What We Do
Over the years of our work in sales coaching, training and assessing sales people, we have been asked again and again about benchmarking for the right person. The common belief is to use your BEST salesperson and recreate their characteristics. WHAT??? That is a concept that is not only nearly impossible to do, it is also flawed since there are things that cannot be gauged by talking to another person, even a successful one.
Here are the steps we use;
The first step in understanding how to hire the person that best fits YOUR organization is based on criteria that matter to only you. The ability to create a base that each candidate is measured by is the first step in hiring properly.
The ability to hire that correct match for your organization is based on creating the Benchmark that best fits your sales organization then “match” that candidate with the criteria you have created. This can and should be done for different sales of positions.
The Short Phone Interview.
Having a phone interview will give you a good feel for how they interact. The reason this is done only after the bench-matching is we often hear something we like and minimize the importance of the actual match to your organization.
There are 2 ways to conduct the phone interview;
Having a specific roleplay with the candidate that you will prepare for them ahead of time by giving them a bit of background to see how they handle a sales situation. You are looking for the observation of information based on any ‘homework’ they may have done, the ability to ask questions and not just ‘pitch’ and finally and most importantly the confidence that comes across in the conversation.
Using a very specific list of questions that create a similar initial phone conversation that they will encounter in your organization when it comes to the first call they will make to a prospect. You will be given a list of questions and a framework in which to ask them. You are looking for an ability to handle quick, often negative reaction coming to them from a prospect and how they handle the prospect while not being ‘agreeable’ as most will not be. You are looking for confidence and a quick recovery of a sometimes-uncomfortable conversation.
The Sales Assessment.
Understanding their actual skills and more importantly their beliefs when it comes to selling is what the sales assessment addresses. Not only will this assessment give you information on how they sell but more importantly will they sell and what will hold them back. You will also be given a list of appropriate questions based on their results to ask if necessary to help make your decision.
The in-person interview.
The last interview of course is the in-person meeting. At this point you are looking for things like; eye-contact, physical stance and any other body-language that will help you make your final decision. It is also recommended to have a few people, at least 2, in the organization interview.
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