Taking the Guesswork Out of Hiring Sales Talent

It is no secret that sales are not meant for everyone, but did you know 13% of all jobs in the US are full-time sales positions? According to Inc. , only 20% of this sales talent regularly meet their quota. ThatSales Talent means one in 10 of all employees in the US are not meeting their goals. The reason these sales reps are not meeting their quota is that most of them do not have the right skills to be successful. At Tech Qualled, we take our candidate selection process seriously so we can figure out if sales are the right career path for you.

In order to become a candidate for our Launchpad Academy, there are multiple steps you must progress through. At each step, we evaluate you and decide if you have the right characteristics to progress further. First, let’s look at our process and then we will cover the characteristics we know are best suited for a career in high tech sales.

Selection Process:

Informational Call: After your resume/LinkedIn profile has been screened, a member of Tech Qualled’s recruiting team will conduct a 30-minute informational call with every candidate to see if there is a potential fit. The majority of this conversation is to identify your communication style, career aspirations, and some background information. Additionally, you are interviewing us!

Behavioral Interview: The first interview of our process is a 30-minute long interview focused
on determining soft and hard skills, experience in the military and passion for technology. Do you hold some of the traits we believe to be successful in sales and do you have the drive to outwork and outlearn the competition? This interview is a video interview that is eventually reviewed by all members of the selection committee.

Sales AP Test: The Sales AP Test is a test we administer to our candidates that grades a variety of skills based on your personality. This includes (but not limited to):

  • Sales Disposition
  • Initiative/Cold Calling
  • Sales Closing
  • Achievement
  • Competitiveness

Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test: This test is a fast-paced test consisting of 50 questions in 15 minutes. The CCAT test helps us determine if you are quick on your feet and have the brain power to be successful in tech. In addition to an overall evaluation, we receive individual scores on:

  • Verbal Ability
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Math & Logic

Final Interview and Written Assessment: The final interview is used to determine why you think you should be in sales and to discuss examples of overcoming adversity or dealing with tough problems. Sales are not easy, so we need to know how you react when someone tells you no. This interview also consists of some written responses so that we can evaluate your written skills and make sure you are on par with what it takes to be successful. Professional writing skills are critical in a solution selling environment.

Selection Board: The final phase of our process is our selection board. All members review your interviews, test results, and written sample to determine your overall fit, ultimately narrowing down our sales talent.

Characteristics for Account Executives

Now that you know a bit more about how our process works and why we are so selective, we can talk about some of the defining characteristics that we believe lead to success. Every member of our selection committee brings a different perspective and looks for different things, but in general, these are the traits we focus on for sales talent.

Connectability: In sales, sometimes you only have 30 seconds to make an impression on someone. How you use those 30 seconds could be an immediate “no” or “tell me more”. In this regard, we look for candidates who can make an instant connection with people and have a knack for building relationships.

Sales TalentResilience: Resiliency is key: you will be told no A LOT. How will you react to it? Does it fuel you to do better the next time and focus on self-improvement; or does it shut you down and ruin your day?

Ability to Deliver: The most successful sales talent are those who deliver on their promises. If you tell a customer you will do something, you better do it. You’d be surprised at how rare this is outside the military.

Follow-up: Did you know that 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up. Are you someone that gives up or do you take things into your own hands?

Leverage Resources (“Be a Quarterback”): Both internally and externally, it is important to leverage your connections and resources. Salespeople who actively seek out and capitalize upon referrals earn 4-5 times more than those who don’t. As an account executive, you will be working closely with technical engineers. These engineers are incredible resources who play a critical role in supporting your customers. Understanding how to properly utilize and collaborate with them is essential. Check out our video on the Account Executive and Technology Sales Engineer relationship here.

Hopefully, this article gives you a good idea of why we are so strict on the types of candidates we bring into the program. We want to make sure that we are setting our graduates up for success while ensuring that our partners are hiring top tier talent. If you would like to learn more about becoming a Tech Qualled candidate or partner to hire qualified sales talent, please make sure to let us know!