There are a ton of different metrics you can use to track hiring success. We’ve written about a number of them in the past, and many of them are very clearly tied to hiring, such as time to hire and employee turnover. But hiring decisions have far reaching effects into just about every facet of an organization because they directly impact how well your employees ultimately perform. As a result, when evaluating the success of the hiring process, it’s important to take into account some metrics that aren’t typically thought of as traditional “hiring metrics.” And when it comes to evaluating how successful your company is at hiring salespeople in particular, sales revenue is an incredibly powerful metric to use as a proxy for hiring success.
The beauty of using sales revenue as a metric is that it’s pretty easy to track, because your sales department is probably tracking it pretty aggressively already. After all, it’s the source of your company’s revenue! And because success in a sales role is heavily driven by a salesperson’s revenue numbers, sales revenue can be used as an employee performance metric.
Strong Sales Performance Starts in the Hiring Process
Great salespeople can be hard to identify. While someone’s communication style and personality will usually shine through in an interview setting, it’s a little harder to gauge someone’s ability to close deals, to follow-through, or to be able to understand and explain complex products to prospective customers.
This is where pre-employment assessments come in. Decades of research in I/O psychology and job performance have demonstrated that certain traits and abilities are highly correlated with success in sales. For example, personality traits such as extroversion, assertiveness, and confidence can be used to not only predict the likelihood that someone will succeed in sales but also how comfortable they will be in that type of role.
The data behind these tests produce powerful results. One company administered a sales personality test to their employees and found that the employees who had strong personality matches with sales roles earned 25% more revenue per day than the employees who had low matches.
Personality isn’t the only way to predict sales success. Cognitive aptitude tests can also be used to evaluate a job candidate’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which come in handy when explaining complicated products to customers or adapting their communications to fit each customer’s needs. As a result, cognitive aptitude is particularly useful for evaluating candidates that are applying for consultative sales roles.
Of course, your sales team’s revenue numbers aren’t solely a function of your hiring efforts. Sales success is driven by a ton of factors within the organization, including the effectiveness of the management team and the value of the product being sold, to name just a few. But hiring efforts can have a significant impact on sales numbers, especially when you incorporate hiring factors that are highly predictive of success in sales roles.