We are throwing out the rule book and trying something different. IMA is getting into the market for a new sales person, and in the name of avoiding insanity, you know the old credo, “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”, well we are trying something different for us. It will be interesting to see how we go on this journey.
We’ve examined our process for hiring successful sales people, looked at our historical success rate and compared it to experiences with other companies we have worked with historically. This examination led us to the conclusion that the old “tried and true” methodology doesn’t have a great track record. We’ve done the headhunt people from our opposition, we’ve hired people we’ve “liked”, we’ve done psyche tests, we’ve done “cold calling” tests, we’ve hired people from recommendations from trusted advisors, and yet our hit rate historically is about breakeven. Which isn’t really too bad, but we want better!
So what to do?
It is hard to really define what makes a great sales person in our market, there are lots of contingencies, and what works in one company may well not work in another. We decided to look at what has worked for us. We decided to look at the people within our organization who have worked out well, and look at the similarities between them and process in which they joined us. Sadly, there wasn’t a great connection. We were either lucky or had worked with the person before in the same or similar capacity (in another life) and really knew what we were getting.
There were a couple of key themes however, when outlining the people and what has made them successful, or shared traits.
- Quick learners
- Rapport builders
How do we look for these in a hiring process? Will interviews and psyche tests confirm or deny these traits with enough certainty for us to formulate a decision? I could not really put my hand on my heart and say to the Executive here that anything we had traditionally done would achieve this. And the process has been expensive.
We decided to do something a little different. And whilst we cannot guarantee that this will work as well as we hoped, the upside is too big not to try.
One of the best sales people I have seen in the Melbourne market has been someone who was “grown” into the role. He was essentially “plucked” from the rank and file and given the opportunity to succeed. I have to say, even though we had our “run ins” professionally, through his attitude, aptitude and down right pig headedness he really was a stand out.
So here at IMA we are about to take a risk. We’re going to try to grow our own. We are putting a call out for people across ALL industries who think they are or could be great sales people, who want a career with a successfully growing IT Consulting company, and people who want to be a key contributor to our future growth. (Towards world domination).
On top of a traditional “interview process” (wth our Recruitment team) and a new “non traditional interview” process (an hour long interview with multiple people), we are going to embark on an audition process. We want to see people in action, in the heat of the moment, thinking on their feet and making things happen. We are hoping this will take the “guess work” – “gut feel” out of the interview process and remove the perceived “witch-craft” practiced in psyche testing. The audition process will be a week long process, so we are going to ask people to invest in us as well, although we are committed to paying these short listed people for this week.
We are busily building a complete training programme and mentoring programme for the successful applicant and have committed as an organization to helping this new hero succeed.
I’m excited by this, and I cannot wait to see and share the results and to reveal our new Sales Super Hero to the market!
If this sounds like you, or something you want to do. Make contact with us. Call us on the phone (03 8633 7300) call us on Skype (ID: careers.ima) or just send us your resume or a video clip as to why this IS YOU! (You can also apply via this) If it’s not and you know someone it sounds applicable to, let them know, this will be a fun experience!