New Trends in Sales Force Selection and Development
For years it was thought that by testing personality, you could determine a salesperson’s level of success. Managers looked for “fire”, “drive”, and “hunger”. When put to the test, this method proved only marginally successful. A variant of this method, “benchmarking”, allowed hiring managers to compare sales candidates to top producers currently in their sales force. Unfortunately, most “benchmarks” didn’t work because;
- the sample size was to small (less than 100) or;
- the benchmark did not compare the scores of top producers to bottom producers to spot critical personality differences or;
- the scales being measured were not statistically validated to predict sales success.
Now there is a tool that has been statistically validated to predict the level of sales success. It is called SALESMAX. It works because you are measuring the three critical areas of sales success:
- Personality – Specific sales traits that have been validated to predict success. Now can managers can see if candidates have the energy, follow through, resilience, etc., the “raw material score” necessary to perform in the top half of their sales force.
- Consultative Selling Skills - prospecting, creating a first impression, qualifying, presenting, overcoming objections, closing, etc. Now sales managers can see what level of selling skills candidates have and where they will need training.
- Sales Motivators – Research has discovered salespeople have seven basic motivators. It is no longer only about “the money”. Knowing which motivators are most important to your sales force helps managers motivate individual salespeople to deliver maximum results.
Click here to see a sample Salesmax Selection report. Take time and review this important new tool. Not only does it include the information above, it also contains the interview questions we recommend managers ask the candidate and his or her references. These questions are specific to the individual candidate.
Salesmax also offers a Developmental Report to jump start new hires or turn around marginal producers. The report is written for the salesperson and is organized into four sections. Click here to see a sample Salesmax Developmental Report:
- Your Profile and Interpretation - shows the salesperson’s Sales Behaviors (personality traits that have been validated to predict success), Sales Knowledge, and Sales Motivations. This section makes salespeople aware of what they are naturally good at and what they are not. It also wakes up marginal producers.
- Development Suggestions Based on Your Sales Personality – This section explains the sales personality traits that are hindering the salesperson’s success. It recommends activities, actions, books, DVDs, and online seminars to improve performance.
- Development Suggestions Based on Sales Knowledge – This section recommends books, DVDs and online seminars based on sales skills that need improvement.
- Developmental Action Plan – This section is a step by step process to help the salesperson create a developmental action plan. We have found that if this plan is completed with a handshake agreement and tied to compensation or the performance review, sales on average have increased 15% - 25% across 12 months.
Why Use Salesmax
As a selection tool, Salesmax has proven to be 40% more effective across all industries than the Personality test approach in hiring top performing consultative salespeople. Salesmax is designed to work in conjunction with your sales force selection process. It meets all EEOC, ADA, and APA guidelines and regulations. As a development tool, sales managers are reporting 15% - 25% productivity gains in marginal sales producers after 12 months. All surveys are completed online and reports are ready within three minutes of survey completion.
Some of the companies that use this assessment include Oracle, Mutual of Omaha, Sunoco, American Federal Bank, DLT Solutions, Penn Power, Kaplan Learning, The Plain Dealer, Generations Federal Credit Union and Lumbermen’s Insurance.