Hiring a sales rep can seem like a Sisyphean task since about 30 percent of all sales persons have been at their current position for less than 12 months. When looking to fill a job in sales, the more exacting you can be in recruiting and assessment, the more turnover can drop.
First, you have to look at the typical sales skills and how that translates into job performance. According to research, only about 1 in 5 sales leads are ever followed up. If you can determine the numbers within your company or business, you can begin to institute change through proper training. That begin said, are you analyzing candidates for their openness to training and their coachability? If they fall down in those areas, they are typically going to fail when facing adversity.
Executive search and selection firms can be used to both find candidates and to offer some continuing sales and management training to insure that your employees are both invested in the company and able to perform as desired. This can also be valuable in terms of the soft skills needed by your sales reps. For example, clients are looking for high level, articulate presentations so training in both designing and delivering these presentations can contribute to everyones bottom line.
Any job in sales should come with the expectation that the candidate has the knowledge and aptitude to perform the general skills, but using some assessment testing can provide a higher probability of success. For example, personality and communication style tests can pinpoint areas where your potential salesperson will excel and where they may need more polish. Regardless of how they rank in these subjective skills, providing them as an ongoing training tool can be beneficial to both new hires and more seasoned veterans in order to maintain your high level of sales success.