What’s the Cost of Hiring a Sales Person?
Here are some of the cost you are going to incur, one way or another, when you start the recruitment process for a sales person.
Salary and all the attachments, pension, car, commission, training, cost of recruitment (internal or external).
The good news is that these costs are all fairly static, can be budgeted for and will definitely be recouped within a finite period if the new recruit is performing at the required standard, after all, no-one in your sale team should be a cost for long.
Now, those costs are going to wary ENORMOUSLY depending on whether you have recruited a great sales person or a not so great sales person.
Recruiting a not so great sales person means that when you do your costings for the sales person you will have additional costs that you need to factor in for the following:
- Cost of lost opportunities
- Cost of longer sales cycles
- Cost of depressed conversion rate
- Cost of poor price negotiations
- Extra sales and marketing costs incurred because the competitor is growing and becoming more of a thorn in your side – you need to fight harder and fighter stronger against their growth
- Cost of losing market share
- Cost of lowering prices to keep current customers who have heard your business is in trouble and that you are discounting
- Cost of extra training
- Cost of extra management support
- Cost of extra sales support from the appointment setters and lead generators
- Cost of performance management – training and meetings
- Cost of the impact on staff morale
- Cost of HR becoming involved
- Cost of the notice period
- Cost of the settlement
- Cost of a tribunal
- Cost of their replacement
Can you estimate what these costs could be for you and your business?
If you can, then you know these costs are scary.
For example – for a mid level sales person – 35k, plus bonus – 55k ote, the unquantifiable costs that you see above will span in to 100’s of 1000’s of pounds, YES – SIX FIGURES.
That’s the starting costs for getting the wrong sales person as a result of your sales recruitment efforts.
The cost of getting sales recruitment wrong is horrendous for lots of reason but most of all it’s gut wrenching because the figure that you have no control over is a PURE COST – it comes straight off your bottom line – so PURE COST = PURE PROFIT.
Can Sales Based Psychometric Test Predict the Future Success of a Sales Person?
And I would caution you against listening to anyone who tells you that a psychometric test or any type of personality test can predict the future success of a sales person – because no such test can.
No more than your driving test can predict whether you will be a good driver or not.
Quite simply – a Sales Based Psychometric Test is an Indicator of likely skill sets. Nothing more.
Don’t be fooled by the word test – it’s not a pass or fail.
So Why Use a Sales Based Psychometric Test?
A Sales Based Psychometric test is part of your interviewing tool kit.
Just as you may use telephone screening, face to face interviews, group exercises, role plays, panel interviews, presentations, shadow days and any other number of creative devices for establishing suitability and match, then a sales based psychometric test fits into the same tool kit.
It provides part of the puzzle that may make sense of other things, I’ll explain much more about this later.
Plus, it’s added peace of mind for you.
I know that when you see the depth and detail provided by the results of a sales based psychometric test that you will fully understand how to use it to firstly, to identify good candidates from good interviewees (yes, we’ve all met the professional interviewees, they’re great aren’t they?) and secondly, to satisfy your own professional position by uncovering anything that the candidate may have been trying to mask, or that may have been missed as part of the recruitment process.
It just gives you that added insight that can protect you from those SIX FIGURE hits on the bottom line.
How to Get the Best From a Sales Based Psychometric Test
This will very much depend on the level of role you are recruiting for since the process for recruiting a Sales Director will be different from that to take on a Lead Generator.
Here are just two suggestions, I think you get most value from sales based psychometric tests by using them to:
1. Signpost where you should start digging for more information with the candidate.
The results from the test will give you an insight into areas that you will definitely want to explore further.
Insight into areas of their personality that may negatively impact on their ability to deliver to an acceptable level within their sales role.
Think about it as an early warning signal for how they may perform in situ, just that you get the chance to challenge and understand this before contracts are exchanged. Wouldn’t that save you sleepless night?
For example, if you see the test results saying that the subject is ‘very goal focussed, often at the cost to social relationships’, then you may consider constructing questions around this.
For example, you might ask: So Mr Smith, can you give me an insight to how you would react in a situation where you were facing an important target, with a finite time to deliver, where you and your team needed to respond to an important business target. Perhaps you have some examples of how you have coped with this sort of situation in the past, do you have some examples you could talk us through…
Of course, this open and very broad, deliberately broad, question will feed other questions depending on the subjects response.
Note here that we are not especially interested in the example – we are looking for behavioural leaks – how the subject will perform in situations of high stress where co-operation with others is required.
You appreciate this is an abstract example – but you can see how such a statement in the test feedback will give you some insight into where you should start your questioning.
Also, in line with the above, be prepared to ask this question in a variety of ways, perhaps about how he would ensure the whole team were on-board to deliver to the deadline, or this might be reworded to ask him how he would deal with elements of the team who he felt were not supportive of the teams goals…
I do genuinely believe that all the information we need as sales recruiters, to select the best person for the sales job, is presented to us when we take the applicant through the interview process, if only we knew what types of questions to ask, where to focus, what to challenge and how to interpret the information that comes back.
