How to Identify Drive In Sales Candidates With Dr Christopher Croner

Using Sales Psychology To Hire Top-Performers
Using Sales Psychology To Hire Top-Performers

In this episode of the Selling in Asia Podcast, Tom Abbott sits down with Dr Christopher Croner, the Principal of SalesDrive, LLC – a firm specialising in selecting and deploying high-performing salespeople. Join them as they discuss how to identify drive in sales candidates. In particular, the three elements of internal “drive” set these top-performers apart from the rest. So watch, read or listen now so that you never hire a bad salesperson again

Also read:

The 3 characteristics to identify Drive in sales professionals

When looking to hire top performing sales professionals, the ones that will try harder and do more to close deals, you need to identify their level of drive. Drive refers to their level of internal motivation. Drive has been identified to be one of the main characteristics that separate the top performers from the underachievers. Here are three characteristics to identify drive in prospective sales professionals:

1. Need for Achievement

When we talk about the need for achievement, we’re talking about the person who wants to do well simply for the sake of doing well. A person high in need for achievement usually stands out by naturally wanting to set the bar high. They jump at challenges and look to set the bar even higher. They’re constantly focused on producing excellence just for the sake of excellence. These people get up every morning and make things happen without the need to have somebody standing over them, watching them. So with companies becoming increasingly more remote with blended teams relying on all types of communication, this characteristic continues to be even more critical.

2. Competitiveness

The second characteristic of drive in a salesperson is that they want to be the best on their team. So they’re constantly comparing their performance to their peers. They always want to win that client who isn’t entirely convinced. Why? Because psychologically, that type of sale is like a contest of wills. They want to win.

3. Optimism

The third and final characteristic to identify drive in a salesperson is their sense of certainty that they will succeed. Their optimism. They believe they will succeed, therefore they possess a resiliency to hang in there when they face the inevitable rejection that all salespeople receive, because they believe their efforts will be rewarded. As the famous quote by Mark Cuban goes: “Every “No” brings me closer to a “Yes”. It’s people with that mentality who have the fundamental characteristics of drive that make them prime candidates to be top performing sales professionals.

Drive can’t be taught. You either have it or you don’t by the time you’re 21/22

Dr Chris Croner

Dr Croner advises that these three characteristics will only be embedded into a salesperson’s personality before they are 22 and not after that. Therefore, there’s not much we can do to change it after that. An internal drive or motivation is either there, or it’s not. You can’t teach drive – mainly because the way these three characteristics develop is through a combination of nature and nurture as the person grows.

Also read: 7 Personality Traits of a Good Salesperson Vs. a Bad Salesperson

How to find top-performing sales professionals

While identifying characteristics of drive in salespeople is essential to hiring top performers, finding people with these characteristics to join your company is another thing. Here’s what to look for when assessing potential sales hires including what to look for on their resume.

1. Avoid job-hoppers

An indicator that a salesperson will give up when the going gets tough is easy to spot on a resume- particularly when you get a resume from a candidate who’s been job-hopping in and out of a job for six months to a year and constantly changes roles.

During the hiring process, it’s essential to identify how that person has behaved in the past, which will allow you to predict how they’re going to perform going forward.

Dr Croner advises to use your discretion and instinct in this area. Mostly because when someone has just come out of school, it usually takes a couple of jobs to figure out precisely what they want to do.

2. Hunt for candidates

The best sales people aren’t looking for jobs, they’re already employed. So instead of waiting for them to come to you, you need to go out and find them. Generally, the majority of active job seekers are looking for a new job for a reason. So you need to target and hunt for passive job seekers who are currently too driven in their current role to look for a new position.

3. Ask for real metrics

The third indicator to identify a top-performer is that the person can provide metrics to show that they have been successful in the past. When it comes to metrics, what we’re talking about is the difference between someone saying, “I was a top producing sales rep.” versus some who say “I helped increase revenue from $100,000 per month to $300,000 per month within a six month period.” You’re looking for tangible metrics to prove their success in previous positions.

4. Follow a screening process

Sales leaders can use a screening process to test and interview sales candidates for Drive and other key sales skills. The first step is often the resume review using the techniques we just discussed, then moving on to a phone screen, during which time, you could start by walking the person or let them walk you through their resume. This way you can learn a lot about the person and their levels of discernment. In particular, what’s causing them to be attracted to your position. This can be done by following these 3 steps:

  1. Ask for a basic job description: What did you do in that role?
  2. Next ask: If you were on a sales team, where did you rank on the team? (The competitive person will know exactly where they rank.) 
  3. Finally, follow up with: What got you to move on to the next position? 

You can also test for Drive using SalesDrive’s personality test for salespeople – The DriveTest®

More about Dr Christopher Croner

Dr Christopher Croner is the Principal of SalesDrive, LLC – a firm specialising in selecting and deploying high-performing salespeople. Dr Croner is the co-author of the book “Never Hire a Bad Salesperson Again,” detailing his research and practice identifying the non-teachable personality traits common to top producing sales professionals.

Dr Croner is also the host of the weekly sales enhancement YouTube series “Sales Psyched!” He has also developed the proprietary DriveTest® sales assessment and the Drive Interview, both used for hiring “Hunter” salespeople. Using this method, he has helped more than 1000 companies worldwide to hire and develop top-performing salespeople.

Dr Croner has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, teaching personnel selection in the Industrial Psychology Master of Arts program. He is also a member of the Consulting Section of the Illinois Psychological Association and former Co-Program Chair of Chicago Industrial/Organizational Psychologists (CIOP).

Connect with Dr Christopher Croner

Whether you believe you will fail or succeed – you’re right.

The secret to success in sales starts with having the right mindset.

You need to learn how to stay motivated when the economy slows down, when customers say no and when things aren’t going their way.

It’s often a strong sense of internal motivation that separates the top performers from the underachievers, which is why we consider mindset to be the foundation of sale excellence.

In this course, Mindset For Sales Success, we cover everything from common pitfalls to avoid when managing remote teams to effective communication and remote team and methods of keeping staff motivated when they’re working from home.

Mindset For Sales Training Program Booklet

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