Case History - How Not to Hire Salespeople

A company wants to hire 5000 salespeople - but why? 2000 drop out before completing training, and another 2000 drop out during the first 90 days in the field. Another 500 drop out during the first 6 months, and at the end of the year they only have 500 of the original 5000 standing. What would it be worth to them from a cost, time, resources and practicality standpoint for us to simply identify, in advance, the final 500, before anyone is hired?

Can we do that? Yes.

Are they likely to do that? No.

Why? Because that's the way it's always been done in their industry. The Status Quo prevents improved outcomes and nobody wants to make a change that might not work. Well what about the way they're doing it now? Does anybody really believe that it works the way it is? They do!

Let's take a closer look at why their turnover - at 90% the first year - is so high? Let's look at how they select salespeople since that's one of the things that we could change.

They use a behavioral styles assessment. They're OK, but (obviously!!) not predictive of sales success.

This particular assessment is marketed as a sales assessment but it's the same old story. Behavioral Styles assessment that uses some sales terminology and marketing but under the hood it's a behavioral styles assessment. Here are some examples:

The Assessment reports "Prospecting Ability" but they can't actually measure that. They can only measure how extroverted, social and persistent the individual is - in a social context! It has nothing to do with prospecting ability!

The Assessment reports "Closing Style/Ability" but they can't actually measure that. They can only measure assertiveness and sensitivity to rejection - in a social context! It has nothing to do with closing ability!

The Assessment report "Commitment to Sales" but they can't actually measure that. They can only measure self-esteem and how favorable the individual is to a sales profession. It has nothing to do with Commitment to Sales!

And on and on and on it goes...

What would you do?


Dave Kurlan is a best-selling author, top-rated speaker and thought leader on sales development.  He is the founder and CEO of Objective Management Group, Inc., the industry leader in sales assessments and sales force evaluations, and the CEO of David Kurlan & Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in sales force development. Dave has been a top rated speaker at Inc. Magazine's Conference on Growing the Company, the Sales & Marketing Management Conference and the Gazelles...

Go Deeper | Website

Have a question for Dave?

* Required information
Email Address:
(never displayed)

Your question or comment:
Human? Enter the word shark backwards.
Enter answer:
Tell me when Dave responds to me.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.
New Graphic
Subscriber Counter