Ch07 - Recruiting and Selecting Sales Personnel

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Transcript of Ch07 - Recruiting and Selecting Sales Personnel

Part IV


Recruiting and Selecting Sales Personnel

Chapter 7: Outline

Recruitment And Selection Planning

Recruit Candidates

Select Prospects

Validating the Process

What is Turnover?

Consumer Industrial10% 12% 17% 33% 78% 50%

Services66% 19% 15%



More than 16%

Figure 7-1: Sales Force Turnover Rates

Turnover Rates in Selected IndustriesIndustry Turnover Rates 199913.8% 47.0 51.2 18.5 14.1 26.2 8.3 4.3 11.9

Construction Office Equipment Retail Wholesale (Consumer Goods) Electronics Business Services Pharmaceuticals Banking Real Estate

Source: Dartnells 30th Sales Force Compensation Survey (1999), p.187.

First Year Cost of a Salesperson in the U.S.Compensation (trainee average) $35,500 Benefits (approx.21.5% of compensation) Field Expense 16,000 Direct Expense Training Costs 7,100Source: TOTAL COSTS Dartnells 30th Sales Force Compensation Survey (1999).




Company Culture and the Hiring Process

Develop a hiring process related to core culture. What are the core cultures of these companies?

Aligning People to Core Job Responsibilities

The Chally Group, a sales consulting company, found that matching a persons skills set with the skills required by the sales job led to higher performing salespeople and greater job satisfaction.

What skill sets are needed for the following sales positions?

Missionary? Sales Support? New Business?

Aligning People to Core Job Responsibilities


Technical skills, relationship building skills Empathy, relationship building skills Assertiveness, persuasiveness, time management, ability to close

Sales Support:

New Business:

What Purchasing Agents Like About SalespeopleTRAITS Willingness to fight for customer: Thoroughness/follow through: Market knowledge/ willingness to share: Knowledge of product line: Diplomacy in dealing with operating departments: Imaginatio n:0% 25% 50% 75% 100%


Recruiting Sources

Classified Ads

Reaches wide audience (trade publications may narrow the reach) Used if high turnover Tend to over-produce under-qualified candidates Familiar w/ company products & procedures Established job histories Sales as a promotion Over-rely on previous experience

Present Employees

Recruiting Sources


Company executives understand needs, culture and potential fit for sales responsibilities best if company pays Poised & easily trained Lack experience & become bored Good if need w/out much training Legal & ethical issues Common: insurance, stock broker, office equipment, clothing

Employment Agencies

Schools & Colleges

Customers, Suppliers & Competition

Direct recruit to control location or phone number Complete application blanks Conduct screening interviews Check credit and background Complete psychological and achievement tests Secondary interviews Make offer for sales position Physical exam Modify hiring criteria, tests or Interview procedures

Hiring criteria for sales jobs used to guide selection process

Measure subsequent success on the job


Figure 7-3: A Model for Selecting Salespeople

RESUME ANALYSIS1. Account for all dates. 3. Examine the number of jobs and length of time spent on each job. 5. Reasons for leaving job. 7. Is there a pattern of growth?


Does extensive interviewing experience help an interviewer to make better judgments? Does pressure to recruit impair the judgment of experienced interviewers less than inexperienced interviewers? When interviewing multiple recruits, do interviewers tend to use previous applicants as the standard of comparison for subsequent applicants? Will the positive effects of good appearance offset an unfavorably rated personal history for a recruit?


How much of the factual information presented in an interview will the interviewer remember immediately after a short interview if no notes are taken? How will lack of notes and factual recall affect the interviewers rating of the recruits interviewed? How reliably can a group of interviewers rate a recruits qualifications for a job? How reliably can a group of interviewers rate future job performance by a recruit?

COMMON INTERVIEWER MISTAKES1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Failure to establish rapport Lack of plan Insufficient time Not listening Personal bias Questions First impressions

TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONSWhat is interviewer trying to determine? What was the most monotonous job you ever had to do? What are your values and general orientation in life? How creative were you in eliminating boredom?

TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS1. In thinking about people you like, what is it you most like about them?

Reflects what person is and desires to become

2. Up to this point in your life, what do you consider to be your biggest disappointment?

Have you done anything? -- more active = more disappointments

3. How willing are you to relocate? To what extent are you willing to travel?

Motivation in wanting job -- involves travel

TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS5. How do you feel about the way your previous employer treated you?

How you react to supervision & organizational cultures

6. What are your long-term financial objectives and how do you intend to achieve them?

Are you realistic & mature? Will this company enable you to achieve these goals?

7. What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make as a leader?

Were the leadership positions in your resume demanding or ceremonial in nature? What is your leadership style & philosophy?

TYPICAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS8. Why should we hire you?

How badly do you want the job? What do you think of yourself? Do you believe in yourself?

9. Sell me this pen.

Do you really know how to make a sales presentation? Did you mention the main product benefits? Did you ask for the order?

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONSAbout two weeks after starting a new job, doubts creep into your mind. The gap between what you were told and whats actually happening gets wider by the day. When youre on the job for three weeks, you say to yourself, I think I made a mistake. One way to avoid making a costly mistake like this is to ask the right questions when interviewing. What questions would you ask when applying for a field sales position to avoid accepting the wrong job?

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS1. May I look at your resume? 2. Where will I get my leads? 3. May I review your sales literature? 4. When are your slow times? 5. May I go with you on a sales call? 6. May I visit your marketing department?

PREVIOUS EMPLOYER REFERENCE CHECK QUESTIONS Dates of Employment? What was the Job? What type of selling was involved? How did the applicant get along with his/her manager? Customers? Fellow salespeople? How did his/her job performance compare others? Applicants strongest points? Weaknesses we should help him/her overcome? Why did s/he leave your company? Would you rehire the applicant? Why?

Table 7-2

Validity of Predictors for Entry-Level JobsPredictorAbility composite (tests) Job tryout Biographical inventory Reference check Experience Interview Training and experience ratings Academic achievement Education Interest Age

Validity.53 .44 .26 .18 .14 .13 .11 .10 .10 .01


Whats in a Signature?Small letters such as a, e, and o are more than inch in height and farther to the right side of the page. Small signatures, less than 1/8 inch tall with an upright slant and placed towards the left hand of the page These people tend to be enterprising and are usually risk takers, take charge leaders, and pacesetters. They are your typical salesperson. These people tend to be objective observers. They keep cool, dont get excited under pressure, and in general make good listeners and negotiators. They might be better for high-level sales to established clients. These people are your team players. Interaction is their byword and they tend to play strictly by the rules. They take calculated risks, with emphasis on the calculations. Not generally sales types.

Medium-sized signatures (about 1/4 inch).

WHAT MAKES A SUPER SALESPERSON?Personal Computer ManufacturerThreshold Competencies Communication *Information Collection Personal Sensitivity *Relationship-building Technical knowledge Differentiator Competencies Concern for personal impact *Focused achievement Initiative *Organizational awareness Personal time-planning Quick thinking Targeted persuasion *Use of influence strategies

Photographic Equipment ManufacturerThreshold Competencies Decisiveness *Information Collection *Organizational Awareness *Relationship-building Systematic thinking Differentiator Competencies *Focused achievement Interpersonal diagnosis Job commitment Persistence Presentation skills Stress tolerance *Use of influence strategies

* These traits were found in salespeople at both companies.

Table 7-5

Typical Interview Questions

Why should we hire you?

Regardless of the company and type of sales position for which you may interview, there are some interview questions that are typically asked. You may not be asked each of these questions in every interview, but you should be prepared to answer them all. After reading each question, think about what the interviewers purp