Sales Simulation – The Missing Tool From the Hiring Process

Sales simulation immerses sales people in to a simulated business environment. They are more successful then sales training because of the level of customization and the amount of time spent on practice and feedback. The sales simulation expands the learning process by allowing the user to ‘learn on the job’ in a simulated environment. Have you heard the saying “Seeing is believing”? This could not be truer than when it comes to using sales simulations to either hire or train salespeople.

sales simulation forecast


Read more here: Sales Simulation – The Missing Tool From the Hiring Process



Campus Recruitment – How do you Identify Potential?


graduation studentsWhat companies are beginning to realize is that there are a lot of young people out there who have the potential to do great things for their company but just haven’t been given the chance. This is mostly due to the fact that they don’t have the right companies/jobs on their resume. What if there was a way to see past the resume/interview and uncover the potential that would have otherwise been buried in a pile of applications?




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Campus Recruitment – How do you Identify Potential?

Powerful Hiring Tips to Improve Your Business

How did a company with less than 500 employees and virtually no TA resources accomplish so much, so fast? Here are two key strategies:

1. Adopt a “talent scout” recruiting model.
Recognize that hiring an employee is more than filling a role: it’s a sale. A BIG sale. Recruiters are not just selling a job but a new life, a new way to support their family and spend their time, and a new professional brand. To get recruiters appropriately motivated, align them to business lines so that they lived and breathed the goals and preferences of their hiring managers. As a result, recruiters organically began pipelining even without being told to.

Then develop a bonus system that incentivized recruiters like salespeople. Recruiters received bonuses based on the metrics most essential to a good hire: hiring source, employee referrals, seniority level of the requisition, and the objectives of their business line.

2. Build a REAL (i.e. scrappy) talent brand.
To build a talent brand, you need to take a different approach. Rather than trying to be everything to everyone.

Finally, they leveraged an often overlooked aspect of talent brand: media outreach.  Partnering closely with the PR team and leveraging their spunky messaging, they secured coverage in The Boston Globe, WIRED, CNBC, and CIO.


I was recently speaking at a National Convention in Palm Springs, California on our latest project “My Worst Hire & What I Learned from It”, as well as offering hiring tips to executives from around North America. This “Worst Hire” project came about after numerous clients shared with us their worst hiring mistake and more importantly what they learned from that mistake. From these discussions we interviewed 20 contributors and have compiled their stories and insights in to a book. You can review “My Worst Hire & What I Learned from It

Hiring Tips

Speaking in Palm Springs I shared six short stories from amongst the 20 included in the book. After the talk I was asked by a few of the delegates to summarize four of the hiring tips (learning nuggets) that were shared during my talk.

Follow this link for a few hiring tips I provided to these delegates:

Powerful Hiring Tips to Improve Your Business

Cost of Sales Turnover

Sales is often known for being a competitive, high-pressure business where “you’re only as good as last quarter’s numbers” and where sales people are constantly expected to deliver ever-improving results. In this kind of mindset, most people might expect that sales teams are constantly churning through new sales reps – as some people thrive and make their quotas and climb the ladder, while other sales reps struggle to make the cut. But is sales turnover truly healthy and necessary? Or is turnover on sales teams part of a hidden cost that needs to be managed differently?

According to a study from the Aberdeen Group, “Sales Performance Management: Getting Everyone on the Same Page,” sales turnover can impose surprisingly big costs on a sales organization – and the best sales organizations aren’t necessarily the ones with the highest or lowest turnover, but the ones who do the best job of managing turnover.

Sales teams have more turnover than they want: Under the leadership of Jack Welch, G.E. became famous for its 20-70-10 human resource management – the top 20% of performers were groomed for management, and the bottom 10% of performers were fired or managed out or reassigned. Asked to identify their “ideal turnover rate,” the participants in the Aberdeen Group survey said (page 21) that their ideal turnover would be approximately 9.5% – which is very close to G.E.’s “bottom 10% turnover ideal. However, the “actual turnover rate” identified in the Aberdeen survey was 20.6% – which means that sales organizations are averaging twice as much turnover as they ideally would prefer to have.

Replacing sales reps is expensive: According to the Aberdeen study, the average cost of replacing a sales rep was $30,420. This cost comes from a variety of causes, as outlined in the following points.

New sales reps are less productive: Only 38% of new sales reps meet their first year quotas, compared with 45% of overall sales reps. Everyone who’s ever gone to work at a new sales job knows that there is a learning curve – it takes awhile to learn your catalog of products or services, learn your accounts, learn the unique methodology and culture of the company you represent, and start to confidently build relationships with prospects.  Many organizations use appointment setting to build the pipeline of a new sales rep.

Hiring and training new sales reps takes a long time: Companies surveyed by Aberdeen Group reported an average time to hire of 1.7 months, and an average time-to-productivity of 3.6 months, for each new sales rep. Every time one of your existing people leaves your team, unless they were woefully underperforming, it’s going to take some time and effort to find and train a decent replacement. And all of that time equates to sales that aren’t getting made and opportunities that aren’t getting pursued.

So if sales turnover is so expensive and damaging to an organization, what can be done? Sales turnover is sometimes hard to avoid – good sales people are constantly in demand and can often write their own ticket to have their choice of new job opportunities. Some degree of sales turnover is inevitable. In fact, the best performing sales organizations from the Aberdeen Group survey don’t necessarily have dramatically lower turnover (as noted on page 22 of the study, top performing firms have an average turnover of 19.3% instead of the overall average of 21.5%), but they have better techniques to manage turnover and lower the costs of onboarding new sales reps.

qualitative_recruitment1We are in the risk management business for reducing cost of sales turnover due to poor hiring decisions. I was just reading through a magazine that listed the top 500 Largest Sales Forces in North America. The total number of sales people employed in these top 500 firms is a staggering 21,300,000 people.

Read More: Top 500 Firms and the Cost of Sales Turnover