How Many Punches Does It Take To Hire A Sales Rep?


Are you surprised that 11 months into blogging for Ideal Candidate you haven’t seen a single reference to hockey from a Canadian Toronto Maple Leaf fan? Well, that surprise is officially coming to an end today. Let’s talk hockey, eh?

If software is eating the world then data analytics is snacking on the enterprise, and in the case of the NHL, 2014 is their big year to take a bite. Moneyball showed how baseball started using analytics to win more games years ago and we’ve written about this a couple of times at Ideal Candidate. The NHL is lagging behind but the fact that they’re finally diving in is a sign that analytics is becoming more mainstream and moving along the technology adoption life cycle.

What does hockey have to do with hiring a sales rep?

Besides me just wanting an excuse to talk hockey, there are a number of hiring lessons we can take away from this.

Old dog, new tricks

The National Post talks about the “old way” and the “new way” of looking at stats in the NHL. When it comes to recruiting sales reps, this also applies. Firms that are not using data analytics and sticking with the old (subjective, inefficient) ways will fall behind their competition. As a wise woman once said: The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way.” Eventually, like in sports, organizations using data and analytics in the war for talent will become the new normal.

Data, not instincts

Decision making is difficult. When using your gut to make a hire, you’re essentially flipping a coin. Deciding who to bring on board, or team up on a line can make or break you. Smart managers – both on and off the ice – use data to increase their statistical odds of success. There are many different tools that organizations need to help them make important decisions such as assessing the quality of potential team members, and they should be based on accurate data as much as possible.

Get more wins

Hockey is a fun way to demonstrate how using data is an excellent way to help make better decisions and get more wins. It’s been said that 90% of the world’s data has been created over the past few years. It’s time to start putting that data to good use, both in the game and the job interview.

How have analytics improved your sales hiring (or hockey game)? Let me know in the comments.

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Shaun Ricci

COO at Ideal
Shaun Ricci is a Canadian entrepreneur and the Co-Founder of Ideal. Shaun served as Co-Founder and COO of Field ID until it was acquired in December 2012. Shaun’s accomplishments include spots on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists as well as the 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Shaun is also an active writer, documenting his wins and losses while building his startup sales team.