Selection of Sales Force

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Sales Force Selection
The sales force is solely responsible for building the bottom line of an organization. It is the only department that brings in revenues & hence must be given due importance in the organizational structure. Selection of the sales force must be a careful process that ensures that top quality salesmen, who will exhibit motivation, a strong orientation towards results & loyalty to the company. Selection is the process of discovering the qualifications & characteristics of the job applicant in order to establish their likely suitability for the job position. A good selection requires a methodical approach to the problem of finding the best matched person for the job. The recruitment process consists of multiple phases.

Sorting of Applicants:
The available database of applicant resumes, which could be obtained through advertisements, referrals, open applications must initially be screened for the basic job requirements. The criteria for the job requirements could be based on the degree of experience, required technical knowledge, educational qualifications and capabilities that would be demanded by the job. This phase of the screening would be one of basic pattern matching of the requirements of the job with the available resume database. Interviews:

The interviews could be conducted in phases as a preliminary & final interview, technical & HR interview or as a single interview to gauge all required skills of the applicant. Various types of interviews are available to gauge various skills of the applicant. The most common types of interview methods used are:

* Behavioural Interviews
* Situational Interviews
* Patterned Interviews
Behavioural Interviews:
Questions ask applicants for specific examples from their past experiences of specific job-related issues Commonly used question format: “Tell me about a time when ….” Examples:
For a sales position: “Tell me about your most difficult recent sale. What did you do? What happened?” If team leadership is essential to the job: “Tell me about a time when you were the leader of a team. What did you do? What happened?” If providing effective performance feedback is essential to the job: “Tell me about a time when you had to talk with a person about their poor performance. What did you do? What happened?” Each question has a scoring system to rate the applicant’s answers on numerical rating scales Use rubrics: For each question, write an example of what would be the: Best answer (e.g., best answer = 5 points)

Good answer (e.g., good answer = 3 points)
Bad answer (e.g., bad answer = 1 point)
To improve validity, use a panel of interviewers to evaluate each applicant’s interview Validity: good to great; this is usually our best choice of interview formats

Situational Interviews
3 types of questions:
* Hypothetical: questions that describe a situation and ask what the applicant would do in that situation * Job-Knowledge: questions that ask applicants to define job-related terms, or explain a procedure, or demonstrate a skill * Job Requirements: questions that ask applicants about their willingness to comply with job requirements (e.g., travel, shift-work, etc.) Each question has a scoring system to rate the applicant’s answers on numerical rating scales To improve validity, use a panel of interviewers to evaluate each applicant’s interview Validity: Good

Patterned Interview:
Ask about education, work experiences, career goals, etc.
Example questions:
* Why did you pick your major?
* What are your strengths and weaknesses?
* What do you plan on doing 5 years from now?
* Validity: moderate
Having an interview “script” helps validity. Every applicant gets exactly the same questions. But the typical questions may not be all that helpful. What’s a good answer to “Why did you pick your major?” Psychological Selection Method

A selection procedure measure the personality characteristics of...
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