview questions, evaluation criteria, and scorecard to compare candidates.
- Furthermore, train your sales managers on the process, tools, and interviewing skills, such as asking good questions, active listening, and filtering responses to uncover the candidate’s motivation, whether or not they fit, and their qualifications for the job.
Predictive Simulations, such as the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (S2P2) allow you to put all candidates in the same customer-facing scenario and leverage AI to measure their selling capabilities objectively and consistently.
Screening and interviewing candidates is time-consuming and can be a source of frustration for hiring managers when presented with candidates that clearly don’t measure up.
This is where simulations like S2P2 can help. It enables you to quickly screen in the top candidates while screening out the bottom candidates who simply won’t make the grade. This saves your hiring managers time and helps you gain a first-mover advantage with the best candidates.
Once you’ve got the consistency piece down, it’s important to focus on quality every step of the way. This can be achieved by providing deeper, more objective insight into the candidate.
- Their resume or LinkedIn profile is useful, but not necessarily objective. Both are created by the candidate to position themselves in the best possible light.
- Instead, consider Predictive Simulations. These provide you the equivalent of a “CarFax” for salespeople by evaluating their selling abilities across 13 factors that have been proven to predict success. This enables hiring managers to focus limited interview time on the factors that will have the most impact on the candidate’s job performance.
- Leverage simulations (virtual ride-alongs). Sales interviews have traditionally included role-playing, but these are usually predictable such as “sell me this pen.” It would be great to do a ride-along with candidates to assess their skills and style. Simulations, such as the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (aka: S2P2), enable you to see the candidate in action selling to a virtual avatar customer.
What are you doing to improve your sales hiring process?
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and hoping for a different result. If you are satisfied with the average over 1 in 3 success rate for new sales hires, then continue doing what you are doing. But if you want to improve your odds, then consider using a predictive simulation to improve quality, consistency, and efficiency throughout the process.
For B2B sales organizations needing to minimize the risk of bad hires and move fast to land the best applicants, the Sciolytix Sales Performance Predictor (S2P2) is a next-generation talent assessment that quickly and accurately predicts quota attainment while delivering an engaging, differentiated experience for candidates.
Traditional hiring assessments are usually better than gut instinct, but like any tests, candidates hate taking them. Furthermore, traditional assessments only predict potential and not performance. S2P2 puts candidates into realistic selling situations with 3D avatar simulations, scores their interactions with virtual prospects, and through AI, predicts their expected quota attainment.
S2P2 gives your managers insight to avoid bad hiring decisions, improves hiring objectivity and consistency, and shows candidates you are a forward-thinking company that takes their development seriously.
Bottom line, we are revolutionizing the way organizations hire, onboard, develop talent, and create a fair hiring process for all. Predictive simulations are the latest enhancement we’re adding to that arsenal of products.