Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your sales operation more effective.

Hiring Salespeople Who Can Sell

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Andrew Dugdale of about a research study he had completed recently. The study assessed salespeople’s competency across five groups of selling skills that most of us would consider to be table stakes: 1) customer contact, 2) customer engagement, 3) negotiation and closing, 4) information and activity management, and 5) business acumen.

Because the sales skills being assessed were so fundamental, I have to admit that I expected the results to be a lot better than they were.

For example, 64% of the salespeople in the study did not have the skills to effectively understand their customer’s needs. And a whopping 73% were apparently oblivious to competitors and competitive offerings!

Now correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the ability to understand customer needs is as fundamental to a salesperson as the ability to see is to a cab driver. And, am I wrong in thinking that awareness of the competitive set is as a fundamental to a salesperson as awareness of the menu is to a waiter?

Seriously…how can you even get a job as a salesperson if you don’t possess these basic selling skills?

Of course, we all know the answer. The unfortunate reality is that most salespeople are still being hired based largely on intuition, gut-feel, and first impressions.

We check the candidate’s resume to see if they’ve worked in a similar industry. We check their online profile to see if they have some customer recommendations. Next, we run them through a series of interviews with other team members to see if they’re likeable and quick on their feet.

And a year from now…after dozens of opportunities have come and gone…their performance in the field will tell us about their selling skills.

That’s an extremely expensive way to evaluate selling skills, isn’t it? And it’s a completely unnecessary risk in today’s internet-enabled world.

In a SellingBrew Playbook guide entitled, “Assessing Core Sales Skills in the Hiring Process,” you’ll not only see the complete results of Andrew’s study, you’ll also learn about how the internet has now made it possible for anyone to use objective criteria when hiring B2B salespeople—so we don’t have to wait a year to see if someone actually has the core skills they need to hit their numbers!

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The SellingBrew Playbook

Related Resources

  • Negotiating Profitable Deals

    Everything comes to a head when your sales team negotiates a deal. You want to win, but you don't want to leave money on the table. So, how do you help your sales team to become better negotiators, so they win the deals they should, at the right price?

    View This Webinar
  • Beyond Reporting with Sales & Pipeline Analysis

    To actually improve overall sales performance in a big way, reporting alone simply WILL NOT get you there. This recorded training session shows you how to make the transition from reporting to true sales and pipeline analysis that can drive improved sales performance at-scale.

    View This Webinar
  • Seven Building Blocks of Sales Effectiveness

    In sales, it can be challenging to know where to focus your attention and resources. This guide provides a framework of the seven areas where improvements have the most impact on close rates, cycle times, deal sizes, and margins.

    View This Guide
  • Crucial Sales Operations Concepts

    What sets a great Sales Ops team apart often comes down the core concepts and principles they embrace. In this on-demand webinar, you'll learn about 15 fundamental concepts that every Sales Ops leader and practitioner needs to understand inside and out.

    View This Webinar