May 25, 2018 by - Dale Archdekin

How to Find the Perfect Inside Sales Agent with Skills Based Assessments

When it comes to finding a new inside sales agent for your team, it’s imperative to use skills based assessments to hire the perfect fit. Compared to the traditional recruiting and interviewing process, skills based assessments and hiring can guarantee that you add a skilled and dedicated member to your team.  

There have been too many times that I’ve come across a real estate team that doesn’t have a strong recruiting process. They tend to spend a lot of time reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates who don’t perform well in the position they are hired for. If you follow my Four Step Skills Based Assessment Plan, you are guaranteed to hire someone that possesses the skills you are looking for.  

Why the Traditional Interview Process Doesn’t Work 

While the traditional interviewing process may work well for businesses that need straightforward employees who have limited interactions with people, it doesn’t work well when it comes to finding salespeople. The process of reading through stacks of resumes, scheduling interviews, and interviewing candidates is time consuming and can lead to bad hires.  

As you listen to a candidate’s answers during an interview, you may feel that they are a great fit for your salesperson position. However, when they sit down and get on the phone with a list of leads, they may fail to convert them or make a sale. It’s impossible to tell how a candidate will handle a sales call when sitting in an interview with them. A bad hire leads to returning to the interview process again. It’s an endless cycle!  

The process is lengthy and can be very involved. Usually, just one interview doesn’t cut it, so you may invite candidates back two or three times before making a decision. A lengthy and time consuming process can lead to hiring managers shortening the process, which results to missing key information about a candidate. 

Why Hire Using Skills Based Assessments? 

With skills based assessments, you can filter out unqualified candidates quickly. Rather than wasting your time sitting down in an interview and realizing the candidate is not fit for the position, you’ll know before even reviewing their resume.  

Skills based assessments are tests to assess a candidate’s skills. Pretty straightforward, right? Rather than learning about a candidate’s employment history, you will learn about what type of person they are. These assessments will give you a better idea of whom you are hiring and what you can expect from your new employee.  

What You Should Test For

There are a few skills that a successful inside sales agent must have to be deemed worthy of working on your team.  

  • Good Conversationalist  
  • Great Sales Skills 
  • Lead Conversion 
  • Good Networking Skills 
  • Persistent  
  • Maintains a Good Attitude 

You can evaluate all of these skills and more when hiring using the following skills based assessments and ensure you are hiring the perfect candidate for your team.  

The Four Step Skills Based Assessment Hiring Process

I’ve come up with a simple and effective four-step skills based assessment hiring process to make the most out of your time and filter out unqualified candidates. It consists of a lot of role-playing, which allows you to witness how a candidate will handle a sales call and if they can convert a lead.  

Step 1: The Voicemail  

It’s daunting to see a stack of resumes sitting on your desk. How are you ever going to find time to go through all of them during your already busy day? What if you pass over a great candidate just because you don’t like the format of their resume?  

This first step takes away the anxiety of filtering through resumes. As part of the application process, instruct applicants to call a number that goes straight to voicemail and leave a message about why they think they are the best fit for the position.  

This first skills based assessment allows you to evaluate how an applicant presents themselves over the phone and how they articulate. You should understand exactly what the applicant is saying and if they can communicate clearly. This also allows you to evaluate what type of personality they have. Do they sound bored and monotone or nice and energetic? All of these skills are extremely important when it comes to being an inside sales agent.  

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Dale Archdekin, ISA, Hiring

Step 2: Role-Play Over the Phone 

If you liked the way they sounded in their recorded voicemail, schedule a phone call with them. During this phone call, you will role-play with the applicant to see how well they can convert a lead.  

This phone call will help you to evaluate what kind of sales skills the applicant already has. I like to hire people who don’t have any real estate experience so I can evaluate the sales skills they already have without any training. 

You can send them a script to use during this phone call or ask them to do it on a whim. Do whatever you think is best for your assessment and team.  

Step 3: Recorded Calls 

The next step is to invite your candidate into the office to make recorded calls to leads. Have a list of leads ready and see how your candidate handles converting them.  

How many calls do they make in a certain amount of time? How many appointments do they get out of those calls? It’s important to have some perimeters to measure their success and qualification by.  

If you have invited an unlicensed candidate to make these phone calls, be sure to abide by your state’s real estate laws. This may require you to shadow the candidate during the phone calls. Ask your broker if you have any questions about the legality of it.  

Step 4: The Interview 

The final step of my skills based assessment hiring process is the face-to-face interview. You’ve filtered out the most qualified candidates that possess the best sales skills. Now it’s time to officially meet and interview them.  

The time to ask candidates about their employment history, work habits, and any hypothetical questions is during this interview. This is also a great time to answer any questions they have about the position. It shouldn’t take up too much of your time since you already know they are qualified candidates.  

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Dale Archdekin, ISA, Hiring

Hiring the Best Candidate with Skills Based Assessments

There are numerous ways to assess the skills of job applicants. I’ve just provided the four steps that I have found work best. Of course, you should tailor this process to your team’s needs.  

I know of some teams that even after interviewing candidates, have them act as an intern and audition for the role still. They will set benchmarks of how many contacts they make or appointments scheduled. It’s important to do what works best for your team.  

By using skills based assessments, you are able to filter out any unqualified or undedicated applicants. You are guaranteed to find the best fit for your team through a series of skills based assessments while saving time and cutting down your turnover rate.  

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