Chris Croner, Principal at SalesDrive and author of the book, Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again: Selecting Candidates Who Are Absolutely Driven to Succeed, and Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner, join me on this episode.
First guest: Chris Croner
- What challenges do sales managers have in the search for effective salespeople? How do you find the right match? What is the central element for success in salespeople?
- In his book — the product of 15 years of research — Chris describes drive as combining three main traits. The first is the ‘need for achievement.’ Chris describes this need.
- Good salespeople are born, then made. Nature and nurture combine into an internal passion for excellence. Money is an important factor but is not the motivator.
- The second characteristic of drive is competitiveness. Good salespeople want to be the best among their peers. They want to win the customer to their point of view.
- Optimism is the third trait of drive. The optimist is certain they will succeed and is resilient when rejected.
- The need for achievement carries the most weight. Competitiveness is next most important; then optimism.
- A predictor of future behavior is previous behavior. Assessments help discover previous behavior. There are many factors to examine in the hiring process. Gather as much data as possible. Use a scorecard to evaluate.
- The interview process should follow an assessment. Part of the process is to test for competency and skills. Is the candidate susceptible to coaching? Candidates are on their best behavior during the interview.
- Chris describes the resume review. He reveals the ‘magic wand’ question he uses to expose guarded truths.
- Some salespeople can be very persuasive during the interview and yet not very effective in the field. Look at their references before meeting them, so you can judge impartially. References are not for validation.
- SalesDrive will soon be offering The Production Builder Report as an online tool for onboarding and developing new hires. The processes for hiring are as effective for small companies as for large. Mitigate the risks.
- Probation is an important stage in hiring. Hold people accountable for the jobs you hire them to do. Make sure the candidate is clear on the terms. Make sure they have a realistic job preview before they are hired.
Second Guest: Bridget Gleason
- How much time do you spend talking with your existing customers? There is so much to be learned from them. Bridget talks to customers a couple of times a week. Customer success and executives often call them as well.
- A sales leader should spend at least an hour a week talking to existing customers. Customers can advise you what you should be doing to get back on track. Make travel a part of the schedule. Be with them in person.
- New topic: How do you manage the conflict between process and simplicity? Technology only helps you when it makes selling simpler. Processes are inward-focused. Customers are not buying your sales process.
- Overwhelm is the single biggest challenge sales reps are facing. Don’t engage more with the process than with service to the customer. If you brag about your process make sure it’s about something of value to the customer.
- Do customers benefit from your process? The customer never buys because of your selling process.
- Accelerate episodes now come once a week to serve listeners more efficiently with multiple guests on an episode.
- Listeners’ suggestions are always welcome!