Sales as a function is the lifeline to any business, without which they will suffocate and die. While a lot of sales are happening online or minimal interaction with a salesperson over phone or F2F, but there are still many sales that need us to interact with a customer, challenge them, build relationships, and win trust. Hiring wrong sales people can mean success or failure for any territory or business.
Still many recruiters and sales managers trust their instinct or guts when making sales hiring decisions.
As per a study by CSO Insights, only around 58% of the sales people hit quota and about 1/3rd of new hires quit within the first 6 months raising very important questions on the overall efficacy of trusting the guts for sales hiring decisions.
Many leading sales organizations depend on an objective, evidence-based hiring to minimize the biases and reduce instinct-based hiring decisions. Most evidence-based approaches include steps like identifying and defining the behavioral skills and competencies that define exceptional performance and implementing a standardized process to evaluate and develop these competencies. Sales potential assessments are talent assessment tools that help organizations to assess the competencies suitable for the sales role in a fair and validated measure.
While there are multiple models to support the same, one of the most accepted models is the Herb Greenberg model of Sales Leadership. Assessments based on this model offer crisp, objective and validated measures of must have sales competencies. This is a model that measures the behavioural competencies in a sales process and cognitive skills and is suitable for B2B sales or channel sales environment.
The competencies assessed based on the model are
Reflects the degree to which a person cares for others' feelings and relate effectively to them. High scorers are empathetic, compassionate, and understanding. Low scorers tend to be less concerned about others' feelings and emotions.
2. Negotiation & Persuasion
Assesses the inner need to persuade others and seek personal satisfaction. High scorers tend to be good at negotiation and persuasion. Low scorers take time to gain trust and convince others.
Evaluates the attitude of perseverance and conviction directed towards the achievement of goals despite pressure, rejections or adversity. High scorers are resilient and optimistic with a high level of self-acceptance. Low scorers struggle to bounce back from rejection and have difficulty in coping with challenges.
4. Service Motivation
Reflects the attitude to value and deliver high quality, professional, responsive and innovative service to the customer. High scorers are good at meeting customer expectations and deliver quality service. Low scorers do not bother about customer satisfaction.
Evaluates the ability to proactively spearhead and coordinate the execution of responsibilities in order to achieve desired outcome(s). High scorers are likely to communicate effectively and voice their opinion. Low scorers struggle in standing up for their viewpoint.
Reflects on the ability to take calculated risks and manage in an environment of uncertainty. High scorers are likely to exhibit high risk tolerance and identify the right opportunities. Low scorers are risk aversive and avoid uncertain situations.
7. Communication Skill
Assesses the ability to convey information and ideas and engage the audience appropriately. High scorers communicate clearly and respond appropriately to the audience. Low scorers struggle to engage the audience and adjust one's message to communicate appropriately.
8. Achievement Orientation
Evaluates the ability to generate business results by recognizing opportunities and acting efficiently. High scorers are focused and determined. Low scorers often loose interest and are not able to maintain their focus towards the goals.
9. Market Intelligence
Reflects on the understanding and awareness of the market trends and its dynamics and its impact on the business. High scorers are aware of market trends and their impact on the business. Low scorers are not interested in developing an understanding of market trends.
Evaluates the ability to build and maintain effective and trusting relationships with those who can help in achieving work related goals. High scorers are good at building partnership and networks to achieve their goals. Low scorers struggle to build trust and network with others.
In summary, with the focus on continuous growth and ever-changing buyer landscape, there is no space for any risk with any sales position. The stakes are very high for HR and sales leaders. Sales Potential Assessments have emerged as an ideal partner to HR and Sales leaders to identify, nurture and grow the sales talent.