Featured Article12 Questions to Get a Jump Start on the Year Ahead
Each December, like many other people, I reflect on the year past and the year ahead. I focus this reflection with 12 questions. I note highlights and lessons learned; how I have evolved; the memorable moments and the various goals I’ve advanced towards – and more. Often, I’m surprised by how much I achieved. As we trudge through our busy lives we are often thinking about all we have not done or achieved. So I invite you to use these questions to take stock and consider your intentions and aspirations for 2013.
The Year Past:
1) What went well?
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“Public Executions” + Pre-Employment Tests = More Productive Salesforce
|Sales Leadership - Recruiting and Selection|
|Written by Michael Mercer|
You want a salesforce of only productive, responsible, dependable sales reps. Right?
Problem = You have some (A) unproductive or underachieving sales reps, (B) irresponsible sales reps, plus (C) sales reps you cannot depend on.
You Have Fantastic Opportunity = Hold "Public Executions" Now
Yes, you read that right. I recommend you hold “public executions” at your company.
I do not mean you “cancel” harm any sales reps physically. Do not hang anyone at dawn.
Instead, de-employ sales reps who are any of the following:
> unproductive or only average in productivity
> trouble-maker – who harms other employees’ productivity
And here is how to de-employ scumbags – oops, I mean lousy sales reps: Hold a “public execution.” By that, I mean make sure every sales rep in your company knows those lousy reps are being tossed out the door because they were (A) unproductive, (B) irresponsible, and (C) undependable.
You could hold a meeting of your salesforce after your de-employ underachievers. Clearly explain your company
A. values and adores reps who are productive, responsible, and dependable
B. will ‘throw out the door’ any rep who is unproductive, irresponsible, and undependable
End the meeting by saying all the survivors are appreciated – but do not give them any employment guarantees. Remaining at your company is based on being productive, responsible, and dependable. If any sales reps fall off the wagon, the management team will throw them off the wagon, that is, de-employ underachievers.
Pre-Employment Tests to the Rescue
Pre-employment tests give you the quickest and most accurate way to hire sales reps likely to perform on-the-job like your company’s high-achievers.
How do pre-employment tests do that?
For sales rep jobs, you readily can custom-tailor behavior, personality and cognitive ability tests so you know benchmark scores of your best reps. Then, you may prefer sales applicants who get pre-employment test scores similar to your outstanding sales reps on behavior and mental ability pre-employment tests.
Also, do interviews, reference checks, and background checks. But, remember these common problems: (a) Research shows most interviewers are horribly bad at predicting job performance based on their interviews, (b) it is hard to obtain useful reference checks, and (c) background checks miss many problems.
Pre-employment tests, in contrast, are research-based and can be custom-tailored to help you hire applicants with qualities similar to your company’s “superstar” sales reps.
Example From a Company President
I recently received a phone call from a company president. He considers hiring the best so important to business growth that he must approve all hires. He refuses to approve hiring anyone who may not be outstandingly productive, responsible, and dependable.
Pre-employment tests, he told me, are the key tool he uses to hire the best.
He explained, “We have huge numbers of applicants for sales jobs. Most have nice work histories – and sound great in interviews.”
“I rely on your pre-employment tests to hire great employees – because the pre-employment tests tell me whether an applicant will be as good as our best sales reps,” he observed.
“The pre-employment tests help us hire wonderful sales reps – just like our most productive reps,” that company president emphasized.
"Public Executions" + Pre-Employment Tests = Winning Salesforce
Productive, responsible, and dependable sales reps help your company grow. So, you may bet your company and your career on a fairly safe formula.
Simply do these steps:
1. Make a list of your underachievers – sales reps you regret having on your payroll.
2. Hold “Public Executions” – de-employ those average and below-average sales reps
3. Tell remaining reps that you de-employ underachievers. You allow no place to hide.
4. Use pre-employment tests – to help you hire the best.
When using pre-employment tests, make sure you use the tests right.
For sales rep jobs, use pre-employment tests to predict – or forecast – both (1) behaviors and (2) mental abilities. Reason: You need reps who have both (1) interpersonal skills, personalities and motivations similar to your most productive sales reps plus (2) enough brains to learn the sales job and correctly solve problems while selling.
Customize both pre-employment tests to help you hire applicants who get test scores the same or similar to your super-productive sales reps.
Pre-employment tests plus “public executions” will help you build a salesforce of reps who help your company grow – humans who are (A) productive, (B) responsible, and (C) dependable.
COPYRIGHT 2009 MICHAEL MERCER, PH.D., www.MercerSystems.com
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