Hiring sales talent can be a lot like a high-stakes game of poker. Your candidates show up for their interview with their best poker face on.  You evaluate the information you have available to you — their relevant experience, education, and personality traits — and make a bet on the most promising candidate. Sometimes, your bet pays off, and you’ve hired another strong salesperson. But just as often, when the time comes for a new hire to reveal their hand, you realize that you’ve been played. Now your company has to take the loss.

If this is something that’s happened to you, here are some of things you should consider implementing to take the gamble out of your company’s hiring process.


Know When To Seek Help:

The prevailing statistics show that interviews are only 14-30% effective at predicting a positive outcome. Most hiring managers struggle to accurately assess candidates using traditional interview methods. Which is why it is important to be proactive about finding the help your company needs with the work of talent management.

Consider hiring a sales recruitment expert to help elevate and accelerate your hiring process. Leading sales talent recruiters — including industry leaders like Sales Talent Agency — have helped thousands of companies secure top-quality sales talent. Rather than wasting your company’s valuable time and resources on the old “post and pray” model of recruitment, take advantage of a reliable recruitment agency’s years of experience, superior reach of candidates and sophisticated screening techniques. A great recruiter will put their arsenal of resources towards finding you the ideal candidate for the position, in the shortest time possible.


Don’t Overestimate Your Intuition:

Most of us have inherent biases when it comes to evaluating others. Unfortunately, few of us are aware of our own biases. Research shows that most sales industry leaders tend to fall prey to an overconfidence bias when it comes to gauging their own aptitude for predicting successful outcomes. So much for the old wisdom of “following your gut.”

Of course, intuition should still play a part in your evaluation of a candidate and following your “gut feeling” is not inherently wrong. But make sure you provide the right degree of analytical evaluation to your candidate assessment practices to serve as a counterbalance to purely intuitive hiring. Creating a structured and standardized interview process can decrease the need for subjective decisions making and correct for inevitable personal bias.


Don’t Double Down On Your Losses:

If you’ve already hired the wrong person, the only way forward is to correct your mistake. Yes, this means doing the inevitable.

A recent survey indicated that one of the things top-performing sales organizations have in common is the relative decisiveness with which they let underachieving new hires go. According to the survey, nearly twenty percent of high-performing sales companies will terminate underperforming sales people within the first quarter, compared to just 2% of average-performing organizations.  If no amount of feedback or motivation is having the desired effect on a new hire, it’s best to address the problem sooner rather than later.

Building the most effective strategies for finding and keeping top talent is crucial to a sales organization’s success. Next time you evaluate the efficacy of your company’s talent management process, consider implementing the strategies mentioned in this article.