square_pegs_and_round_holes_all_badI was with a group of seven friends from college last weekend to help out a friend in need.  We have all been friends for over 30 years and we get together once a year.  What has been so fun to realize over the years is that we each have different talents.  And we each have different weaknesses.  This is not an earth-shattering revelation.  But, now we have the maturity to realize that different people’s talents can and should be used appropriately, rather than trying to get everyone to operate the same way.  We no longer attempt to put round pegs in square holes, so to speak.  On this particular weekend we had a collection of organizers, doers, and visionaries.  Each did what their particular DNA was most drawn to and the project turned out amazing.

It’s the same in the sales world.  Certain individuals possess some sales talents and strengths but not others.  Unfortunately, we all too often believe that a salesperson, is a salesperson, is a salesperson and falsely assume that an individual can be effective in sales regardless of the situation.

What about Square Pegs with Rounded Edges?

Please understand that I am not saying that individuals cannot learn, grow and adapt. We make a living coaching and developing salespeople and sales managers, so I know firsthand that many people can absolutely change and grow . . . and they can adapt their current sales skills to new and different environments. But many cannot. When a salesperson is unable to grow, change and adapt to the specific sales setting required to be successful in the position, it is frustrating and stressful ─ both for them and for you as their leader.


Predictive Hiring: Backed by Science, Not Fortune Telling

You might be in agreement with me so far, but where we might diverge is based on my knowledge that you absolutely can tell who will more easily adapt and grow and who will not. And you, as the person charged with staffing and coaching the sales team in the most optimal way possible would save time, money and lower your stress level if you would get precise about hiring and coaching around this concept.

Rather than hiring in a general fashion for salespeople, I would suggest you hire specifically for the talents and Sales DNA required to be successful in the position. Someone who is skilled at a one-call close may struggle in a highly complex long sales cycle. Another salesperson who is great at expanding business with existing clients may fail miserably at generating new clients for your business. They may be able to change and grow, but they may not.


3 Fail-Safe Ways to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Salesperson for the Job:

  • Be extremely precise about writing the job description to attract the right salesperson; one that will be jazzed up about your specific position.  Be honest about the position requirements.
  • Use the OMG Sales Candidate Assessment Tool to screen out the imposters and to screen out those that will not easily change, grow and develop. Used on over 1,600,000 salespeople around the world, these are proven to have 95% predictive validity. 92% of candidates recommended by this assessment rise to the top half of their sales team in the first 12 months.
  • Conduct precise, behavioral interviews asking for specifics about their history.

Of course, we cover these tips (and many more) in greater detail here in our eBook about hiring for sales.

If you haven’t downloaded our new Sales Hiring eBook yet, get it here: