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Evaluating a new employee

From a sales performance perspective, how long should should it take a company to evaluate an employee to see if he or she cuts the mustard? (if the answer is "it depends", then please give a range and try to describe what it depends on). - by Wonderboy
It depends on the length of the sales cycle. If the time between first contact with a prospective customer and close of the sale is short, then you probably can tell pretty quickly.

If it's a long sales cycle then you need to assess how he or she does on the steps towards a completed sale. If your sales process is well defined and you know what these steps are, then you easily determine if progress is being made or not. If the process is not well defined you'll have a much harder time evaluating the person. My experience is that poor performers can "hide out" in long sales cycle environments.

To really assess a person you'll need to know the competencies for top producers. If you know the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of the top performers you'll be able to assess what the new hire is capable of. Knowledge and skills are trainable, attributes aren't. Attributes are the inherent psychological traits, such as drive, integrity, persistence. These are generally hard-wired in a person by the time they enter the work force. They can be changed, but it usually takes a significant emotional event to do. - by gstebbins
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