The Sales Based Psychometric Test will give you many of the previously elusive answers that you’re seeking.
Don’t just use the test results to challenge the negatives, use it to prove the positives too!
It should be a balanced interview – even though you know exactly what you are looking for!
2. Give a Copy to the Candidate
I like this idea – I give a copy to the candidate and give them 20 minutes or so to digest it alone so they can collect their thoughts.
I do this because I think I get a more honest response to the follow-up questions I use.
After the candidate has had a chance to digest what the test results are then I might ask: How good a representation is that of you?
Now what typically happens is they like the positive bits (go figure!!) yet try to challenge or justify the not so positive bits… which of course you might expect. All I want at this stage is an honest conversation – if the candidate says, yes, I didn’t like reading that bit about myself, but I agree it’s fairly true of what others might say about me…now someone with that degree of self-awareness and honesty, I can probably work with, and so can my clients.
Anyone who persists in resisting the test results and insists that the insights may not be valid – well, they may be correct, however, I am still getting a great sales insight into HOW they articulate their position.
If it’s an eloquent and persuasive presentation of their thoughts, they may still win me over (with caution), however, downright truculence and argumentative stances…well you know where that one will end up….and that’s the beauty of the test results that come back, they always give another layer of information that has previously been hidden behind a curtain…that information is no longer elusive.
There are two things in sales recruitment that I’ve learned to be true over many, many years
The first one is – You can work with anyone – you just need to know who you’re working with
The second one is – Recruit on Skills – Fire on Attitude
So for me, Sales Based Psychometric testing addresses both of these truths.
If I can have an honest, grounded, and reality based conversation with someone then I know what I’ve got, I know the raw product, the basic building blocks of the person.
How they deal with the test results tells me a lot about them as an individual.
Now – don’t get me wrong, a sales based psychometric test will not give you all the answers, BUT it will give you some of the answers and it will give you insights and signpost as to where to get the remainder of the information you need.
When To Use Your Sales Based Psychometric Test
Your call really, you can use it at the beginning of the recruitment process if you have a vast number of applications or you can use it right at the end when you are down to your short list.
Some of the factors you should always consider, that will impact on where, when and how you use such a test are:
1. What are you trying to achieve by using the test? Is it an initial screen of next stage vs reject or is it to fine tune the final interview, or a part of the recruitment process that sits between the two? What information are you trying to extract and how will you use it?
2. How much value will you place on the findings? Are there certain things, traits, comments or insights, that when you seen them in the candidates test feedback, that you will automatically reject? And why?
3. If several people are interpreting the test results – how will you standardise their interpretation? Do you have a benchmark?
When Not To Use The Test Results
1. As a final decider between two candidates – that’s irresponsible and a severe abdication of your role as recruiter
2. Too early in the recruitment process – I said above that you could use the test to filter a high volume of applicants before you start the short listing process – and you can – it’s perfectly legitimate. I just don’t like it, and I don’t think it serves you or the applicants very well at all.
It takes minutes to scan CV’s and they will tell you as much as a sales based psychometric will – but used in combination, well that’s where the real potency is.
3. Don’t use the test before you have decided what skills you are looking for – a Key Account Manager psychometric test results will look and feel very different to the test results of a new business development hunter – don’t confuse the outputs based on not being clear with your recruitment team regarding what you are looking for.
4. This is a personal choice, but the results shouldn’t be used as something to silently berate the candidate with – if you are asking them to do the test, then be prepared for them to ask for feedback.
Also state the caveat that these are simple results and can be interpreted many different ways.
How My Clients Have Used Sales Based Psychometric Test in the Past.
This client – a national insurance group was in danger of running out of local sales staff. Their rejection level on first interview was astoundingly high yet they were still getting their recruitment process wrong over 50% of the time.
So, they put their best 20 Sales Performers through the test and analysed the results coming back in order to create a ‘Perfect Sales Profile’ for their business.
Eschewing all previous screening and tick box methods of recruitment they had, we constructed a recruitment process whereby they used our sales based psychometric testing at the front end of the recruitment process so that they only carried forward the applications of those applicants whose profiles most closely mirrored the profiles of their top sales performers.
It worked not only in terms of front end success rates, but also in terms of performance metrics, longevity and on-boarding performance.
So, to summarise, Sales Based Psychometric Testing – It’s an insight, a set of specific signposts just for sales people, it will not answer every question you have but as part of your tool kit to further enhance your sales recruitment process then it’s invaluable.
It will provide you with total peace of mind so that you know you are not simply recruiting on likeability or gut instinct, so you can justify your decision and hopefully, most importantly, stay away from any major hits on the bottom line.
After all, that’s the cost if you get it wrong!!
0779 002 1885
For more information, to request a call back or to get your own sales based psychometric test please complete the contact form below