The Lasting Effects of a Bad Sales Rep
Whether it was due to a shortage of time, resources, attention to detail or simply a gut instinct gone wrong, bad hires happen to every sales manager.
You already know that hiring a bad salesperson can be quite costly financially, but have you considered how else that sales rep may be affecting your company?
At the end of the day, a sales team is only as good as its people, so if you have the wrong people on your team, you may be fighting a seemingly impossible battle to meet your team’s potential.
Effects of Bad Hires
So how much does a bad hire really impact your company? The effects can range from inconvenient to irreversible. Consider the following consequences of hiring a bad salesperson:
Bad hires may simply be incompetent, or they can be troublemakers. Both can leave managers and colleagues irritable and unable to perform their daily tasks because of the change in team dynamics.
This hindrance can lead to missed business opportunities, poor judgment and difficulty focusing.
- Lost time
A bad hire leaves a manager with the tasks of firing the individual, reassigning responsibilities (that often leaves the whole team strained) and starting the hiring process all over again. That time should have been used to identify new opportunities and make progress in the delicate sales cycle.
Sales today are rarely as simple as hounding consumers until they are willing to buy.
Sales representatives must nurture their targets until they are ready to make the purchasing decision. That takes time, which is utterly lost when a sales representative leaves or is removed from his or her accounts.
Prospects and clients must get reassigned and have to start building a relationship with their new representative, wasting valuable time for both parties.
- Financial loss
Without even considering the cost of missed opportunities, a bad salesperson can be expensive. The outlay of recruiting, advertising, training, interviewing and paying wages could amount to the price of a new car ($25,000) or even a new house ($250,000).
It will take longer to recoup that investment than it took to lose it, making the loss even more of a burden on your company.
Why Do I Have Bad Hires?
Traditional hiring methods rely on recruiters to pick standout resumes and initiate conversations with candidates.
It is easy for sales applicants to promote themselves in the initial stages of an interview process. After all, individuals shooting for a sales position are often charming, well-spoken and know how to please.
Unfortunately, the hiccup usually occurs when recruiters and hiring managers mistake those feel-good experiences for talent.
Too often, personable candidates simply do not have what it takes to be successful in sales in the long-run. Instead, they start out strong and then peter out because they are not Driven, are too impacted by rejection or cannot compete with other sales representatives.
No sales manager is exempt from wanting to make snap judgments based on our gut instincts and previous experiences. This, in turn, highlights the need for an unbiased form of measurement.
An online sales assessment can objectively measure your candidates to filter out the ones that are least likely to succeed within your company and can reverse the bad-hire churn permanently.
Avoiding a Bad Hire
The good news is the cycle of hiring unqualified or unmatched individuals can be broken. All you need is a comprehensive recruiting strategy.
Sales jobs are some of the most visible openings on the market. Monster, Indeed and other job sites are filled with entry level and advanced job descriptions in a sales environment. While the industry, methodology and company cultures all differ, the candidates who succeed in sales have one thing in common: Drive.
If you are looking to improve your sales team, you need a proven method of identifying candidates who have an aptitude for sales.
So what does a great sales candidate look like?
The results may surprise you.
It is not always the most charismatic or most experienced candidate in the pool.
Rather, successful sales representatives are those who exhibit Drive. They all exhibit Need for Achievement, the desire to do well regardless of the situation; Competitiveness, to win the customer over to their point of view; and Optimism, even in the face of rejection. These three inherent traits are most indicative of the most successful sales representatives.
Before you start your next round of recruiting, be sure you have the right tools in place to get the highest potential salespeople on your team.
By applying a psychologically proven forced-choice sales assessment, such as The DriveTest™, you can and will improve your team.
The DriveTest™ measures the three innate traits of Drive, identifying which candidates are most likely to perform well in the long-term.
If you are fed up by a cycle of poor sales recruits, this extra step in your hiring process will make all the difference.
Imagine knowing a person’s potential before he ever enters the room for an interview. Everything he says during that meeting will confirm or deny what you have read in his resume and in his testing results.
No longer will you have to “trust your gut” to pick the candidate who will succeed long-term.
By using a well-developed sales assessment test as part of your regular hiring process, you will know which candidates are most qualified to move forward in the interview process and most likely to be lasting producers in your company.
Keeping Your Team Motivated
Aside from addressing the immediate problem the bad hire presents, managers must also keep their teams from crumbling after a bad hire has already changed their dynamics.
Here are some tips for encouraging your performers who have been impacted negatively by a bad hiring decision:
- Praise is a form of reward.
Make sure you acknowledge anyone who has put in the extra effort to guarantee the sales team runs smoothly, despite a bad hire’s incompetence.
- Offer an ear.
Simply listening to your team can have a profound psychological impact. Let your team members voice their concerns to you. The information may even help your future decision making while extinguishing irritations.
- Show some flexibility.
When your whole team is strained by a bad hire, give them some wiggle room. Have a team lunch or do something non-work related to diffuse the situation and keep morale high.
The challenges affect everybody, and by encouraging your team to remain supportive, you can minimize a bad hire’s destructive behavior.
Avoid bad hiring mistakes by using every tool you can leverage during the sales hiring process. Let your current team know they are appreciated. Take the time to make sure all future candidates exhibit Drive, and start building a long-term strategy for your team’s future success.