Nothing happens without sales. No customers, no money. Have you suffered from bad hires, or not been able to attract top talent? Many sales managers can improve sales by using a more robust hiring process.
It all starts with hiring for the right personality traits.
HBR has done extensive research on this subject. They found that only 37 percent of salespeople are effective. When you test the important traits in a salesperson, there are a few surprises. One of the most surprising differences is that top salespeople are somewhat reserved. As it turns out, successful salespeople are not pushy or egotistical. 91 percent of top salespeople had medium to high scores of modesty and humility. (“Seven Personality Traits of Top Salespeople”)
Some other key attributes of top talent:
- Conscientiousness allows the salesperson to take command of the sales process.
- Goal orientation instinctively drives salespeople to meet with key decision-makers.
- Inquisitiveness leads to an active presence during sales calls.
- The ability to manage emotional disappointment.
- Action-oriented, unafraid to contact important people and explore new prospects.
DISC versus The PI Behavioral Assessment
There are two main personality tests used by sales teams. We prefer using the PI Behavioral Assessment over DiSC. The PI Behavioral Assessment is EEOC compliant. And the PI talent optimization platform also offers a Learning Styles (cognitive) assessment. There are various tools the sales manager can use to improve team results.
In contrast, the DiSC is not validated for hiring and can create legal issues for your company. It is a standalone tool, unlike the Predictive Index talent optimization platform.
Use a proven four-step process to hire the right candidates
#1. Define and communicate job requirements. Each member of the hiring team must understand the intricacies of the job. They’ll be hard-pressed to match the right candidate to the open role. This process helps define job requirements. It allows stakeholders to identify the traits candidates need to succeed. When you take the extra time and effort to do this legwork, you will hire much better candidates. And when someone is naturally wired to excel in their job, they feel more engaged and more productive.
#2. Equip your organization to land top talent. Leadership must be invested in the hiring process. This means driving the hiring process from screening candidates to leading interview teams. Hiring managers must also learn the language of people data. These managers will become more knowledgeable on how to leverage behavioral strengths. This eliminates putting the wrong people in sales roles.
#3. Determine your candidate’s cultural fit. One of the key things to evaluate when considering whether to add a new person to your organization is the impact on your company culture. World-class companies have designed the culture they need to execute their business strategy. This is why you need to determine if an incoming candidate will fit your company culture. You can’t go with your gut feeling. There must be a purposeful and explicit evaluation of the candidate’s fit to the organizational culture.
#4. Predict new team dynamics. It’s important to understand how a new hire may impact the dynamics of the group. If you hire a candidate without first using people data to evaluate team fit, it can lead to big problems. You don't want to create team conflict or teams that underperform. Instead, you want to strengthen the team dynamic every time you hire a new salesperson. Your high-performers will leave an unbalanced team. Top-performers don't want to work alongside lower performers.
Take your first step.
Hiring is a critical activity in any organization regardless of its size, industry, or state of maturity. The ability to hire well sets the stage for future organizational success. Putting the right person in the right role helps your management gain confidence in your leadership ability. Remember, top performers, prefer to work with other top performers. By contrast, a bad hire can have devastating consequences on the entire organization.