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When I present at sales effectiveness conferences or on webinars, people often ask me if the competencies for success in sales have changed or evolved over time. My response is no - the core competencies of what it takes to be successful in sales have remained stable for decades.
Ever wonder why some people succeed in sales while others don’t? Perhaps a more perplexing question is why someone who succeeds in sales in one job is a complete failure in another, or vice versa. Is there a way of dramatically increasing your odds that someone is going to succeed in a sales role? We’re going to be providing answers to these questions in an upcoming presentation at Selling Power’s Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco on Monday April 8th from 1:55 to 2:40 p.m.
There is no magic fix all. There’s not even one profile that guarantees success in sales. If it were that simple then we wouldn’t be asking questions about success in sales. Instead, we’re going to be talking about what results from over 600 studies of over 450,000 salespeople tell us about the factors that help determine success in sales. What those results tell us is that there is no one single factor or one single profile that predicts success across all sales positions. The combination of Competencies, Sales Styles and Drivers (i.e. motivators) provides a solid foundation upon which to accurately identify who is likely to be successful and who is not.That’s the basis for the Select SalesPro® assessment.
For some positions, a number of the key sales competencies are likely to be unrelated to success in the job, while for other positions those same competencies emerge as the best predictors. The same is true for Sales Styles and Drivers. It’s important not to assume that because someone is in sales that their primary motives are to make a lot of money, and they have to be extroverted and great at reading people. In some cases, that combination may be a fine match. In others, it might be that successful individuals are more motivated by being recognized for their accomplishments and tend to be adaptable and good at time management.
Developing a lean culture is something that many organizations have on their initiatives list. Processes are put into place to create and maintain a lean culture, but one glaring problem remains - not everyone thrives in a lean work environment. In fact many people do not.
Are you falling out of love with you hiring process lately? After a rough day of interviewing dozens of candidates that have no business in your candidate pool, are you left crying on the couch with a tub of ice cream in hand? No one wants that. When making hiring decisions the stakes are high, the people you bring into the company could be with your organization for years to come – that’s a pretty big commitment. Loving the hiring process and choosing the right hire is possible. Here are a few tips that will leave you swooning over your hiring process once again. 1. Get important people involved.Hiring is a big deal. The people that you’re hiring will be with your organization for, hopefully, many years. People who will be working with a new hire should be part of the process. Do everyone a favor and get those people that will be supervising and working alongside your new candidate(s) involved in the process to figure out what competencies are important. They’ll appreciate being involved, and you’ll have more information about what the right selection model should look like. 2. Team up with the experts.Your people know what’s needed for successful performance on the job. They’re job content experts and bring critical knowledge to the table. Knowing what functional competencies are important is only half the battle, however. Measuring your candidates for those functional competencies takes a scientific expertise that only assessment experts can provide. Assessment experts dedicate themselves to worrying about the most accurate methods of prediction so that you have all of the information that you need to make the best selection decisions possible. 3. Use a consistent process.A lot of times when we talk about consistency in hiring processes, we are coming from a legal defensibility perspective - inconsistent hiring practices are regarded as a major red flag to several agencies that you do not want to alarm (EEOC & the OFCCP topping the list). Consistency, however, should also be regarded as a way to improve the accuracy of your selection decisions. As any statistician knows, the upper limit of validity is reliability. In essence you can never have a valid (and predictive) selection tool or process if decisions are not made consistently across candidates. 4. Train your worries away.No matter how much care and time you put into creating predictive, efficient, and fair hiring tools, there is always that moment of anxiety when human error comes into play. You’ve recruited, you’ve screened, you’ve spent time and energy putting in place best-in-class selection tools … and yet the final decision is in the hands of someone that may just throw all of the selection best-practices that you love right out the window. Save yourself the heartache and get those hiring managers on board with the right way to do things. Sign them up for behavioral based interview training so that they can learn all of the skills they’ll need to add significant value to the selection process.
So toss that old hiring process to the curb and integrate these four tactics into your hiring system.
Think of your favorite movie. Maybe it’s Titanic, or Fight Club. Perhaps it’s a classic like Gone With The Wind, or a modern blockbuster like The Dark Knight Rises. It might even be an obscure title like Un Chien Andalou. I’ll presume you’ve thought of the movie, so I will now attempt to astonish and amaze by revealing the magic of Hollywood. Are you ready? Okay, here it goes: your favorite movie wouldn’t exist without the practice of hiring based on competencies. Did I blow your mind? While we’re at it, pick a card and memorize it:
Sales Scenario 1– The phone rings in the evening when you are trying to eat and relax before another busy day. You answer: “Do you need new windows in your home?” Click. Hang up. Hrrrmph.
Hiring the right people can be compared to choosing your circle of friends. You wouldn't choose a friend who never shows up for lunch plans or doesn't mesh well with others in your group, would you? When making hiring decisions, the stakes are obviously much higher, given the associated costs. Since the stakes are higher, we recommend putting applicants through a customized, consistent hiring process. Here are 5 steps for hiring the right people:
Why are some people successful in sales while others are not? In other words, what makes for a good salesperson? This is a question that sales managers and executives ask themselves regularly. Perhaps a more perplexing question is why someone who is successful selling in one job is a complete failure in another, or vice versa. Is there a way of dramatically increasing your odds that someone is going to succeed in a sales role?
It’s been a few months since my Alma mater, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, finished the successful run for their 8th national men’s basketball championship, and I am still flying high. The Big Blue Nation is still sitting on top with the most all-time wins in the NCAA with 2,090 wins, and the chances to win national championship #9 are already looking good with the nation’s top recruiting class for the fourth year in a row. With Coach John Calipari orchestrating the team and recruitment efforts, he sets his players up for success in his unique system of play.
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