Note: Names have been changed. The parent company declined to permit the name to be used due to a company policy of not endorsing products or services.
Although in a recession in which all sales forces in the industry were selling less, I’m confident that our Topgraded sales force sold much more than if we hadn’t Topgraded.
- Pat Smith, Regional Sales Director
The Company: PharmaSales (Fictitious name)
No. of Employees: 50 (Sales division of Global Pharma)
Industry: Pharmaceutical Equipment
- Improved from 33% to 75% sales representatives hired turned out to be A Players.
- How to hire top performers at low ($45k) salary base.
- Excellent sales rep job scorecard.
- Details of estimated cost of mis-hired sales rep to be over $1 million.
- Excellent graphics for sales and turnover results.
Company History: PharmaSales, Inc., is a fictitious name of a company specializing in wound closure and related products. Pat Jones (fictitious), Regional Sales Director, introduced Topgrading methods for hiring Sales Representatives, beginning in the mid-2000s. The region has 45 sales representatives.
Topgrading Methods: The parent company hiring methods were retained, with three Topgrading methods added to address major problems in hiring: dishonesty (too many people lie on their resume and in interviews); completeness of information (candidates have control over what they reveal in short competency interviews); and verifiability of information provided (reference checks are perfunctory and of limited value). The Topgrading solutions implemented were:
- Candidates are repeatedly told that a final step in hiring is for them to arrange personal reference calls with former sales managers. (This inspires honesty and discourages weak candidates from applying).
- The Topgrading Career History Form is administered (which requests full compensation history, boss ratings of performance, true reasons for leaving employers, and much more, for every full-time job). The Topgrading Snapshot, a 1-page visual portrayal of the sales rep’s total career performance, efficiently screens out weak candidates, assuring that only the best candidates are interviewed.
- A tandem (two interviewers) Topgrading Interview was conducted with all finalists; this four-hour, chronological interview covers 16 basic questions (plus follow-up probes) for every full-time job. Every important aspect of a candidate’s career is scrutinized.
- Personal reference calls with former sales managers are conducted, arranged by finalist candidates. These provide excellent verifiability of all the information leaned about finalists.
Topgrading Results: The percent A Player sales representatives hired increased from 33% to 75% and forced resignations declined from 14 to 2. Pat Jones (again, fictitious name) was promoted in 2012.
Furthermore, the costs of mis-hiring $45,000 base salary sales representatives have plummeted. The average cost of a mis-hire was determined to be over $1 million.