The labor market is as tight as it has been in decades leading some to say we are at full employment. This labor scarcity is driving companies to look for sales talent in other departments.
Have you ever thought someone would be good at selling? Do they seem to have potential? The key here is follow your intuition, but you need to know if it is correct. This is where we can help with our sales assessment tools.
What we are looking for in the assessments are intrinsic abilities that lead to sales success. These abilities do not revolve around the gift to gab. The ability to listen effectively, ask direct questions and handle rejection are the first indicators of a predisposed ability to sell.
Let’s focus in on 3 of the more important abilities to assess in people with a potential for sales success:
Seems like a no-brainer but you would be surprised at how many people overvalue talking ability. Don’t get me wrong, talking is important. However, we have all experienced a wordy salesperson who doesn’t let you get a word in edgewise. More important is an active listening ability. This ability stems from listening with the intent to understand. This drive to understand sparks good questions. Good questions are the backbone of all qualifying. Remember – the person asking the questions is controlling the conversation.
This one is trickier to quantify, but we can measure it. The key here is self-confidence without coming across as cocky. Salespeople in today’s world have to have the ability to control a room. Imagine 4-6 people sitting on the prospect’s side of the table…the salesperson has to be able to be on the point for that call. The pressure in this situation is not common to most people. If you are looking for a salesperson from a different background, you have to assume they do not have experience selling to a committee. Measure their aptitudes and know if they can thrive in a pressure situation.
Sales is a unique profession for which most people cannot succeed. It is a small percentage of the population that can handle the rigors of a difficult sales position. You need to measure the candidate’s sense of self. Do they believe in themselves? Can they handle the massive amount of rejection that comes with all sales roles? Are they too hard on themselves to remain persistent in prospecting? All of these characteristics are measured by our assessments. Strong self-esteem will help alleviate the difficulty in handling the large amount of rejection that faces most sales roles.
Clearly there are other factors to consider before moving a non-salesperson into a sales role. However, you need to know if your intuition is correct and the best way to do that is to focus on the three aforementioned attributes first. Our sales assessment will provide granularity to their potential sales abilities. You will know if they have the potential and what training areas will be needed to launch them into this new role.
In this economy, looking in new areas for sales talent will provide you with access to an untapped pool of potential candidates.