Marcus was considered a great salesperson. He was outgoing, would speak to anyone, and looked the part. In fact, Marcus had been successful with other firms in the past. Unfortunately, now he was struggling at the new firm to such a degree that he was a complete failure and was on track to lose his job at the end of the year.
The sales manager did everything he believed he should have. He employed a detailed process of vetting resumes, held multi-person interviews, and had ten finalists complete a behavioral assessment to see which had the “secret sauce” of a salesperson (i.e., outgoing and results oriented), which in DISC terms would be an ID.
The problem is, Marcus was not his only hiring failure in 2016: there were already several sales people who had been let go, and the team stood at about 60 percent of target, leading the sales manager to worry that he might be facing the same future as Marcus was.
This sales manager needed a lifeline. He quickly needed to implement a plan to save this year and save his job and, in the process, possibly his marriage, as his family had moved with him to Houston in 2014 for this job, and it was likely his wife was not going to support another move.
TruCore started working with this firm during the summer and started with a top-to-bottom review of its existing sales team, its sales process, compensation systems, and CRM. With the use of the Objective Management Group evaluation tool, we identified several short-term priorities for accelerating growth:
• Sales Selection and Recruiting
• Improve Commitment
• Eliminate Excuse Making
• Sales Process
• Offer Training on Hunting Skills
Once we had completed the review of the sales team, conducted internal training, focused on hunting skills and excuse making, reassigned two salespeople to new roles within the company and improved the firm’s sales process, we focused on its sales selection and recruiting.
The sales manager had strong beliefs that hiring salespeople was an art, just like using a divining rod for finding water, a practice in which about one in ten people fail. After discussing how his art had been working for him to date and asking whether he would be willing to try some proven science, he reluctantly agreed.
We completely reworked the firm’s hiring process by automating the process and adding a true sales assessment at the start of the process. This assessment uses sales science and has a 92 percent predictive validity to identify sales acumen rather than behavioral traits. Read more about the science of sales selection on Dave Kurlan’s award-winning sales blog.
We are about to enter the third quarter, and TruCore has been able to work over the course of the year with Marcus to make a significant improvement in his hunting skills, resulting in a significant increase in his sales numbers. Two new sales people have been hired using the new science-based approach, and their sales for the month of September are tracking at 86 percent of target. There is still work to be done, and we will continue to work with the firm on several areas into 2017.
Finally, there is hope that this sales manager will not only close out the year strong but also will have a great Christmas with his family.
Sales have changed dramatically. Sales managers who depend only on their experience by continuing to use outdated processes and who try to apply their divining skills to hire sales people will face certain death. Organizations that use targeted training based on their sales teams’ needs and apply the sales science to the firms’ selection processes will improve revenues and increase market share. Finally, depending on behavioral-based assessments and not using an assessment built for sales that measures true sales acumen will cause hiring managers to make mistakes when hiring salespeople.
This is one example of how TruCore Business Development works with sales organizations. If you are stuck and are not hitting your sales goals, contact TruCore for a free initial consultation.