“I am not so sure about this candidate,” Marcus explained. “He says he would make a good sales manager, but even on his resume, he has only been in that role for seven months.”
“So, what does he say?” I asked.
“When, I think about it, sounds more like promises,” Marcus nodded. “I asked him what kind of impact he was having on his current sales team. He said that by the end of the year, they were looking at a substantial increase in sales. He said they should have made him sales manager three years ago.”
“But, they didn’t? And, does the increase in sales have anything to do with the sales manager, or is their market just improving? You are basing your judgment of effectiveness based on a result (that hasn’t even happened, yet). You have fallen in a trap. Results based performance is a trap.”
“But, results are important,” Marcus defended.
“And, results can be a sucker punch. You assume the results were created by the performance, when there are a hundred other things that contribute – reputation, price point, product superiority, terms, another supplier that failed to deliver. Results are important, but they don’t tell the whole story. When you abdicate your judgment of effectiveness based on results, you ignore the candidates behavior. What are the behaviors you expect out of your sales manager?”
Marcus had to stop and think. “Coaching, goal setting, teaching, observing, giving constructive feedback, encouraging, bringing out the best in his sales team.”
“So, interview for those behaviors. Effectiveness in those behaviors will tell the story of your candidate. Don’t be fooled by a result (that hasn’t happened yet).”