Are you hiring or scouting salespeople?

If you follow professional sports like NFL football you may have watched DRAFT day.

Prior to draft day talent scouts measure how well players perform during a super test called the NFL Scouting Combine. The Combine is a series of physical as well as psychological tests to see which players meet league standards.

Scouting players is a very scientific and artful process in the NFL. They don’t just hire players, they scout them.

So, what does the NFL Combine have to do with your sales hiring strategy?

Let me ask you something….

Scroll through your inbox and find the last resume that was sent to you for your most recent sales vacancy.

Where did it come from? HR, an employee referral, a job ad? Or, did you scout that person all by yourself?

If you’re like most sales hiring managers you’re probably hiring NOT scouting.

Hiring is fast and transactional. If you’re hiring, you’re getting resumes from applicants in response to a job ad. Hiring, compared to scouting often leads to lower quality employees.

When you’re just hiring you get more refunds. Refunds because hires won’t meet your expectations. And when they leave (for whatever reason) they’ll cost your company plenty.

Just imagine if NFL teams focused on hiring players instead of scouting them? What would that look like? Would you still pay as much to go watch a game? Probably not. This is because neither fans nor teams can stomach mediocrity.

In business, scouting is the art and science of finding and assessing the very best person for the job and making a job offer so compelling they’ll want to leave their current company and come work with you.

Here’s another reason to ‘always be scouting’ …

Scouting raises the bar for your current salespeople to rise to their highest levels.

Question for you:

Is your job offer so good that you could scout stoic sales people with it? If not, then fix it!  Otherwise you’re setting your business up for mediocrity.

And who wants that?

Why you need a salespeople pipeline

In most companies the default method for recruiting people is through emergencies.

Someone quits, a sales territory is left unfilled, clients are neglected.

This is because of how we’re wired. Nobody’s really looking to be proactive with hiring (or firing) unless there’s a compelling reason for it.

For example …

When was the last time you were thinking, “I wonder when my #1 top performing sales person will leave us for a competitor?”

Probably never… until they do.

What about your B players? Let me guess, since most are hitting quota and making money, they have no reason to walk, right?

Or, how about your C players? These folks will never leave, although some definitely should!

But you’re just not sure who’s worth saving…

Do they need training, or is it their attitude?

So, you pontificate and procrastinate about letting them go. Meantime, they stunt your business’s growth.

Sales leaders are for the most part, the same. We’re not thinking about taking preemptive action to prevent our A and B players from getting bored and leaving us, or by just ‘eating that frog’ and removing C players now.

I’m willing to bet the only time most sales VPs even interview a sales rep is when they’ve got a req to be filled. Even knowing full well that several of their reps will be moving to ‘greener pastures’ in 12 months or less.

But the ironic thing is, when you compare recruiting to business development…

Every sales leader is preaching to their sales reps to build ‘pipeline.’

But here’s the thing…

As a sales leader knowing that 20% of your time should be spent scouting your next sales exec, shouldn’t you be building a ‘salespeople pipe’ instead of waiting for an emergency?

When you shift your mindset from being an emergency service and having to rely on outsiders to help you hire the best people….

When you start ‘people prepping’ before you need them so you can find the right sales folks long before you need one…

Then, picking people isn’t like dropping your hiring budget into slot machine any more.

Because then it doesn’t really matter if you have a well known employer brand, because you’re recruiting way upstream from the big boys.

Because you’re the one the stoic sales people already know, like and trust.

What should I look for when interviewing a sales account executive?

When interviewing sales candidates often it’s smarter to get them to show you their results than to let them convince you why they should be hired.

Here’s what I mean…

When you have their resume in front of you, you have their story. It includes what they’ve studied, where they’ve worked, and hopefully a few breadcrumbs highlighting what they’ve accomplished along the way.

Since you’ve likely paid someone a fee in exchange for their resume, why not use their written testimony and your precious time to have a heart to heart conversation instead of a chit chat.

In other words, ask them questions like …

What have they had to sweat to get?

What have they spent weeks, months, or even years to master?

What have they spilled blood for to achieve in life?

Then use their responses to probe deeper into to what drove them NOT to give up when things got really tough.

Go back 5, 10, or 15 years if you have to. And go deep until you get their real responses, not scripted ones.

Because here’s the thing….

80% of selling success is mindset and 20% skills.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re interviewing someone with zero sales experience or 20 years of it, the point is either a sales candidate is stoic or they aren’t…. regardless of their education, regardless of their employer, and regardless of their experience.

I promise you, amazing things will happen for your business when you apply laser focus to hiring candidates who can truly show results before you hire them. You’ll also avoid the dabblers, the unrealistic optimists, and the empty suits.

Here’s the real ROI …

The stoics you do hire are going to introduce you and your company to more people just like them, who are absolutely driven to succeed.

Are You Making The Wrong Sales Hires?

You know how frustrating it is when you realize you’ve made the wrong sales hire?

Well…

New research from Silicon Valley shows that 50% of new hires fail.

But it doesn’t have to be this way…

Did you know the most effective way to hire account executives who are driven to succeed is by attracting candidates with a Stoic mindset?

Yes, Stoicism.

Ancient philosopher’s teachings of self-discipline and resilience transformed ordinary citizens into elite Warriors and Olympians.

Today Stoicism is the mindset of successful CEOs, Navy Seals, athletes, coaches, authors, entrepreneurs, and sales executives.

Check out Jeff Bezos’ stoic transformation…

Stoic Sales Minds pinpoints resourceful, relentless, and resilient account executives for startups so they start growing again.

If you’d like to receive three free profiles of Stoic sales executives interested in your company, then subscribe to learn more at StoicSalesMinds.com.

There’s no fee unless you hire one.