Sales Call Reluctance is a term used to describe a hesitation to make sales calls, either in person or over the phone. It can be a common challenge for sales professionals, as making sales calls can be intimidating or uncomfortable for some people.
Testing for Sales Call Reluctance can help identify any underlying issues or concerns contributing to an individual’s reluctance to make sales call. It can provide insight into how to overcome these challenges. For example, the Sales Call Reluctance test may help identify any specific fears or anxiety that an individual may have about making sales calls or may reveal any negative beliefs or thought patterns that may impact their performance.
Testing for Sales Call Reluctance can be helpful for individuals struggling to make sales calls effectively, as well as for organizations looking to improve their sales performance.
Testing salespeople before hiring them can be helpful for several reasons. Here are a few:
Assess their skills and knowledge: Testing can help you determine whether a candidate has the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the role. For example, you might test their knowledge of your products or services, their ability to handle objections, or their understanding of sales techniques.
You can evaluate their fit with your company culture: Testing can also give you insight into how well a candidate will fit with your company culture. For example, you might test their ability to work as part of a team or adapt to new situations.
Predict their performance: Testing can help you predict how well a candidate will perform on the job. For example, you might test whether they can and will prospect on a consistent basis.
Save time and resources: Testing can help you identify the most qualified candidates more efficiently, saving you time and resources in the long run. It can also help you avoid making a hiring mistake, which can be costly in terms of time and money.
Overall, testing salespeople before hiring them can be a valuable way to assess their skills, fit with your company, and potential performance on the job.
How do you know if your sales candidates can and will prospect and convert prospects into clients?
Use the SPQ Gold test — the only pre-hire sales test that measures Sales Call Reluctance.
Hidden emotional barriers keep many salespeople from initiating contact with prospects.
Call Reluctance seems simple enough, but chances are it goes deeper than you think. It consists of all the internal thoughts, feelings, and “avoidance” behaviors that conspire to keep otherwise talented and motivated sales professionals from prospecting. Numerous studies based on large samples of salespeople reveal that lack of prospecting is the primary reason for underperformance in sales. Nothing else even comes close—not the fear of rejection, inadequate training, low self-esteem, lack of product knowledge, low self-discipline, ambiguous goals, the fear of success, or the fear of failure.
Does Call Reluctance really matter?
Call Reluctance is not a theoretical abstraction and is accompanied by actual costs. Individuals with this behavior tend to avoid opportunities to engage with potential customers and offer solutions that meet their needs.
How do you know if a candidate is an actual business developer?
Invest in the SPQ Gold sales test — the only assessment in the world that measures the 16 types of Sales Call Reluctance.
Are you opposed to learning more? If not, call Connie Kadansky at 602-380-5431.
If you are a hiring authority looking for an immediate “yes” or “no” as to whether your candidate will prospect comfortably and consistently, the SPQ is not for you. Your willingness to be curious and spend a few minutes learning what the SPQ measures is vital. The SPQ is a tool in your toolbox, and with me Connie Kadansky as your partner, I commit to facilitating your learning curve so that you can hire salespeople who are most likely to succeed. Please give me a call at 602-380-5431.
They say that making a wrong choice in hiring can cost a company anywhere from 25 to 40 times the employee’s base annual salary (AIMM Consulting). In sales, we all know that a bad hire is probably on the higher end of that range. If you bring the wrong person on board today, they have the ability to tank sales relationships that have taken years to cultivate.
A bad hire in this industry really can break a company’s reputation and long-term ability to succeed.
That’s why hiring is such a vital aspect of our current sales climate. It’s also why companies should pay attention to data that reports most managers only view about 25 percent of their staff as being made up of high performers (Smart).
It’s why you should care about improving your hiring techniques to better those odds within your company. But first, you have to avoid the most common mistakes sales managers make in both interviewing and hiring. Then, you need a firm grasp of what to do instead.
1. Putting it All on the Table:
For those of you who have been in sales for a while now, you know that no good ever comes from playing all your cards at once. So why is it that so many hiring managers feel the need to do just that in hiring? They outline every aspect of the job to candidates, often before interviews even begin. Job descriptions are posted with pages of documentation, candidates are asked if they have any questions at the start (instead of end) of the interview, and a model is essentially built right out the gate for your applicants to study from and mold their answers to during the interview phase.
Instead: Create job postings that share only the most pertinent information. Then, craft interview questions that will truly test an applicant’s ability to excel (or fail) within the desired role—without giving them the cheat sheet up front to study from.
2. Ignoring the Need for Qualification:
Let’s be honest, people in sales tend to be a fairly optimistic bunch. They also have a higher than average level of confidence in their ability to read others. As such, they tend to trust their guts when it comes to interviewing—hiring based on who they like, rather than who may be most qualified for the job. The problem? Just as Max Cates (a seasoned sales manager and author of the book Seven Steps to Success for Sales Managers) found, “Their job is to sell you on them.” The problem with that? Selling you on them in a single, hour-long interview is kind of their bread and butter. But those interview skills don’t always translate into actual sales ability when you get out of the interview room. Cates realized years down the line that he had accumulated a lot of mediocre reps.
Instead: Rely on your gut and qualifications. Yes, your people reading skills are valid. But they aren’t everything. Today, Cates recommends asking for sales reports, tax forms, and any documentation that gives a black and white picture of the rep’s results over time. He believes that hiring is a scientific process based on facts, careful observation, and analysis. And you should too.
3. Forgetting About Culture:
We all know that not all sales jobs are created equal. Someone who excelled in office product sales may not be able to transition those skills into the sale of financial services, for instance. And applicants who thrived under one model of leadership may not be as successful under another. Cultural fit within an organization is important, and failing to take that into consideration can lead to hires who may be great on paper, but who will never be great within your organization.
