October 2, 2014

Is It Smart to Hire High-Drive Salespeople?

managing-high-drive-salespeopleThe hiring process is difficult as is, so there is no need to make it more challenging and stressful by falling for hiring myths and allowing preconceived notions to rule your decision making process.

When it comes to people with high levels of Drive, do you have apprehensions about hiring them because you think they will be difficult to manage?

It’s time to uncover the truth and learn who these high-Drive salespeople really are.


The Truth About High-Drive Salespeople

Some hiring managers have said they want to be sure not to hire sales reps who are overly aggressive or obnoxious, and they wonder if a high sales test score on Drive is an indicator of these traits.

The short answer is no. Drive is a clinical trait that relates to a person’s innate ambition to grow and achieve, and has nothing to do with being overly aggressive or obnoxious.

In fact, people who are high in Drive actually have a variety of personality traits. Some are quiet and reserved, while others are outgoing – and yes, some can be aggressive. However, aggressiveness and Drive are not the same. Aggressiveness can be derived from Drive, but Drive is not marked by aggression.

In terms of management, high-Drive people are not any more difficult to manage than average or low-Drive people. In many ways, they are easier to manage:

  • High-Drive salespeople are self-motivated and self-starters.
  • They often require less direct management
  • They are known to start and finish tasks on their own – with little intervention.

As a result of these characteristics, management is able to have more time to focus on tasks that are truly important, instead of constantly checking in on their sales team.


What Is Drive and Why Do Your Sales Reps Need It?

Drive is composed of three distinct, non-teachable personality traits:

1. Need for Achievement

Need for achievement is defined by an “intense desire to attain excellence and accomplish challenging goals.” In other words, it is the desire to become great at what one does so that tangible rewards can be garnered.

2. Competitiveness

Competitiveness refers to “the unquenchable thirst to outperform one’s peers and win the customer over to his point of view.” It is essentially the desire to achieve results that are better than everyone else’s. Each potential customer or client is seen as a competition that will be won or lost.

3. Optimism

Optimism is “the certainty and resiliency that cannot be denied.” It is what keeps sales reps confident that the next sales will be in their favor and keeps them coming back to work each morning, regardless of whether yesterday was good or bad.

When you focus on understanding what fuels Drive, you can begin to see that it is a very important trait for your sales representatives to possess. It is anything but the negative characteristic that many hiring managers make it out to be. With these three key traits in mind, you can learn how to best manage employees who are high in Drive.


How Do You Manage High-Drive Employees?

The most important task is to make sure high-Drive salespeople clearly understand the company’s mission, because they can become frustrated if their extra efforts are not valued and/or recognized. You should set specific goals and checkpoints for your high-Drive employees and offer rewards when they are accomplished.

It is difficult for someone high in Drive to be in a low-Drive environment and/or surrounded by low-Drive people. They may not leave right away, but they will likely satisfy their need for achievement outside the workplace by finding hobbies and interests.

Essentially, this means the company is missing out on an opportunity to harness passion and hard work.


It’s Not All About the Money

While money is certainly a major motivator, high-Drive people are generally looking for more. As mentioned earlier, they want their efforts to be valued and appreciated. Instead of using raises as the primary method for motivation, learn to use other techniques. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your high-Drive salespeople:

  • Bring on the praise. Praise is easy to give and can yield high returns. High-Drive salespeople want to be thanked and appreciated – especially in front of others.
  • Grant responsibility. 490823763-022High-Drive sales reps love titles and responsibilities. Consider adding additional duties to their job responsibilities to keep them engaged and motivated.
  • Give awards. Make a habit of giving awards and recognition during weekly meetings or at the end of the year. 487156273-003Better yet, run ongoing contests to track performance. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to provide tangible awards that high-Drive sales employees can appreciate.


How Can You Identify Drive in Sales Candidates?

At SalesDrive, we believe that high-Drive individuals make the most successful salespeople. Forgo your preconceived notions about hiring sales reps that are high in Drive and the myth that they are difficult to manage.

By implementing a proven online sales test, such as The DriveTest™, in your hiring practices, you will be able to identify early on whether or not a candidate has what it takes to become a successful salesperson within your company.

As a busy sales manager, it is important that you spend your time and effort identifying and interviewing potential hires whose sales test results specifically exhibit need for achievement, competitiveness and optimism.


You will quickly realize that hiring high-Drive salespeople is not the mistake; it is failing to bring them on board that is hindering your success.


For more information on our sales aptitude test and the other high-quality products and services we offer, contact us today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.