3 Sales Candidate Screening Techniques That Demonstrate Ability

Published on Oct 20, 2017

A recent study by CareerBuilder found that “extended vacancies cost companies an average of $800,000 annually.” 

Organizations need to be able to quickly identify and hire the right candidates for their sales force. But how?

Businesses that commit to building and executing a quality screening process significantly improve their chances of:

  • Identifying candidates who demonstrate the ability to perform the job
  • Are the right fit for the position
  • Can integrate seamlessly with the organization’s sales culture

Why else should organizations screen their candidates? Because resumes are regularly embellished.  According to HireRight’s 2017 Employment Screening Benchmark Report:

“Eighty-five percent of survey respondents uncovered a lie or misrepresentation on a candidate’s resume or job application during the screening process — up from 66 percent five years ago”.

Below are three screening techniques that can help your organization fill vacancies within your sales force. They help identify the ability of the candidate to perform the sales role prior to moving them on to the next stage of the interviewing process saving valuable time.

1.     Communication Screening

Approach: Prior to the actual screening of the candidate, you will have had a glimpse into their communication style via their resume and email correspondence. During the screening process, ask an open-ended question such as “Tell me about yourself,” or “Tell me why you feel you would be a good fit for this position.”

Analysis: During the screening, you will be able to observe a lot about your candidate’s communication style. Do they make eye contact? How well do they articulate their response? How is their body language? Does the interaction feel sincere or uncomfortable? An assessment of your candidate’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills will enable you to determine whether they would fit in and perform the role required in your sales organization.

2.     Presentation Screening

Approach: As part of your screening process, provide candidates a product brochure prior to the in-person interview. Ask them to come prepared to pitch the product during your meeting.

Analysis: During the candidate’s presentation of the product, you will be able to measure various parts of their presentation skills. How much research did they complete? How creative was their sales pitch? Did the presentation flow in a logical sequence? And did they establish how the product features would benefit the target customer? Presentation screening will ensure that you are hiring candidates who are confident, can build customer engagement and can close sales opportunities.

3.     Role-Play Screening

Approach: Conduct a role-playing exercise with potential candidates. Ask them to take on the role of your company’s sales rep while you take on the role of the customer.

Analysis: Does your candidate create a connection with the buyer? Do they demonstrate active listening skills by addressing customer needs with specific product features? How well does the candidate do in taking initiative to close the sale? Role-play screening your candidates allows you the ability to measure their problem-solving skills and how quickly they respond to challenges that arise with potential customers.

These are just a few examples of screening techniques that can be used to identify ability in sales job candidates. Revecent’s Sales Enablement Consultants can help your organization assess, recruit and optimize sales talent to accelerate revenue growth. Interested in an evaluation of your organization’s candidate screening process? Revecent can complete an analysis of your sales force hiring strategy to identify areas of strength and areas of opportunities. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.

Revecent is a national sales recruiting and sales enablement consulting firm. We help technology and professional service companies recruit and optimize sales talent to accelerate growth. Contact us today to see how we can help your organization’s sales team exceed expectations.

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