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Did You Hire the Right Inside Sales Rep?


There is no greater point of anxiety for all of us then that moment in time where we question whether or not we hired the right guy\gal as a inside sales rep.  Teleprospecting is not an easy gig.  At most companies the burnout rate is far higher for teleprospecting in comparison to other job functions.  You are right in having some healthy anxiety about your new hire.  Will he\she cut it on the phones?  Do they have the work ethic that is required to be a great teleprospector?  Will they fit into your culture?  Most importantly…will they hit their number?

We’ve all got great hiring processes in place I’m sure.  We ask the right questions, run personality profiles, put potential hires through role plays, and do our best to select the best person for the job.  However, there is only so much you can do on the interviewing side of the equation.  Inevitably you are going to have a bad one slip into the ranks.  I have some things you can look for during the first few days of a new rep being on the phone that should give you a good indication as whether or not you’ve hired a keeper. 

  1. The activity test:  If you’ve hired well, you have placed a person in the seat that understands that mistakes will be made.  You can only prepare a new hire for some of the things they will face on the phone.  They are, after all, calling humans, and humans have a way of reacting in new and interesting ways all the time.  That being said, you do your best to prep your new rep for all the things they will hear on the phone and see via email.  Sadly, mistakes will be made.  It’s a part of life.  You’ve got to hope you’ve hired someone that “get’s it”.   Someone that understands that mistakes will happen, but the key is not just to learn from them - the key is to make as many as early as possible so that you are up to altitude faster.  I know a rep has a high likelihood of being great when they simply make more calls than the comp plan calls for.  They understand that more activity up front accomplishes many positive things for them.  It leads to more conversations faster so that they can get their hiccups out of the way earlier.  They know that more conversations\calls at the start is necessary because they must do that in order to hit their lead goals due to the fact that they aren’t a seasoned vet yet.  This also tells you that they aren’t afraid to tell the boss “yeah, I’m not afraid to make more calls than you asked me to”.  Finally, it is a great indication of overall quality work ethic.  People that put their best effort forward right out of the gates are most likely bringing the right work ethic to your team.  All good things.
  2. The quality test:  After your new rep has spent two days on the phone, run your “quality conversation” (QC) report from your  Look for three things on this report.  Total QC’s, Titles of the contacts associated with each QC, and the detail surrounding the conversations.  The total QC activity for a “Great” new hire should be at least 10% higher than that of your average rep.  The titles of the contacts should vary wildly as they try and get a feel for their target audience.  Varied contact titles also indicates that they are using “0#” techniques to find something…anything of value out about the target organization.  The detail or notes for each conversation should be well written and clear. This is self explanatory, decent writing skills are critical in this job.  If the notes are sloppy or make no sense, you may have a problem on your hands.
  3. The cultural test:  This one is tough for some people to swallow.  When I discuss this with people they often criticize me for placing too much emphasis on how my employees feel about one another.  We always agree to disagree on this point.  For AG, the culture is everything.  We’ve tried to create a place where people want to work.  A place they miss when they move on.  We’ve been successful in both areas so it is important that your new hire is exposed to that.  Make a point to see how they are introducing themselves to your team.  Do they gravitate towards your happiest and best performing employees...your “A” players?  Or do you see them not interacting much at all with anyone?  Either one of these is acceptable…however, be alarmed if you see your new hire gravitating towards your B and C employees.  This can be a harbinger of potentially not so great things to come.

There is no exact science to alleviating the anxiety around a new hire, but these are some things I’ve come to look for that have always proved to be great indicators as to the quality of my hire.  How do you put your mind at ease about your new hires?



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