Step 4- Testing and the "Ride-along".
After doing a Behavioral-based interview, you should have a good idea what makes your candidate tick. Now is when I like to run them through some testing to see if they have the same competencies as other successful sales reps. who are doing the job today.
I like to run the candidate through a Sales Profile test. The test covers verbal and math skills (think ACT/SAT) and tests them for competencies that are important for successful sales reps. The range is on a scale from 1-10. It isn't a pass/fail. It allows me to compare the candidate to how my high-performance reps. scored on the test when they took it. I'm looking to see if the candidate has the same characteristics as my most successful reps.
Some of the competencies include; independence, assertiveness, energy level, decisiveness, manageability, independence, objective judgment, and more. As an example, you would expect someone who is highly independent to be less manageable.
I use the results of this test to have another conversation with the candidate to review with them areas that would indicate success and areas that they need to be aware of might hold them back. This is also a good time to share with them how I manage/lead and red flags for me from a leadership point-of-view.
While the candidate is back in the office, I also take the opportunity to have them "side-jack" or "ride-along" with another rep. I like to make sure the candidate fully understands what a "day in the life" is like. I allow them to spend a couple of hours with the rep. and in some cases, join in on the weekly sales mtg. During this time, the candidate is free to ask any questions they have about the company, team, or about me and my leadership style. I want the candidate to be an educated consumer. I believe they should have as many opportunities to determine fit as time may permit.
The last thing I do, while I have them in the office, is to let them speak with another member of the leadership team. I believe it's important to get a 2nd opinion about cultural fit.
At this point, I ask the candidate about their level of interest. If we are both ready to move forward, then I will verbally discuss the details of the potential offer.
Last step, the formal offer. Look for the last installment in this series soon!
PS- If you'd like the name of the company I use for the Sales Profile Test, please reach out to me. I'm happy to share.