The worst mistake any sales or marketing team can have is obvious—don’t have a realistic, viable working strategy to begin with.
But the second-worst mistake was brought up today on a great blog article from The New Sales Economy about 9 Reasons Why 50% of Sales Reps Aren’t Hitting Quota.
The first item on their list? Hiring based on “gut” rather than repeatable success.
Ken Krogue mentions in his 15 Time Wasters of Inside Sales and Marketing that bad hiring practices is the #2 reason why sales and outbound marketing teams fail to get the results they want.
We all know it, and have known it for a long time that sales takes the right type of employee, someone who is willing to be agile and adaptive, intelligent enough yet wise enough to work with customers on their terms.
And I’ll share one of our own sales rep hiring secrets:
They show a willingness to be competitive.
It may not work for every company, but when we hire new sales reps, we have found that a background in competitive sports and athletics often translates into success. The traits that work well on the court and in the gym translates into working well with prospects.
These individuals know that success requires consistent effort and a process to get there. They fundamentally “get” that team effort and team mindsets are critical, but that team success also requires individual dedication and practice.
They typically possess the needed adaptivity, because like on the field of play, conditions and strategies can change dramatically from moment to moment.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, and good sales people can come from all backgrounds, but from our experience this has been consistent trait that our best sales reps possess.
Giving reps and managers good processes, software, and marketing tools helps too, of course. But other than having a solid overall marketing strategy, good hiring practices saves more time, and generates more results than any other single element of sales and marketing, and getting competitive people in the door has helped us have success.
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