Hiring What You Need To Know

Experience is a tricky component to successful sales hiring in that it is often overvalued.  Don’t get me wrong, it is important, but you never want to overvalue it.  The reason is that you can teach new salespeople about your product or service a lot easier than you can teach them how to sell.  A sports analogy (I know, often overused) – it is far easier to teach a football wide receiver what routes to run in your offense than it is to teach them how to run a 4.3 40 yard dash.  Some will simply never run a 4.3.  This is why talent is far more valuable to successful… Read More

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How GPA’s Matter In Hiring

They don’t.  That is the conclusion from Google based on their own internal research.  Some info from the New York Times article: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless — no correlation at all except for brand-new college grads, where there’s a slight correlation,” Bock said. “Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of school. We found that they don’t predict anything. Mind you, this is research from inside Google – they know… Read More

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10 Commandments Of Successful Sales Selection

1. Always select talent and skills over experience. 2. Do not put the entire burden of the company on this hire. 3. Do not clone yourself. 4. Do not expect to hire perfection. 5. Do not start the process unless you can hire the right candidate today. 6. Do not run the process out of sequence. 7. Do not miss opportunities to see the candidate in action. 8. Do not change the compensation plan during the process. 9. Trust the instruments more than your gut. 10. Do not assume you are the candidates’ only option.

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First Round Cuts

The frequency of layoffs has started to rise as the economy continues it’s slow progression (no, it hasn’t recessed).  Up here in Minnesota we have experienced some large layoffs recently.  But there is an interesting point in all of these layoffs when it comes to salespeople. Many times the underperformers are released first as a method for upgrading the sales force. One of the large corporations up here announced a sizeable layoff that reduced their employee count by 5%.  Yet, the following week they had multiple employment ads on multiple sites looking for different levels of salespeople.  This approach is not surprising as you will see it often during slow… Read More

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3 Sales Hiring Inhibitors

Even bad salespeople can appear to be strong in a face-to-face interview situation.  This reason is why sales recruiting is truly different than any other form of recruiting.  Reviewing resumes and assuming abilities is is a fool’s errand.  Yet, there are certain aspects of general recruiting that can that hinder effective sales recruiting. The Resumes. Yes, resumes.  I have sat through far too many discussions where hiring managers or recruiters attempted to divine incredible insight from a sheet of paper.  Granted, you can probably eliminate the retail salespeople from your B2B Sales manager process.  Sales is still a people-oriented profession so overanalyzing a document is not the most effective technique… Read More

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Now Is The Time

We have been sourcing for a handful of sales positions around the country this past weekend and we are starting to see some potential movement of strong candidates.  What I mean is that there is some contraction about to start among large sales forces.  Some strong salespeople will be pushed out in the contraction which makes for an excellent time to expand or upgrade your sales team. Revenue-generating positions are always a priority no matter what the economy does.  A slowdown generally pushes companies towards cost-saving maneuvers which is good for sales hiring – some good salespeople are going to be squeezed out. One example is a candidate we recently… Read More

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Candidates That Do Not Wow

We’ve been on this topic a bit lately, but it is mission-critical to successful selling.  Asking questions…asking the right questions is tantamount to qualifying prospects.  Most sales managers know this, yet we often see them displaying selective amnesia when it comes to interviewing sales candidates. Case in point:  Lee often observes sales managers who are underwhelmed with a candidate because the candidate didn’t “wow” them.  That’s understandable, but many times the manager isn’t wowed because the candidate is qualifying the opportunity instead of spewing feature/benefits.  It is at this point that Lee has to mention the different questions that the candidate asked in their responses and the information that candidate… Read More

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Always Be Scouting

From Human Resource Executive Online’s Uncertain Economy, Uneven Hiring (emphasis mine): Richard Fanelli, president of Fanelli McClain Design Studios, a commercial interior planning and design firm located in Fairfax, Va., says that his company is not hiring right now, but they’re scouting. “We have to have the workload to support new hires,” he says. “But if I were to find the right person, I might hire them and then market harder to justify the hire.” That is an interesting turn of phrase, isn’t it?  “Scouting” is an excellent verb to use in this context.  This is a practice we preach, but most companies don’t scout consistently.  This lack of consistency… Read More

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The Negative Effect

We’ve been working through a fair amount of initial sourcing activities the past week or so and I’ve come across something that catches my attention.  I’m seeing more and more posted resume/cover letters that state what a candidate is not looking for in their next position. No telemarketing positions. No work-at-home schemes. Not interested in travel. Must have benefit plan or not interested. I understand the desire to be focused in a job search, but I notice a negative effect when I read through these types of statements.  Immediately, I start thinking about what other restrictions may be part of this candidate’s baggage. I suspect there are many companies out… Read More

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That Might Work With The Chicks…

I’m quoting Bill Murray from Scrooged in case that was a bit too vague a reference.  We’re in a good sourcing window right now, a window in which we have success every year (from now until Dec. 17 or so, then it shuts down until after Jan. 1). However, I received an email from a gentleman responding to one of our ads.  His email: sexysalesguy@domain.com Good grief.

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