According to a 2017 Sales Management Association research study, U.S. sales leaders concluded that fewer than one out of five new sales hires added over the past 24 months have been successful.

To err is human – and in hiring it’s very expensive. Think about what’s at stake if you don’t get talent right.

  • In recent years, 43% or more of all sellers failed to make quota.
  • Typically, 20% of the sales organization produces 80% of results.
  • Each wrong hiring decision can add up to a million dollars or more in direct and indirect costs.

Let’s take an analogy from sports. As quoted from the movie Moneyball, “You can always recover from the player you didn’t sign, but you may never recover from the player that you did sign that you shouldn’t have.” If you read the book or saw the movie, you know that scouts had long employed subjective, non-quantitative measures like, as one of the scouts put it, “he has an ugly girlfriend, and that means no confidence.” Oakland A’s Manager Billy Beane knew the traditional fuzzy intangibles for selecting players wouldn’t cut it so he started to make selections scientifically – by using statistical measures to search for the right players to win the game.

Just as baseball has very specific positions – pitchers, outfielders, catchers, and short stops – sales has many different and unique roles. And, as you make the move to more complex organizations, clients, products, and services, you will find as with baseball, not many people can successfully play multiple roles effectively.

The key to successful selection in sales lies in identifying the competencies and behaviors that statistically differentiates top and bottom performers for a specific position. Organizations need to utilize statistics to dig below the surface and find the hidden attributes and behaviors that will best service the specific role. We recommend leveraging a global database (which, by the way, Chally has) to see how your candidates and current team compares to thousands of others on the competencies that are proven to drive success in specific sales roles. It’s great to identify superstars, but better yet, helps avoid costly and time-consuming bad hires. Feel free to download our whitepaper: Leveraging the Techniques of Moneyball.

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