When your company is growing fast, you cannot afford to make bad hiring decisions.
This especially applies when you are hiring salespeople.
By adding just one wrong salesperson to your team, it could end up costing your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue, not to mention lost opportunity to grow the business.
So how can you avoid hiring these costly bad salespeople?
Keep reading to learn the research-backed process for consistently hiring the high-performing salespeople your company needs to exceed growth expectations each year.
How Fast-Growing Companies Hire Stellar Salespeople
1. Know what you are looking for.
The first step in the hiring process is to know exactly what you are looking for in a new salesperson. That way, you can find someone who is a good fit for the job role and your company’s culture.
One way to do this is to analyze your top salesperson to determine the qualities he/she possesses. If you find a candidate who is similar to your top performer, there is a good chance he will also be able to sell at a high level.
Research has shown that you can actually pinpoint what makes these high-performing salespeople so successful: they all possess Drive.
Drive is made up of these 3 non-teachable traits:
- Need for Achievement – An intense need to achieve excellence and meet challenging goals
- Competitiveness – The unquenchable desire to outperform one’s peers and win customers over
- Optimism – Undeniable certainty and resiliency
If a salesperson does not possess these 3 traits, he is incapable of achieving top sales results for your business. That is why you must identify Drive in every candidate you consider hiring.
Culture fit and industry knowledge are important as well. Your ideal candidate is a Driven salesperson who is a great culture fit and possesses industry knowledge.
That being said, do not count out a Driven sales candidate just because he does not have a lot of industry knowledge or work experience. Those things can be taught, but the personality traits that Drive is composed of cannot be taught. And if your sales candidate is not Driven, it will be nearly impossible for him to sustain sales growth over time.
Now, you may be wondering:
How can I accurately determine whether or not a candidate is Driven? That is where Step 2 comes in.
2. Administer The DriveTest®.
Do not rely on gut instinct or your own opinions about a candidate’s personality traits when hiring for Drive. After all, virtually every manager has made a bad hiring decision based on a subjective impression of the candidate.
To make good hiring decisions every time, you need a scientifically proven and objective method for pinpointing Drive, and that method is administering The DriveTest®.
The DriveTest® is an online sales personality assessment that is used prior to interviewing candidates to allow only those that are truly Driven to move forward in the interview process.
What makes The DriveTest® different from other sales personality tests is that it focuses completely on identifying the 3 non-teachable traits that make up Drive.
It also uses a forced-choice question format, which is designed to make the assessment much more difficult to fake than other sales assessments out there.
The questions force the candidate to pick between 3 statements – all of which sound equally positive. For example, here are the choices your candidate will be faced with:
- I consider myself a great leader.
- I have great relationship skills.
- I am very organized.
When the candidate is prompted with these options, he must state which statement is most like him and which statement is least like him. By forcing the candidate to make difficult choices like these, The DriveTest® can give you a sense of his true potential.
This test also measures for consistency in a candidate’s answers, so any candidate who tries to fake his answers will find it virtually impossible to do so. If he does try to fake the assessment and an inconsistent response pattern is noted, you will be notified in his results report.
On the test results, you will also see scores for teachable traits that are also important sales skills, including:
- Relationship skills
One of the best parts about The DriveTest® is it presents information in a color-coded format, avoiding complicated jargon and allowing for instant, easy interpretation. You do not have to waste time trying to decipher complex results – you can quickly gather everything you need to know about a candidate to make a good hiring decision.
3. Bring Driven candidates in for an interview.
Not only does The DriveTest® save you from hiring low-performing salespeople – it allows you to save the time you might have otherwise wasted interviewing those low performers. That makes it perfect for fast-growing companies that need to scale quickly without wasting any time.
Once you have used The DriveTest® to weed out salespeople who are unable to produce top results, it is time for you to bring your Driven candidates in for a behavioral interview with your hiring manager. The importance of this is to make sure he is a good culture fit within the company.
Candidates who show impressive results on The DriveTest® should then move on to The Drive Interview®.
This research-backed behavioral interview was created by an expert industrial psychologist and allows you to determine whether or not a candidate possesses the characteristics and intellectual aptitude to succeed in your sales department.
The Drive Interview® is not a “cookie-cutter” process. It is different from other interview processes because it involves thorough research of a company’s culture and the specific requirements of the sales position being filled.
Here is a brief overview of what happens during the 2-hour interview process:
- First 5-10 minutes: The interviewer makes small talk with the candidate to establish a relaxed environment and build rapport.
- Next 15 minutes: The interviewer and the candidate discuss career history and experience.
- Next 90 minutes: The interviewer asks experience and aptitude questions related to the company’s specific position requirements.
As you can see, this is not a run-of-the-mill interview where a manager asks common questions about the candidate’s work history.
This is an in-depth process designed specifically to help businesses pinpoint and hire only high-performing salespeople who are likely to excel in their job role.
Here is an example of one of the questions the interviewer might ask to determine Drive:
What is the toughest goal you have ever achieved, and how to you plan to top it in the future?
This question allows the interviewer to dig deeper into the candidate’s Need for Achievement personality trait, which is one of the 3 non-teachable traits that make up Drive.
Many of the questions in the interview work this way so that a Driven salesperson can be hired every time.
While it may take a bit of time and effort to complete this interview and testing process, it is worth boosting your company revenue by consistently hiring top salespeople.
Remember, Drive is the #1 indicator of a successful salesperson.
The process outlined in this post has a success rate of over 90 percent, so you can feel confident knowing it will help you avoid the high costs of bad sales hires.
If your company is growing fast and you need to build a sales team immediately, do not settle for unqualified candidates just to fill the position.
Use The DriveTest® and The Drive Interview® to drastically increase your chances of hiring a high-performing salesperson every time.