Hire Sales Performers Using Your Selling Environment as a Guide (Requires 35 seconds to read)

Ever had someone on your team that loved closing the small deals but seemed lost on the larger deals or someone who wouldn’t follow your scripts and liked to freestyle all of their sales? While it seems obvious that these people were miscast on your team, what to do about that is often a topic of debate amongst sales leaders. For some leaders, the right approach is to get decent reps on board and then try and sculpt them into the rep they want while others like to hire and fire quickly.

To get access to the broadest number of people who are likely to succeed, we suggest that organizations look at their selling environment and hire people who have proven in the past that they can sell in a similar environment. The selling environment is made up of several characteristics (in our projects we look at over 30 characteristics) which can be grouped into the following categories:

Company – what does the company offer, what is the nature of the market and competition, and what is the company culture?
Sales Function – what is the typical deal size and sales cycle, service/product mix, and level of infrastructure and support?
Sales Role – what is the title and mandate of the role, sales goals, territory, and quota size?

Drawing on people who have succeeded in a similar selling environment will allow you to expand the talent pool when hiring without making it feel like you are shooting in the dark.


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  • http://Www.salesbenchmarkindex.com Greg Alexander

    I agree with this idea. However, I would add that there are four lens upon which a sales environment needs to be looked at. The sales environment needs to be considered through the eyes of corporate, the field, the customers, and the competition.

    Do you field this is practical?

    • Eliot Burdett

      Good points. These are critical aspects or our analysis as well!

  • http://www.SalesforceAssessments.com Brian Jeffrey

    When you consider that about 25% of people who earn their living from sales should be selling something else then you appreciate the importance of being in the correct selling environment.

    A bad match is the first step to sales failure.

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