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Our client works in a unique niche that requires its field representatives to expose a violation of federal law and then help the business come into compliance. If the business decides not to play along, litigation follows. How's that for unique?
Before conducting any search, we do a thorough examination of the role and break it into 33 behavioral characteristics, prioritized by the importance of that characteristic.
For years, our client had hired representatives who scored high in Relationship Effectiveness(great presentation styles, articulate with features/benefits, sociable, warm and ingratiating, rapport builder), yet these people failed time and time again.
Most sales positions require a high degree of Relationship Effectiveness. Individuals who score high in Relationship Effectiveness place a very high priority on personal relationships with their customers. They aim to rely on these relationships to give them leverage on the sales process.
When we completed our evaluation and pointed out why relationship building was NOT a key criteria, our client saw the light and re-examined their hiring process.
Instead of hiring sales people from traditional industries, we looked at individuals from law enforcement (think police officer working a neighborhood much like a sales person working a "territory" whose goal was compliance with law rather than creating harmony with each of the neighbors).
These individuals scored high in steering processes towards closure (much like a good sales person) and scored extremely high in conflict management (engaging issues of discontent rather than avoiding them), which many sales people avoid for fear of screwing up a sale. However, a great presentation and relationship building skills were near the bottom of what they look for now.
We then implemented a training process where individuals weak in traditional selling skills(territory management, reading personality types, etc.) were upgraded during their on-boarding process.
This single shift in our client's hiring process created a new hiring paradigm and ultimately helped our client achieve its ultimate goal - higher compliance amongst its customer base.
Bob Pudlock is President of Adgrego, Ltd., an executive recruiting firm that helps companies of all sizes Identify, Assess, and Capture top sales & sales management talent. Contact him at 866.330.0036 or email email@example.com
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