I am a really keen sports fan and I am constantly seeing what we can learn from the world of sports and how that can be transferred into the world of creating sales excellence.
One thing that has become increasingly important in professional sports is the use of data and analytics to measure performance. Professional sports teams use lots of different data to help them understand how much better the individuals in their teams can get. I am a huge fan of rugby, and in rugby the types of stats that are measured can include, number of tackles made, offloads made, line breaks, metres made, metres run during the match. After a match, coaches will analyse the performance of a team using observations and data from the match. Data from each match will be collated with the data from previous matches to identify trends and areas for improvement both for individuals and the team.
Over the past 20 years, success has become much more about the science rather than just an individual having the skills.
So if sports teams are using data and metrics to analyse their performance and help them understand what steps they need to improve, why is it that so many businesses don’t?
So let’s look at why businesses should be use assessment tools.
The first one is in relation to understanding what support and development needs to be given to your sales team. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to training, developing and coaching your sales teams. Yet this is the approach that many businesses take when they decide to invest in sales training. This approach makes it more difficult to truly transform performance.
When wanting to improve performance, then it is important to understand the hidden weaknesses which salespeople and sales managers have. These are often referred to as the mindset issues. After all, success in sales (according to the research from Objective Management Group (OMG) is 80 per cent down to mindset, rather than skillset.
If you are looking to truly develop your sales teams, wouldn’t you like to know the true underlying reasons why your salespeople are stuck, what is getting in the way of them selling value and prospecting consistently. Would a tailored development plan for each individual help support your desire to smash through those stretching targets. In an elite sports team, the coach will have available all the relevant data, which is provided by a team of specialists, on each player. So why wouldn’t you want access to this in your business.
The second reason why assessments are important in the sales function is for the recruitment of new salespeople or sales managers. Many businesses are still leaving the recruitment of salespeople to chance and in some circumstances to “gut feeling”. Can you imagine a world class sports team hiring a new team member without having undertaken a full evaluation of whether the new recruit will be capable of performing in their environment. Yet this is what businesses do.
In the current marketplace, businesses are finding it harder and harder to attract talent and some businesses are also finding it difficult to fill vacant sales roles. In these circumstances, it would be easy to fill the vacant roles with anyone.
Hiring salespeople is so time consuming, challenging and at times frustrating. It’s frustrating because we have to invest time sifting our way through CVs, spend time talking to recruiters about the candidates they are putting forward, interviewing and everything else that goes with the hiring process.
This is where the challenge is. If you are using recruiters to source candidates, have you ever had a recruiter send you a CV and say “I wouldn’t recommend you interview this candidate for the sales role you are hiring for?”
So you have your CVs and you decide to interview 3 candidates whose experience and backgrounds look like a perfect fit for your business. The day of the interviews arrives and all 3 candidates perform brilliantly at interview and you feel that they could even sell ice to Eskimos! You are about to hire the next “Messi” of the sales world!
But remember the following quotes when hiring salespeople.
“Salespeople do their best selling in the interviews.”
“All that glistens is not gold”
“The shiny new car still has to be polished every day.”
Hiring salespeople is a significant investment into a business, yet so many businesses don’t perform significant due diligence on the candidates they are interviewing and subsequently making job offers to.
Just because someone has been a superstar at your competitor doesn’t mean that they will perform in your environment.
If you are investing in an IT system you would probably go through a serious amount of due diligence when selecting a new provider, so how about doing the same when hiring into the sales function?
Using the tools of Sales Assessment Tools of Objective Management Group at the front of the hiring process, you can gain an amazing insight into the mindset of the salesperson and understand where their development needs are.
Wouldn’t you like to know if the candidate you are going to hire will perform in your environment and has the mindset to do so?
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- How motivated is the candidate?
- How comfortable is the candidate in a sales environment?
- What should you ask the candidate during the interview?
- Will the candidate generate new business?
- Will the candidate close effectively?
Download this SAMPLE Sales Candidate Assessment to see how these (and many more) vital recruitment insights can be obtained and form an integral part of your recruitment process.