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Selection and Recruitment

Many businesses find sales recruitment one of the most difficult, yet crucially important, aspects of running a business. The potential cost of getting it wrong is huge – it may be six months or more before the underperformance is properly addressed, and it may then take a further six months before the person either leaves the role or makes sufficient improvement to stay. In the meantime:

  • The business has borne the salary and expenses of the underperformer
  • There may have been significant losses in terms of missed new opportunities and revenue which could have been secured by a good performer
  • Customer relationships and future revenue streams may have been damaged
  • Often significant sales management time has been invested in trying to correct the underperformance
  • There may be significant HR and legal costs involved    

Peak performance in a role is a combination of knowledge, skills and talent. Knowledge and skills can be taught; talent is often seen as rare and difficult to find. In fact talents are not restricted to top sportspeople, famous actors etc.; we believe everyone is loaded with talents – a talent is simply any repetitive pattern of thought, behaviour or feeling which can be harnessed to achieve a particular result. A truly talented precision engineer won’t just have the knowledge and skills for the job, they will also have a habit for precision in every aspect of their lives; they will indeed revel in precision and will be unable to do anything which isn’t precise! Similarly, people with a talent for sales exhibit certain patterns of thought, behaviour and feeling, a few of which are, for example:

  • A natural passionate curiosity about what makes people tick
  • A higher level of sensory acuity than the average person - able to notice the real effect their communication is having
  • In the case of ‘hunting’ sales people, they get an endorphin release in the brain when they manage to persuade someone to buy

.. and several other patterns which we look for when assisting our clients with the recruitment of sales people and sales managers.

When we assist you with your sales recruitment:

  1. we help you to decide exactly what knowledge, skills and talents the specific role will require
  2. we work with you to filter applicants at both CV and interview stages.

At Real World, we use a rigorous and structured assessment process including questioning frameworks and role plays designed to identify the required knowledge, skills and talents – many of the talents, or indeed lack of them, are revealed inadvertently by candidates through their language patterns and non verbal behaviour. Real World consultants are highly skilled in drawing these out. This is crucial because consistent underperformance in most cases is a lack of talent issue. If someone has a talent for sales, they will quickly acquire the knowledge and skills to be successful (even if their employer provides little training!); conversely, if they lack the basic talents for sales, they will struggle regardless of what level of training and coaching they are given.

“Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but one who does it for love of it.”

Henry David Thoreau