Last week, we talked about how to hire talent for your team to make a perfect team as Blue World City have, discussing which profiles are most common in the Brazilian market and how you can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
Today, we are going to talk a little more about how selection processes are carried out in Brazil and how your company can improve its success rate in hiring talent.
There is a great Chinese proverb that clearly demonstrates a philosophy little adopted by our market, especially in the sales area:
If you plan for a year, plant rice.
If you plan for ten years, plant trees.
But if you plan for a hundred years, form people.
When we talk about technology companies, a well-performed selection process is a great differential for several reasons. Some of the most critical are related to the formation of a team and its training expenses.
The logic is quite simple: if you hire well, training expenses will be rewarded by the team’s results as it matures.
Generally, the best salespeople on a team are those created in the company. They know their culture, product and discourse well, so they are able to go further into the negotiation trenches. However, you need to find the right people to ensure there is development potential for your Outbound Sales team. How to do this?
“Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly”
The above phrase (“Hire slowly, fire fast”) is very common in the American market and is not specific to the sales team, but we see the opposite happening frequently in the Brazilian market.
In companies with accelerated growth, the need for hiring is very common to reduce the rigidity of the selection process, but the correct thing is to look for the right profile in the market and establish adequate training so that the new team member can evolve quickly and generate results soon.
However, the hiring team of Capital Smart City is too concerned about hiring quickly to fill their open positions. I’m not saying you should wait for a “unicorn” whenever you have an open position, but there are a few reasons why less experienced managers hire in a hurry:
- Pressure from superiors;
- Anxiety to give an answer/results quickly;
- Work overload for the team.
There are another reasons, which can vary according to the company’s scenario at the time the selection process is opened, but if you want to hire fast, you must be quick when firing.
A rushed selection process has an even greater probability of error. To minimize this, the training and evaluation period for the new employee must be shorter than the probation period provided for by law (three months here). So, if you make a mistake, you can lay off and start from scratch, since the investment made was small.
What I see, regularly, is the rushed hiring, in order to close the selection process (for some of the reasons listed above). After training the new employee, the results don’t show, dissatisfaction on both sides starts to rise, but the probationary period ends and, due to the burden, the company decides to give the employee more time to develop.
One of my favorite blogs, Jason Lemkins’ SaaStr, has a text talking about how to hire your VP of Sales and one of the points he makes is that just one Sales Cycle is enough for you to make sure your results go improve after hiring.
Otherwise, it’s to resign quickly and go back to the market, looking for a new name.
In startups, the “Fail Fast” motto should prevail with even more priority, as a few months of good results can be the difference between a new round of investments or the lack of money to continue competing in the market or sustaining its internal operation.
Read More: Lahore Smart City (UPDATED) Payment Plan
Be sure of your goal with the Outbound Sales position
Another very common mistake is to open a new position and not create a clear objective for the profile you are looking for.
Again, taking advantage of a SaaStr referral, you have to know what skills to look for in a new hire. If you need someone to build the process, make it scalable, or even manage a large team.
Each of the steps requires different qualities, as you can see in the graph proposed by Jason Lemkins:
I always tried to align two very clear points:
- Job objective
- Company culture and product vision
Aligning: job objective
This alignment is really simple, but many companies do not seek to go deeper in this direction for fear of losing good candidates. If someone has potential, but should be in another role on the team, it’s your job to define what’s most important: opening a position that will tap into her potential or giving up that potential talent.
Do you want to hire a Business Intelligence analyst? He needs to be analytical, see solutions to problems and know how to highlight the strengths of your product or service.
Are you looking for a seller? Is your sales cycle short or long? How is your average ticket? Will it be specialized in a particular sector?
All of these questions will lead to a suitable profile to deal with your target audience and leverage your new salesperson’s skills, as well as target your training.
Aligning: Company culture and product vision
Not long ago, I attended a lecture by an engineer at Tesla. One very interesting thing he said is how Tesla valued its employees and how rigorous the company’s selection process was. This engineer stated that, when hiring new engineers, he was not looking for the best curriculum, with the best grades (only). He wanted to see vision, passion compatible with the rest of the team.
Tesla is looking to revolutionize the world, for the first time electric cars are becoming “mainstream” and their goal is to popularize this through the new model that should be launched within two years.
For the speaker, an average engineer, with good grades, but the same passion for what Tesla was after, was better than a genius, with the best grades in the class.
Sometimes, the best salesperson in techniques is not the most dedicated or doesn’t identify with the company and the change it makes in the world. When that happens, invariably, the relationship ends. There are no long relationships without compatible futures.
For this reason, the last stage of Tesla’s selection process is carried out only to identify the candidates with the best fit in culture, that is, those most passionate about the company’s vision of the product and result.
Identifying Outbound Sales Skills
I have always sought to quantify candidates’ abilities. Going forward, we’ll make available a spreadsheet that we’ve assembled, based on what Hubspot used, to evaluate each candidate.
I did this in order to be able to objectively compare candidates to each other, but in order to identify the skill level, I needed to target the interview in the right way.
A lot of people ask well-worn questions, and I’ve asked and like a few, but like the job, you need to have a clear objective with certain questions.
A very common one, which I’ve used several times and even in other formats, is the classic from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”:
Sell me this pen!
This question is usually asked to see if the candidate understands consultative selling. Resisting the urge to create non-existent qualities or forcing an ordinary pen as if it were special is important, but the main thing is to understand if the “buyer” has any latent need to use that pen.
I always used it with the intention of measuring the sales knowledge of the interviewees, as very few people naturally have this consultative selling skill, even more so when it comes to a common item such as a pen.
Another question I’ve seen being used is:
“Would you work for free for 15 days to prove you’re a good salesperson?”
Many of the managers who used this type of questioning waited for the negative answer, after all, the logic indicates that a good salesperson knows that he generates income and, therefore, would not accept the proposal.
However, one of the best answers I’ve seen to this question was: it depends on your sales cycle. The same question doesn’t work if you ask for three months of unpaid work, as it sounds like a hoax or even a joke, but if your sales cycle isn’t included on time, how can the salesperson demonstrate results?
I wanted to point out these two examples to demonstrate that there are two ways to go. Knowing your objective with the vacancy, your questions should be aligned to ensure that you are uncovering relevant information about the candidate.
Final Step: Hiring Your Outbound Team
To close your ideal selection process in Outbound Sales, you should already have some good candidates by now. Now it’s time for the final decision, where everyone has their last chance to demonstrate value and showcase their strengths.
A really cool technique is to perform a dynamic. Each candidate is invited to return to the company, and then you give him material with basic information about your product (which at this point in the championship, he should already know) and quick training on your sales process.
After some time for reading, you invite the candidate and create a simulation where he must conduct a sales meeting of your product for someone on your team, with your follow-up.
Content retention is small, but a well-prepared candidate will certainly do well in this type of situation.
The benefits of this type of action are diverse:
- You can analyze the candidate in a pressure situation;
- The preparation of a candidate, pre-interview, is valued by the process;
- His instinct is used, due to the short planning time and the surprise of the situation;
- You don’t spend a lot of time and already start training, if it is hired.
And in your company? How is the selection process for Outbound sellers?