August 14, 2014

iStock_000027997950SmallWhen developing their sales hiring programs, many companies add a mock sales presentation to help gauge their candidates’ ability to sell. These presentations are a great opportunity to find out whether the candidate knows how to engage the prospect, handle objections and sell effectively. However, we need to be careful about the conclusions we draw from the candidate’s performance.

When we see a candidate knock the presentation out of the park, it can be tempting to try to hire him/her on the spot. Clearly, this candidate can sell. Yet, there is one critical question we need to answer . . . will the candidate sell after we have hired and invested in him?

During the interview process, candidates put their best foot forward, working to impress us and get the job. They can study hard and prepare for the presentation as a one-time-only event. We need to determine whether they will consistently engage with prospects and clients with the same degree of diligence and enthusiasm.

This is where sales assessment testing and behavioral interviewing become critical to the sales hiring mix. We need to use both of these tools to first determine the candidate’s innate level of Drive. Then, we can evaluate their presentation skills. A high-Drive candidate who also aces the presentation is certainly a high-potential hire. However, even if the high-Drive candidate lacks experience and does not present as well, that level of Drive will compel him to work as hard as necessary to perfect his performance to world class levels over time.

In either case, the presentation has added helpful diagnostic information to the sales hiring and onboarding process.

Dr. Christopher Croner and Richard Abraham are authors of Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again and developers of the proprietary and patented sales assessment test, The DriveTest™, for sales candidates. To experience the difference of the DriveTest, contact us today!