Salespeople—Here One Day, Gone the Next

Jan 27, 2015

Salespeople—Here One Day, Gone the Next

Last week, ZERORISK HR attended the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Expo 2015 in San Francisco. There, thousands of the nation's new car dealers came to learn, network and shop with the industry's top leaders and retailers. A recurrent question we were asked throughout the expo, "How can we decrease sales turnover at our dealership?"

Sales force turnover is one of the highest across all categories of employee turnover. This fact is especially evident in the auto industry. According to the National Automobile Dealers Association's 2014 Dealership Workforce Study, in 2013, the average dealership had a 66 percent turnover rate among sales consultants, a four percent increase from the previous year and well above the national average for the private sector of 42 percent.

So…how do we combat employee turnover? We reduce the possibility of turnover by making informed hiring decisions through the use of pre-employment assessments.

Take one of our clients, for example. One of the top five auto dealer groups was experiencing a tremendous amount of sales turnover. With over 7,500 employees spread out among 100+ car dealerships across the United States, processes and systems were not always consistent across the board. This was never more present than in the interviewing and selection process of salespeople. Many of the general managers in the dealerships were hiring people onsite without evaluating whether or not the individual had the skill set to actually perform well in the job. Other general managers took a more scientific approach, or so they thought, by evaluating candidates through administering standard personality profiles, such as DiSC, Predictive Index and a host of others. Both approaches, both hiring on the spot and hiring based on the results of personality profiles, yielded less than favorable results. Managers would hire approximately 25 salespeople for a new recruiting class, spend four to six weeks training, and then lose 90 percent of those trained within 90 days.

With the assistance of ZERORISK HR, the client began a process whereby the ZERORISK Hiring System was administered to all of their salespeople. The talent management software allowed for comparisons to be made between each candidate and the thinking patterns and emotional intelligence competencies of top performers. Groups of high, medium and low-level performers were identified based on their sales numbers. The hiring assessment process established "benchmarks" for success which were then utilized to compare future candidates to determine their fit, their areas of needed development and growth, and the most effective ways to communicate with and motivate the individual once hired. In addition to the benchmarks, many interesting findings came out of this study. Key differences were found among people who were successful selling new versus used cars, as well as selling luxury versus non-luxury cars.

The auto dealer's first recruiting class using the ZERORISK Hiring System to assist in the interviewing, pre-employment assessment, and selection process consisted of 13 people; as of one year later, 10 were still in the job and performing at a high level. The second recruiting class consisted of 24 new hires, and as of one year later, 23 were still on the job performing at a high level. After using the sales hiring assessment for just one year, the client increased retention by 67 percent and added $32 million to the bottom line in reduced turnover costs and increased sales.

The key to conquering employee turnover lies in the employee hiring process and pre-hire testing. Identifying the right person for the job makes all the difference in reducing turnover and ultimately increasing the bottom line. If you think your company may benefit from the ZERORISK Hiring System, contact us. ZERORISK HR can be a valued business partner in helping you accomplish your business goals.

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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