Success in the IT Staffing Industry demands a commitment to ongoing education. Being a sales person in this industry requires us to be able to “talk the talk” with hiring managers and consultants. This means possessing IT industry knowledge. Whether that means understanding the differences between software development methodologies when speaking to a VP of software development, or understanding the unique needs of a business leader in the Retail space when they are looking for a Business Analyst, one thing remains the same: the better YOU understand what THEY are saying and what THEY need the more confident you will feel and the more confident that manager will be working with you and that your candidates will be on target. And, perhaps most importantly, if that manager is confident that you are going to deliver for them, how likely are they to take calls from your competitors?
Now, it is important to remember that we do not need to become subject matter experts in our chosen niches (whether they be technical, job specific, or industry). What is critical is that we have a strong “High-Level” IT industry knowledge including the jargon, work flow, and specific needs of both our clients and our consultants. This knowledge takes time to accumulate, but the steps toward that knowledge are easy to take.
Topics: IT Knowledge
How do you recognize the difference between your superstar sales reps and your average performers?
When I ask this question of my customers they typically tell me, “that is easy, I just look at their performance. Either they’re making placements or they’re not.” They go on to say that they look at the data, specifically the activity and performance numbers. Sounds easy enough, but what do you do when your data tells you that your superstars and your average reps are performing the same activities and producing the same level of activity? To take it step further and I have certainly seen this one throughout my career, what do you do when you see that your C player is actually doing more activity than your superstar? How can that be?
The Problem With Your Data
This is part two of a three part series. On June 19, 2014 I presented at Bullhorn Live on how to implement a unified sales process. Below is part two of the series. You can read part one here.
Last week I had the opportunity of presenting at Bullhorn Live. This is Bullhorn's annual user conference to not only showcase their CRM/ATS software but to give users a chance to learn about industry best practices. In my case, I spoke on how to implement a unified sales process and why having a sales process is critical to scaling your business. This is part one of a three part series recapping of my presentation.
Do you know who Edwards Deming is? I didn’t think so. I didn’t know either. Edwards Deming was an American statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant. And he was credited for saying “a bad system will beat a great person every time.” You know what, he’s right! Take it from me, I learned the hard way. And in my six years providing sales training and consulting services, I have seen hundreds of others learn the hard way as well.
This blog is part two of a two-part blog series on account development. You can read part one, How to Expand Revenue in Existing Accounts.
First, if you want to grow account revenue and develop a partnership, you have to strengthen and deepen your existing relationships, AND establish new relationships in other business lines or departments AND at the enterprise (executive) level. This requires sales people to break out of their comfort zone mentality of “my client” and view the relationship as a “company to company” relationship. Organizations that do the most effective job of expanding account revenue focus less on how much they’re liked by the customer and more on the business value of the relationship (of how the client perceives the value). And that involves getting your entire organization involved in serving the client.
Unfortunately, despite their best intentions, many strategic (or target) account programs under perform. The most common reasons are listed in the table below
A few years back I was attending a session at the Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum. The speaker made the comment “in the staffing industry we’re too quick to hire and too slow to fire.” That quickly struck a chord with me. I thought to myself, “that is 100% spot on.” I have been guilty of it and I know many if not most of my peers have been guilty of this as well. Yet, isn’t it common sense that when you have a rep who is under performing, you put them on a PIP and either they make it or they’re managed out?
So why is it so challenging to manage sales professionals? If you think about it, the role of the sales professional and the performance metrics they’re measured by are crystal clear. It boils down to, “did you hit your number?” Every sales person goes into the office each morning knowing exactly where they stand. Or don’t they? Let’s take a look at sales performance management best practices and how you can get the most out of your sales team.
A blog offering fresh ideas, novel sales strategies and sales leadership advice for the IT staffing industry.