Instead: Have a few interview questions that relate directly to corporate culture and the circumstances under which your applicants work best. Ask about previous leadership styles they thrived under, and those they struggled more with, and inquire about the cultures they encountered in their previous jobs.
4. Failing to Use the Tools at Their Disposal:
Interviewing and hiring can sometimes seem like a really random thing, mostly because applicants always have varied backgrounds and a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses to bring to the table. But hiring managers often make the mistake of simply accepting that, rather than utilizing the tools available to them to ensure the best person for the job is being brought onboard.
Instead: Embrace the SPQ*Gold assessment tool, which measures for the 12 types of Sales Call Reluctance, assesses for sales motivation, and quantifies goal level, focus, and a candidate’s comfort level with specific production targets and performance requirements. With a tool like this at your disposal, why wouldn’t you be gathering as much information as possible about your potential hires in order to bring on the best of the best?
5. Never Measuring For Ability to Close the Deal:
Michael D. Goodman, president of Revenue Kinetics, LLC., likes to talk about the evolution of a sales call. “A sales call has a specific structure and intent,” he explains. “Well designed, it moves whatever level of person you are speaking with through the discovery of what is important to them and what it costs them to not have it. It should leave the sales person far more informed on qualifications to close the sale, and the buyer in far greater recognition of how important the sale is.” The problem? Far too few hiring managers actually test their applicants on this ability, which means hiring sales reps who often have no idea how to effectively facilitate sales. “Not discovering the sales candidates’ capability to move through the sales process can be fatal to both the candidate and the sales manager in their career.” Goodman explains. “Ultimately the sales person will have a bloated pipeline with deals that never close and no understanding as to why.”
Instead: Actually test for this ability. Hold a mock sales call during the interview, giving the candidate a basic script and then expecting them to transition you through the steps. If they can’t do it now, they certainly won’t be able to out in the field. FYI: the SPQ*Gold assessment tool can also help you to accomplish this, and will tell you if they are too nice to close the deal!
As a sales manager, hiring is perhaps the most important aspect of your job—if you don’t build a solid team of capable sales people around you, no amount of incentives or motivation will push that team forward. So take the time to appropriately vet your candidates, and make hiring decisions you can be proud of as the years go by.
Andersen, Erika. “ The Most Important Reason People Fail in a New Job.”(25 Apr. 2012). Forbes. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikaandersen/2012/04/25/the-most-important-reason-people-fail-in-a-new-job/#a930743a2ec8
Cates, Max. Seven Steps to Success for Sales Managers: A Strategic Guide to Creating a Winning Sales Team Through Collaboration. Pearson FT, 2015. Print.
Smart, Bradford D. “Avoid Costly Mis-Hires!” (n.d.); Topgrading. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. Retrieved from http://www.global-performance-coaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Avoid-Costly-Mis-Hires-by-Bradford-Smart.pdf
“Take Measure—A Financial Case for Employment Testing” (2009). AIMM Consulting. Web. 15 Apr. 2016. Retrieved from http://www.aimmconsult.com/AFinancialCaseforAssessment.pdf
Received a call from another very sad sales manager who hired a seasoned salesperson from a similar industry to sell his products and the salesperson is completely failing.
Just because someone has 30 years “selling” experience does not mean they will be successful in a new dynamic
Research shows that some top producing salespeople are simply good account managers. They keep selling to their current customers, meeting their goals and everyone is happy. It may have been years since they did any active prospecting for new customers. They do not identify with being account developers.
What is the cost of onboarding a new sales person in time and money? For a nominal fee, what do you have to lose in assessing your seasoned sales candidate?
The SPQ/FSA assessment is a sales competency test. It is not a personality test. Prospecting is an emotional exercise. It takes emotional resilience and stability to consistently prospect for new business. How do you know if your candidate will prospect consistently? The SPQ/FSA allows your candidate to tell you how they experiencing prospecting. Prospecting has changed and it requires skill to engage prospects in a meaningful way that is creating value for them. The only assessment in the world that measures for Sales Call Reluctance is the SPQ Gold and the SPQ/FSA. Please call Connie Kadansky at 602-380-5431 to discover which assessment will serve your needs.
Today I interviewed a seasoned sales manager who said that he rarely hired a bad rep. However, it took him a few years to realize that he was accumulating a lot of mediocre reps. He realized that he was hiring by intuition. If he liked the rep and felt that they would be a good fit, he’d hire them. He realized that salespeople are genius at becoming what you want for that hour of the interview. “Their job is to sell you on them.” He found that quantification and verification were more important than intuition about an applicant. He asks for sales reports, tax forms, and any documentation that gives black and white look at a rep’s results over time. He believes that hiring is a scientific process based on facts, careful observation and analysis.
Along with requiring tangible proof of past performance, using the SPQ*Gold assessment will give you triple verification of what they will do when it comes prospecting for new business.
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Gallup and Harvard Business Review assert that most hiring companies have a tendency to grossly underestimate the negative consequences of a bad sales hire. Some of the costs include, but are not limited to:
Lost Revenue (lost and delayed business)
Extra training and management required
Costs of turnover (firing and replacement – from both time and direct hiring costs)
Long-term impact on market share and brand: lost customers and brand loyalty
Impact on morale, leading to lower overall performance of other team members and higher turnover
Ultimately the loss of your best salespeople
Interviewing tip: Ask your sales candidate to describe their first selling experience! Watch whether their eyes sparkle; how animated the become; how engrossed they get into their story or the inner groan that makes them slump a bit. Please let me know what you experience with this question!