There’s a scene in Moneyball that we refer to when we’re interviewing candidates for our sales roles.
Billy Beane, the data-driven General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team, is sitting at a table surrounded by lots of old-school baseball scouts. The scouts are talking about players applying the same heuristics they’d been using for years.
“He’s an athlete – big, fast, talented.”
“A lot of pop coming off the bat.”
Billy’s exasperation in this scene matches ours with the all-too-typical sales hiring process. Despite the opportunity to collect vast amounts of data on performance, leading sales organizations still rely on old-school heuristics to hire their teams.
“He’s got a great voice.”
“Went to a terrific school.”
At Bandalier, we’re taking a new approach. Similar to baseball, the volume of performance metrics available in sales is almost infinite. We want to isolate the attitudes and aptitudes that wind up being predictive of a successful career in sales roles. Our experience thus far has been that while some of these traits are obvious, others are much harder to glean and require very methodical questioning. Over time, we are collecting the data to support or discount hypotheses – about behaviors indicative of natural grit, the value of past experience, and how best to assess responsiveness to feedback, among other traits – and adjusting our approach as we learn.
Our belief is that by utilizing an analytical hiring approach, we can unlock talent in places many customer-facing organizations would never think to hire and with people they wouldn’t otherwise have had access to. And in doing so, we’ll build a new American workplace that is characterized by more meritocratic and thoughtful hiring.
For more on analytical hiring in sales, check out Mark Roberge’s Sales Acceleration Formula.