My Top 8 Reasons Why Sales Managers Hire the Wrong People

hiring_mistakes_2Sales leaders don’t contact me when they are successful and consistent in their hiring efforts. I get called when they aren’t making their numbers because half of their reps (or often even fewer) are delivering at target.

After years of working with sales leaders and HR, building, installing, and implementing a hiring process this is my top seven list of the reasons why sales leaders and sales managers hire the wrong people:

  1. They are behind their territory coverage plan and are in panic mode. They had to fire a few reps and a few more left voluntarily. They’re down five reps out of a team of what should be 20. The average time to first sale is six months. When I ask about performance of their current reps, they say, “Inconsistent. A few good ones.” The instinct here is to hire fast and furiously, and that’s the problem.
  2. They hire based on gut feel. I love to hate the sales managers who tell me, “I’ve been hiring sales reps for 15 years. I know a good sales rep when I see one. Even the most intuitive sales managers I’ve ever met who hire on gut feel get it wrong more times than less-experienced managers with a solid set of tools.
  3. They fall hard for candidates who sell them hard during the interview. Salespeople who go from job to job take what… 10 to 20 interviews before someone hires them? With a job every two years, after ten years, that’s 50 to 100 interviews. That’s a lot of practice.

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