Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Why Performance-Based Recruiting Produces Top Sales Performers

Many recruiting ads and job descriptions include "knockout factors" that can actually screen out qualified sales candidates. One example is a requirement that candidates have an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree, or a degree in a specialized field of study such as Engineering. Another example is a requirement that candidates have a minimum number of years of sales experience.

When my customers' recruiting ads and job descriptions include these types of knockout factors, I like to have a little fun with them. I say something like: "(Name), imagine that I have two candidates for your sales job opening. One of them has both the college degree and the five years of sales experience that are listed as minimum requirements in your recruiting ad. The other candidate doesn't have a college degree, and she only has two years of sales experience. But, she has relationships with dozens of C-level executives that are good prospects for your company's products and services. She could easily book fifteen appointments during her first week on the job. Which candidate would you prefer?" As you might expect, my customers always choose the candidate with the relationships. That is when I have to deliver the bad news: "(Name), unfortunately you will never see this candidate, because she is being screened out by your knockout factors!" If you want to improve the overall quality of your sales candidate pool, shift your focus away from education and experience and toward performance-based measures. How will you measure your new salespeople's performance during their first thirty, sixty, ninety, and 180 days? What activities will you expect them to perform? What results will you expect these activities to produce, and in what time frame?

Here is an outline for a recruiting process that focuses on performance-based factors:

  • Write a Performance-Based Recruiting Ad: As you construct your ad, consider the following questions:
    • What kinds of companies or organizations are good prospects for your company's products and services? Your ad should state a preference for job candidates that have existing relationships with these kinds of companies and organizations.
    • Who are the most productive people (job titles) for your salespeople to call on? Your ad should state a preference for candidates that have existing relationships with people that have these titles, and/or a proven ability to prospect successfully to people at similar levels.
    • What specific sales production (such as pipeline dollar volume, sales dollar volume, etc.) do you expect your new salespeople to produce during their first 90 days? Make this expectation crystal clear in your recruiting ad!

  • Scrutinize Resumes for Accomplishments: Smart salespeople know that results sell. When these salespeople prospect, they talk to potential prospects about the results their companies have produced for customers. When they write resumes, they write about the results they have produced and their other accomplishments (awards, recognition, etc.).
  • Conduct Telephone Screening Calls: For candidates that have interesting resumes, schedule a 20-30 minute telephone screening call. This will give you an opportunity to ask performance-based questions related to two critical performance factors: the candidate's relationships and their prospecting activities. Here are sample screening call questions:
    • Who do you know that might be a prospect for our company's products and services?
    • What relationships do you have that could be leveraged for appointments during your first few weeks on the job?
    • What activities do you typically include in your prospecting plan?
    • What percentage of your time do you spend on each activity?
    • What results have these activities produced for you in the past?
    • How long did it take before you started making quota consistently in your current job?

  • Assess Qualified Candidates: For candidates that pass the telephone screen, gather objective information about their talents via specialized sales assessment tests. The most effective sales assessment tests go beyond personality and behavioral traits and examine attributes such as Learning Rate and Reasoning Ability.
  • Conduct In-Person Interviews: Now you are prepared to conduct thorough, performance-based interviews. Why? Look at the information you have collected! For each candidate that you are going to interview, you should have in your hands:
    • A resume that lists key accomplishments
    • Performance-based information collected during a telephone screening call
    • Objective information about talents critical to sales success

    If you ask performance-based questions and clearly outline your expectations for new hire sales performance, you will attract fewer poor candidates, as some will de-select themselves. You will also attract more strong candidates, as they will no longer be screened out by invalid "knockout factors". The end result will be a steady improvement in the overall quality of your sales organization.

    Copyright 2005 -- Alan Rigg

    Sales performance expert Alan Rigg is the author of How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Selling: Why Most Salespeople Don't Perform and What to Do About It. To learn more about his book and sign up for more FREE sales and sales management tips, visit

    In The News:

    'Six dead' after shooting in town in Germany
    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 13:13:00 +0000
    Six people are said to have died after a shooting in a town in Germany, according to reports.

    Coronavirus outbreak: Hospital to be built in five days as death toll rises
    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:22:00 +0000
    China is building a new 1,000-bed hospital in five days to treat victims of the new deadly coronavirus.

    Prince Charles: 'Dearest wish is freedom for Palestinians'
    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 10:46:00 +0000
    Prince Charles has said it is his "dearest wish" that Palestinians see "freedom, justice and equality" in the future.

    Palestinians clash with Israeli police after 'peace plan' leak
    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 07:37:00 +0000
    Israeli security forces have clashed with Palestinian worshippers as they arrived at Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque.

    US crew killed in air tanker crash while battling fires named
    Fri, 24 Jan 2020 06:20:00 +0000
    Three US firefighters who died when their air tanker plane crashed in a "fireball" while battling bushfires in southeastern Australia have been named.

    Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
    Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

    Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

    Snuff Out the Competition Without Leaving a Mark!

    Does the competition drive you crazy? Are they relentless about... Read More

    How Many Salespeople Should I Hire?

    One of the most asked questions I get is how... Read More

    Business Career, Executive Coaching Article - Perfection vs. Excellence

    "(Howard) Hughes never learned how to convert his knowledge to... Read More

    All Small Businesses Need to Gather Community Intel

    How well do you know your community? As business owners... Read More

    Run a Productive Business From Your Car-Office

    The way we do business has changed dramatically over the... Read More

    Discounting Your Way Into Sales Oblivion

    I don't even like saying the word d---------g. I have... Read More

    Retail Operations - Effective Branch Manager Support and Guidance

    Performance and behaviour management is by far the most difficult... Read More

    Increase Retail Sales With Meetups

    I recently attended the monthly Italian language Meetup here in... Read More

    How to Write a Business Plan Sales Section for a Mobile Service

    We all agree one of the most important parts of... Read More

    How You Can Raise Your Business Earnings By 50% With An Age-Old Magic Truth

    Imagine increasing your business earnings by 30, 40, or 50%.... Read More

    7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

    One marketing technique may work wonders for someone, but that... Read More

    3 Steps To Getting A Sales Meeting

    The best way to get a new customer is to... Read More

    Increase Your Sales Accept Credit Cards, Part 2

    In part two we will discuss overcoming objections, which credit... Read More

    Is Sales Process & CRM Stopping Sales?

    Standard metrics and KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) are created usually... Read More

    Raise Your Fees Overnight!

    Do you want to make more money?Yes, I guess that... Read More

    Sales Competence Isn?t About Quota Performance!

    Compounding the problem are two myths regarding measures of competency... Read More

    How to Develop a Proactive, New-Business Sales Team!

    I don't know about your business but in my experience... Read More

    The Nine Warning Signs that You Need a Sales Video

    Corporate videos are an important sales tool that can often... Read More

    How To Become A Better Sales Manager

    YIPPEE! Kendra won, or should I say, "She was hired,"... Read More

    The Effective Executive

    What does it mean to be an "effective executive"? Well... Read More

    When Its DUH? Time at Trade Show - 3 Little Words Save the Day

    TIME, MONEY, HASSLE - You can make a sale on... Read More

    Accepting Responsibility for Your Sales Success

    That we live in a time of relentless and pervasive... Read More

    What Is A Proposal? And Why Do You Need One?

    Do you know anyone who regularly wins bids? Or can... Read More

    Disclosure Laws Favor International Terrorists

    The Federal Trade Commission has rule that are supposedly in... Read More

    The Top 5 Issues Facing VPs of Sales

    A recent study of 2,663 sales organizations by Think Training,... Read More