Full Employment and Sales Competency

I read an article that quoted, "In August, the national unemployment rate remained near a 50-year low at 3.7 percent". 96.3% of Americans are working? No wonder it's so hard to find decent salespeople!

Then I read another article that Amazon is looking to fill 30,000 new jobs by year end. Half of those jobs are technical and 25% are warehouse jobs. BTW, if you look around, Amazon isn't the only company having a good year. There are a lot of people making a lot of money.

On the flip side, I attended a funeral last Friday. One of the attendees was a 45 year old father/husband who had been laid off from his customer service job (after 10 years at the company and 20 in the field) in May and although he has been getting his resume out there, he is one of the 3.7%.

One more piece... In the early 80's, I was a sales manager in a company. My boss liked me and knew that I had helped many non-salespeople become salespeople in my Cutco days. He made it known that if an employee wanted to 'try' sales, they should talk to me. As a result, I introduced a few dozen non-sales employees to a career in sales. Interestingly, several of those employees are still salespeople at that company.

If I were a sales VP today and I was thinking about finishing 2019 strong and 2020 growth, I'd do three things.

  1. I'd use this tool to compare the sales competencies of my sales force to the sales competencies of nearly 2 million salespeople and more specifically to salespeople within my industry. I'd use the comparison to decide what kind of group training to provide to my salespeople.
  2. I'd also use the statistics tool to develop the profile of the ideal sales candidate for my company. I'd use that profile to pre-screen candidates before I even had a conversation with them.
  3. If I decided to have a conversation/interview with them, I would raise the issues identified as weak competencies, and reach agreement that the issues were unacceptable and needed to be fixed during on-boarding.

Everybody is looking to hire 'A' players. It's competitive. They're expensive and sometimes they're better at fooling hiring managers than closing customers. My approach allows me to hire salespeople that know specifically where they need to improve in order to be successful.

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