Bill and I use the Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) to understand these competencies. Based on 70+ years of testing millions of candidates, WPT has been validated as an accurate assessment tool for evaluating candidates for all positions. In our work with applicants, we have reached a view that the WPT is virtually a go/no-go test. If the results of the test are not high enough, it is a clear indicator that the candidate is going to be unable to understand the duties of the position and, in the sales situation, will not understand the complexity of the product, the intricacy with the customer’s needs, and the details of the transaction.
Making Sense of It All
What does it mean to you? The key outcome of these studies is that you must align your talent management strategies with these four key traits by:
• Aligning your employment brand and your recruitment
message with these traits
• Assessing these traits for all candidates
• Developing these traits for existing staff
• Aligning your retention strategy with these traits
If your business is going to recover from this economic slow down, a strong sales effort will be absolutely essential. Your overall company strategy has to focus on making that happen and your talent management strategy has to be focused on bringing in the people who can do it.
Be proactive. If you hold off until the recovery is really underway, you will be left in the dust. Now is the time to establish a recruitment process that will eliminate the poor performers that you have today and replace them with the top performers who will bring you success.
It is important that you clearly identify the four key traits. You need to use the tools that can do that. While you may think you can interview your way to success, studies have shown that the average interviewer is less than 30% successful in evaluating these characteristics by interview alone. It is also a truism that most firings are the result of a failure in behavior and not a lack of skills.
In my next article, I will explore these studies further to examine where sales leaders and sales performers differ on finding, developing, and retaining top performers and how to design a motivational program that addresses the right issues. After all, once you find and hire the top performers, you don’t want to have a poor retention strategy that chases them to your competitor.
Debra Thompson is president of TG & Associates. Her latest book, co-authored with Bill Greif, “No More Rotten Eggs–A Dozen Steps to Grade AA Talent Management”, has been published by McGraw-Hill and is available through bookstores everywhere or at www.NoMoreRottenEggs.com. Contact Debra or Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the assessment tools that they provide.