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Sales Management: Shaping Future Sales Leaders

Recruiting and Selecting


the Right Salespeople
Chapter 8

8-1
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Learning Objectives
Understand why having a formal selection process
improves the quality of newly hired salespeople
Discuss why its important to analyze the skills a
salesperson needs to succeed and include that
information in a job description
Name the sources from which salespeople can be
recruited both within and outside of the firm
Explain the five steps of the selection process
Explain why its important to have a diverse sales force
List common recruiting mistakes and ways to avoid them
8-2
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Successful Hiring Requires Sales


Managers to Follow a Process
Why?
Every competitive advantage can be duplicated by
competitors except high-performing employees

Process helps
Determine the most appropriate type of individual
needed for the job
Attract sufficient numbers of applicants
Select the best-qualified person for the position

8-3
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

5 Steps of a Comprehensive Recruiting


and Selection Process
1 Determine the number of salespeople needed
2 Identify unique skills, knowledge, and attitudes salesperson needs
3 Attract sufficient number of applicants
4 Conduct interview process that accurately assesses qualifications
5 Offer position to one or more applicants

8-4
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Calculating Turnover Rate


Turnover rate: annual % of salespeople who
leave the firm

Annual Turnover Rate

Number of salespeople that left during the year


Average sales force size during the year
4
25

8-6
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

16%

Why Salespeople Leave


Who is leaving?
How long has the average
rep worked here?
What is the level of
performance?
What reason do reps give
for leaving?

Reasons for Turnover


Controllable Uncontrollable
Retirement

Moving

Promotion

Marriage

Transfer

Death

Termination

Quitting

Territory
changes

Returning
to college
Changing
career

8-7
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Conducting a Job Analysis

What a salesperson currently does


on the job

How the salesperson should ideally


spend his or her time

8-8
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Writing a Job Description


1. The nature of the products and services
2. Customer type(s) and the frequency of calling
3. Specific tasks and responsibilities
4. Relationship(s) between rep and other people in
organization
5. Intellectual and physical demands of the job
6. Environmental factors affecting position, such as
amount of travel
7. Compensation method used
8-9
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Finding and Recruiting Applicants


Suitable number of applicants

Number of
Applicants Needed
Number of
Applicants Needed

Number of Open Positions


% of Applicants Selected X % of Acceptances
2 open positions
.10 selected X .80 acceptances

8-11
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

25

Recruiting Internal Applicants


Pros
Managers already know a great deal about internal
applicants
Work habits, personality, and ability to assume more
responsibility

Cons
Candidates seldom possess sales experience
Managers in firms other areas will have to replace
employees who move to sales

8-12
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Recruiting External Applicants


Referrals

Current reps (or customers) provide names

Advertising

Posting in newspapers, magazines, and/or online


Blind advertisements

Private
Recruiters

Locate and conduct initial applicant screening.

Educational
Institutions

Colleges and universities


Entry-level sales positions

Job/Career Fairs

Opportunity to conduct initial screening interviews


with large number of potential candidates

e-Recruiting

Job openings posted on electronic bulletin boards or


websites

8-14
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Online Recruiting
Many firms are using online recruiting sites
Correctly used, online sites expand reach and time
They can also be a waste of time and a dead end

Use multiple channels


Online and offline efforts are both essential

Have an accurate, well-written job description


Pick several places to post your ad online
Consider blogs, e-mail listservs, and interest groups
Based on: V. Michael Prencipe, Online Recruiting Simplified, Sales & Marketing Mangement,
July/August 2008, 15.
8-15
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

5 Stages of the Selection Process


1

Having candidate complete application form

Testing candidate

Interviewing candidate

Verifying candidates background info

Conducting physical exam (if necessary)

8-16
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Interviews
Structured interview
List of questions along with range of acceptable answers
All candidates are asked the same questions
Pros: confidence if mgr is new at interviewing, ensures
important areas are covered, easier to compare responses
Cons: interviewer may just read questions and record
responses

Semi-structured interview
Series of open-ended questions applicants can address in
their own words
Allows interviewer to gain insight about applicant as the
discussion moves along natural, logical course
8-22
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Other Interviews
Stress interview: places the applicant in
unstructured situation to see how well he/she
performs
Group interview: group of applicants placed in a
group or open forum and encouraged to ask
questions
Panel interview: placing a single applicant
before a panel of company representatives
Field observation: applicant travels with rep
making calls on current and potential clients
8-23
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Discussion Questions
Why do firms put applicants through stress-type
interviews?
Do you think stress interviews are necessary?
As an applicant?
If you were a sales manager?

Why is it important to have established criteria for


how an applicant responds to a stress-type
situation?
Is it acceptable for a sales manager to use his or
her gut feelings to rate applicant responses?
Why or why not?
8-24
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Background Verification
Ask judgment-neutral questions on the
application form
Contact references
Require applicants to provide different categories
of references
Business
Financial
Educational

Credit checks
8-25
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Making the Job Offer


Contact via phone
Follow up with first-class letter containing formal offer of
employment
Include

Deadline for accepting the position


Info about responsibilities
Starting salary
Allowable moving expenses
Formal training dates
Time before first performance review
When rep will first be eligible for a raise
Number of vacation days

8-27
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

What Do Sales Candidates Want


to Know?
Sales candidates ask themselves
How financially healthy is the recruiting firm?
What is the firms track record?
What are their opportunities?
What will it take to succeed?
What is a realistic first-year income?
Is the product something customers want to buy?
Does the selling firm support sales efforts?
Is there a commitment to employee development?
Based on: Jeremy Cohen, Natural Select-ion, Sales & Marketing Management, September/October
2008, 26-27.
8-28
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Model for Selecting New Salespeople

8-29
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Why a Diverse Sales Force Is


Important
By 2050, non-Anglo Americans will comprise nearly half of
the US population
Businesses expanding globally to remain competitive
Institute recruiting and selection procedures that do not
discriminate against candidates based upon nationality,
ethnicity, age, and/or gender
Offer opportunities for older reps to work later in their lives
Recognize that not all families are traditional, which results
in differing employee needs for parental leave, on-site
childcare, job sharing, switching between full- and parttime responsibilities and adoption support
8-30
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

Avoiding Common Hiring Mistakes


Dont Rush to Hire
Wrong rep hired
Backgrounds not diverse

Plan the Interview


Dont interview off the
cuff
Coordinate multiple
interviewers

Conduct Proper
Job Analysis

Generate Enough
Applicants

Identify essential skills,


knowledge, and activities
that new hire should
possess to succeed

Have a large enough


group of qualified
individuals from which to
select best applicants to
interview and hire

Conduct Thorough
Interview

Complete
Background Check

Too often, sales mgrs ask


a few questions and think
their experience as a rep
allows them to make
accurate hiring decisions
on the spot

Up to 20% fabricate facts


and accomplishments
Failing to check
increases likelihood of
hiring someone with
dubious character

8-31
Copyright 2009 Pearson Education, Inc. Publishing as Prentice Hall.

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