Skip to content

Job Benchmarking: Improve Sales Hiring reduce Turnover

March 30, 2015



I can’t tell you how many business owners I have talked too that complain about their inability to hire good or great sales people. How many times have you heard, “He was great in the interview, and had great experience, but it just did not work out.” Sales force turnover starts with the hiring practice. As the economy improves the turnover will be higher. From the Chief Sales Digest, the average annual cross-industry sales rep turnover for B2B sales is 13.9 percent (this includes voluntary and involuntary). The cost of a poor hire is AT LEAST 2.5 times an annual salary. This does not include unforeseen costs like loss of morale, recruiting costs, or possibly customer losses. So what steps can one take to dramatically improve hiring practices and cut turnover.


I recently worked with Jerry Houston and his team at HPI Solutions on Job Benchmarking for sales recruitment. It was quite an experience. If you have not realized it yet every sales job requires different competencies and behaviors which are just as important as the experience in the industry. From working with HPI Solutions, I can see how Job Benchmarking will help reduce that turnover dramatically.


The basis for job benchmarking is that if the job could talk, what would it be saying about the type of human being that will be successful in the particular sales role? Why is this important…because we hire for skill and fire for attitude. First, in HPI’s patented process, they identify the behavior style of the individual needed for the type of sales place you have designed. Second, we want to know what intrinsic motivators are necessary for the position (a drive for knowledge, economic return, control over destiny, etc.) and finally what soft skills does the position require for success?


Once the benchmark is established, one can then access the candidates through the patented TriMetrix system which identifies the top 3 behaviors, 3 motivators and 7 personal skill attributes that a successful candidate will need for top performance in the identified position. You are now armed with a great deal of objective evidence that you have the right person for the right position….but you are not done.


Couple with a strong benchmark, you need to add a thorough understanding of skills, experience and education for the selected candidate. And, you need to verify those areas as correct (33,000,000 people a year lie on their resumes), along with a strong set of behavioral interviewing questions, tied to your position description requirements.


All said, hiring is hard work and it is serious business. …and it is frustrating. After all, he/she sure looked good to me!


If you would like further information about this topic, you can contact me at 480-656-3565, or contact HPI Solutions at 623-866-8200.



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: