This blog post is a follow up to a recent article we wrote on “Advancing Salespeople to Managers – who do you promote”.
If you have not read this post please refer back to the article http://hiringsimulation.com/english/advancing-salespeople-managers-promote
From this post we thought it would be a good idea to provide a real Case Study of a recent client of ours who was hiring a senior Sales Director role for one of their largest territories.
There were three candidates involved in the hiring process. Two of the candidates were from outside the company in different cities within the region and the third candidate was an internal salesperson who has had tremendous success over the years.
The client who was hiring for this key sale management role wanted to provide internal candidates with the opportunity to throw their hat in the promoting ring and be assessed for the position. At the same time, the manager wanted to avoid historical hiring mistakes the company had made when promoting from within. This client had one candidate who had applied for the role and did quite well in the initial interview with the HR department for the open management role.
Here is what happened over the course of our TEST DRIVE using our Hiring Simulation (job simulation) process with each candidate:
- Candidate #1, who was the most impressive candidate through the initial screening and had more senior roles in the past, started to show an attitude of “I know all this so I should not have to complete certain segments of the assessment process”. At the beginning of the second Simulation Assessment our client was called by the candidate after the first of four Simulation Assessment Steps (activities pertaining to the role) asking if he could bypass a few of the Simulation Assessment Steps because he had done these types of activities for so many years in past roles that he didn’t need to spend the time on the activities. At first our client consented to the request and informed us that candidate #1 would skip a few of the Simulation exercises. We immediately provided our client with data from our 12 year history of running Simulation Assessments showing that this type of attitude could be a window into how the candidate would react to assignments or requests that he felt he should not be doing when on the job. After much thought the client agreed to put this candidate on hold while the other two candidates finished the job simulation. This turned out to be a very wise decision for many reasons.
- Candidate #2 was the internal candidate. The Simulation Assessment process, which is scored by both the client and candidates, allows team members to better understand how the candidate is perceiving their activities and thought processes in each step. As the candidate progressed through the “Tactical” activities it became clear that this candidate was a real professional salesperson who loved to interact with clients. However, when more of the coaching and strategic simulation activities took place, the candidate was out of his element and comfort level. His thinking process on assisting salespeople showed a lack of patience and the desire to “fix” the problem with motivational talks rather than step by step training applications. This does not mean the candidate could not be a good Sales Manager but he simply was not ready for the role today. The report from the Simulation Assessments turned out to be a valuable tool in thinking through additional training for this salesperson if he had a desire to pursue future management roles. The candidate was very appreciative that he was provided an opportunity to experience the role before a decision was made. The last thing the sales employee wanted was to leave a successful sales role, give up all of his accounts only to move into a role that resulted in failure.
- Candidate #3 was originally viewed as the second choice candidate from information gathered from the initial interviews. What became apparent through the Simulation Assessments was a true aligning of the candidate’s strategic and tactical experience to the client’s expectations and required qualifications. The client had specific expectations that would never have been explored or discovered in a traditional interview but were clearly experienced by the hiring team when the candidate worked through each Simulation Assessment step. Based on the Hiring Simulation scoreboard, Candidate #3 was chosen for the role.
As a conclusion to this Case Study, clients continue to realize the importance of promoting Salespeople into management only when they are ready. A candidate’s performance as a salesperson must be lightly weighted when considering the individual for the manager role. It is only when the hiring team allows the internal salesperson to experience the role that the managers and candidate can make a better decision on moving forward in the new role or not.
If you have read a few of our posts or viewed our website hiringsimulation.com you will know that our firm builds and creates Hiring Simulation Assessments. We allow clients to TEST DRIVE before hiring.
One area where our clients receive consistent results from our process is when a candidate is from inside the company and they have applied for a sales management role. As we all know, good sales people do not always make great sales managers! In fact, the opposite is the norm. So getting this hire right is critical if the candidate is coming from within the organization.
Craig Bissett is President and Founder of Hire Results Ltd. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org