Hiring for Sales Skills

Nov 26, 2019

Hiring Sales Skills

Sales positions have earned a reputation for having high turnover. In fact, it’s become common to accept the unending expenses of recruiting, selecting, and training the revolving door known as the sales team as a cost of doing business. Turnover isn’t the real problem though—it’s simply a symptom of the problem. Solve the problem and the symptoms go away. So, what is the underlying cause? It’s the hiring and selection process. Get that part wrong and you will constantly be dealing with high turnover and high expenses to recruit and train.

Solving the Turnover Problem

To solve the turnover problem, you must adjust the hiring process. It’s important to know how to hire for sales skills and to have an easily repeatable and objective process for measuring sales skills in candidates.

Hiring assessments can shed light on key core competencies found in productive and competent salespeople—the type of individuals you should be hiring to begin with. Research has indicated that 80 percent of the essential competencies required for success in the workplace can be determined through emotional intelligence, which is far greater than intelligence quotient (IQ) or personality traits.

What is emotional intelligence? It encompasses an umbrella of qualities such as emotional empathy, attention to and discrimination of one's emotions, accurate recognition of one's own and others' moods, mood management, appropriate emotional and behavioral response to various life situations, and a balance of honest expression of emotions against courtesy, consideration, and respect (i.e., possession of good social and communication skills).

Emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is an individual's ability to recognize and regulate emotions in themselves and others. In practical application, it is one's ability to understand how our emotions and the emotions of others impact action and performance. EQ has no greater application than in a sales position.

Measure EQ When Hiring for Sales

Research indicates that individuals with strong EQ competencies make better salespeople. Different sales roles require most of the same competencies, but five core values are consistent among all sales roles.

  • Intuition and Empathy: Awareness of the prospect's feelings, needs, and concerns.
  • Results Orientation and Decisiveness: Adeptness at inducing desirable responses from the customer or prospect (i.e., sending clear communication and using effective techniques for persuasion to obtain desired results).
  • Self View: Courage and self-esteem to overcome obstacles and recover and restart from rejection, as well as the ability to flourish in a social arena.
  • Self-Awareness: Knowledge of one's internal states, preferences, resources, strengths, and limitations.
  • Self-Expectations: Emotional tendencies that guide or facilitate reaching goals and having a sense of personal commitment to responsibilities (i.e., achievement-driven and taking initiative).

The key to lowering sales turnover is to hire sales talent that possess the five core EQ competencies listed above. The easiest way to do this is to use a hiring assessment that measures emotional intelligence. This tool will give you objective data about candidates’ EQ, allowing you to make smarter hiring decisions.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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