One of the biggest challenges retail businesses face today is the hiring and recruitment process. Choosing suitable candidates demands a lot of time and effort from your HR team. This is due to the large volumes of job applications you typically receive from various job boards and job search engines.
Despite this difficulty, a retail business must have a strong sales workforce. If you own a business in this industry, you are well aware that your sales team is one of the backbones of your firm. And their performance will have a direct impact on the profits that you will make. For this reason, you should carefully select competent members of your team that will reel in the revenues for as long as the business is running.
Pre-Employment Sales Test
And one way to determine the proficiency of your job candidates is to conduct a pre-employment sales assessment test.
If you’re wondering how such tests help positively impact your retail business, read below for deeper insight.
1. Find The Right Team Members
Before hiring sales staff, you should consider each candidate’s personality and professional behaviors. This is critical, especially for a retail business, because your customers have direct contact with them. Every customer interaction is an opportunity to make a sale. Thus, the staff’s personality and skills could be a factor in whether a sale is made or not. During the hiring process, you may want to consider the skills and traits that are necessary for a salesperson. Here are some examples.
Active listening and comprehension skills
An attentive listener can easily comprehend your customers’ wants and anticipate their needs. This, in turn, enables them to make recommendations of the products they should purchase.
Communication & persuasion skills
The candidate must be able to clearly explain a product’s specifications and respond to questions and inquiries with confidence. This skill is essential for salespersons as they should positively influence a customer’s purchase decision.
Teamwork and collaboration
Sales positions in retail require the staff to collaborate with people who have different working styles and personalities. A good candidate should be a team player so that he or she can help contribute and achieve sales targets and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Not every customer transaction will go smoothly. Candidates for sales positions should be creative and motivated to overcome problems. This helps them to manage objections so that the sale may be closed amicably.
Physical strengths and abilities
Some sales positions will necessitate fieldwork and physical exertion. Thus, the candidate must be able to manually perform job-related tasks that require muscular flexibility, strength, and stamina.
The candidate should uphold honesty, dependability, and transparency. This should not be limited to sales positions but to all the positions in the company.
These may include friendliness, resilience, competitiveness, empathy, diligence, and other characteristics that can determine the candidate’s ability to provide excellent customer service. Customers can develop an emotional connection with your brand if the salesperson they encounter possesses such characteristics. These are some of the factors that could indirectly influence sales.
Aside from speeding up the hiring process, a sales assessment can help you determine whether or not candidates possess particular sets of skills and qualities. As a result, administering such exams allows you to zero in on the most qualified applicants who are likely to meet your sales and revenue targets as well as the non-monetary goals of your business. When you reduce liability hires, you can focus on more important facets of your business.
2. Optimize Sales Productivity And Revenue Contribution
The tricky part about depending on your intuition to select a suitable applicant is that this can lead you to make uninformed decisions. In turn, you may find your business drowning in losses. As you wouldn’t want that to happen, you need a set of metrics to help you gauge the suitability of your job candidates. And this is among the many benefits of a pre-employment sales assessment tool.
For sales positions, you would prefer applicants who can contribute the most value to your company in terms of sales and revenue. After all, this will be their primary responsibility and the benchmark for which your investment will be measured. Is there a way to do this during the recruitment period? One way you might want to consider is through a practical test. For a day or two in your store, you may let the candidates engage in the sales activities. From there, you’ll be able to analyze their productivity based on sales metrics such as:
The percentage of sales made compared to the total number of deals received. A salesperson with a high win rate will likely bring you more revenue.
The monetary value of the transactions made by a salesperson. Go for the contenders whose deal sizes are larger and less complicated to deliver.
Sales length: The average time it takes a salesperson to make one sale. A salesperson with a shorter sales length is likely to be more productive. Thus, the more revenue they can bring in.
A salesperson’s ability to meet or exceed his or her targets once hired. Choose those who achieved most of their objectives.
The number of deals that fail to close within the projected window. You’d want to avoid adding applicants with a high rate of losing sales deals to your team. This metric, however, will require more time to be accurately measured.
These are only some of the metrics from a pre-employment sales assessment that can give you a well-informed perspective on future top performers in your team.
3. Stabilizes employee tenure
Aside from identifying the candidate’s skills, the personality test can also determine whether or not the candidate will fit into the company’s culture. Why is this important? Employees who are satisfied, motivated, and share the company’s goals and objectives tend to stay for a long time.
One major concern in the retail industry is sales workforce turnover. Sadly, high sales employee turnover is a common occurrence. Why is it critical to maintain a low turnover rate in retail? HR managers would say that retaining existing employees is less costly than hiring new ones. By conducting a pre-employment sales assessment, you’ll be able to determine the sales employees who are less likely to move to a different job when problems arise. This way, you have fewer worries about lost opportunities to close a deal and reduce costs related to hiring and recruitment.
Moreover, when sales employees stay with the company, they can build and strengthen customer relationships. When the customers are satisfied and loyal to your business, they spend more than those who are not. All in all, the stability of the sales team is important for your business in delivering an excellent customer experience, driving sales, and revenue generation.
4. Boost Your Company’s Reputation
The good reputation of a business is also reflected in its workforce. This is important in retail such that if customers see new faces every time they walk into your store, they might perceive you as an employer or a company that does not take care of their employees. This also relates to employee turnover. A low employee turnover is a key indicator that the company is a good employer, which also draws a positive impression on the customers indirectly. When they have a positive impression of your business, there is a higher chance that they will purchase your products and tendency to become loyal customers.
Another activity that you can do during the pre-hire process is to allow your shortlisted candidates to interact with actual customers and then request client feedback. A candidate with positive feedback from most of the customers might be best suited for the sales job. Hiring such means that your clients are more likely to be satisfied, resulting in more sales for your company.
Adopting a pre-employment sales assessment can be beneficial to your retail business as it helps you build a sales workforce that can guarantee you high sales volumes. It also simplifies your hiring process by filtering out the less suitable candidates and allows you to focus on the more skilled ones. A strong sales force can be your competitive advantage so making an investment in this tool will not go to waste.