There was an anonymous post on bizjournals.com on 8/24 about steps to take to find your next superstar sales rep.
It’s too bad it wasn’t a signed or bylined post, because it was really pretty good.
I’m going to comment on it, because we’ve done a ton of work for our Solutions Forum clients in the last couple of years looking for and profiling sales reps, and we’ve been successful at it. And Don Gray, our sales training wizard, is going to comment on my comments.
I can’t recall that any one of our candidates that profiled well on the client’s success chart has bombed out and not been productive. Pretty good record, better than a local sales trainer who supposedly does recruiting and profiling for a living.
But, we have a couple of secrets that we’ll share:
1. Find the people continues to be a problem. We have four open hiring requisitions from clients for outside sales reps, and we’ve advertised them on Jobng.com, University of Phoenix’ national web site and Maricopa County Community Colleges web site. Of these, jobing.com did the best…about 25% of the respondents were qualified for one or more of the positions.
2. The problem is that most of the positions have a relatively low starting salary (most are at $USD 2,000 per month), and heavily skewed towards commissions. Most of the job market doesn’t appear to like this idea, but they should get used to it.
3. For a properly productive rep, they could earn from $70-200,000 per year, but there’s training to be done, and metrics to follow. We’re harcore on both. Job seekers apparently aren’t.
4. We do a success profile on candidates who survive the initial interview, based on the qualities that the client thinks successful reps have had, or should have. And we rank each of the qualities from one (worst) to five (best). Highest rankers get invited back for a third round interview, and we don’t even offer the job to any but the best. This means we still have a lot of unfilled positions, but our clients avoid wasting money on people that ‘don’t work out’. No ‘gut feeling’ is allowed on evaluating; just hasn’t worked out.
5. The people hired all have success metrics to meet from the day they’re hired. Again, we don’t tolerate a lot of slippage in meeting these metrics, either.
6. Perceived ‘fit’ with clients is one of the qualities. The dogs have to like the messenger.
So, if you want to look over the bizjournal article, the link is: http://www.bizjournals.com/birmingham/print-edition/2012/8/24/a-five-step-process-for-finding-your-next-superstar