I am slowly coming to the realization that many (most?) sales hiring managers are drawn to hiring experience like a moth is drawn to light.  I am seeing it play out again at one of our assessment customers.  The allure is to hire a salesperson with industry experience before properly assessing their sales skills.

Here are some of the common statements I hear from these hiring managers:

-They will pick up on our sale quickly

-They know the competition

-They know the nuances of our market

-They know the competition

-They will step in and start selling

All of these beliefs stem from the hope that the hiring manager will not have to spend an overly large amount of time training the new salesperson.  Wind them up and turn them loose in the field – the perfect hire for a busy manager.

If only it worked that way.

Experience can be a valuable asset to a new hire, I want to be clear about that.  But rarely, if ever, does experience trump skill.  The point is that skill will outperform experience over time…by a significant amount.  Unfortunately, in this present economy, with managers asked to do more with less, many hiring managers reduce sales hiring to what they consider the quickest, easiest hire.

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