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.
I’ve spent a lot of time traveling the country the past 6 years coaching sales reps and helping CEO’s and business leaders implement sales process and sales management systems. Yeah, I have certainly seen a lot and learned a lot from that experience. Let me share with you the 5 things that best in class sales organizations do differently from all of the rest.
Build Knowledge (not just skills). Most IT staffing firms provide some form of sales training but tend to focus the training exclusively on skills development. What this means is they provide training on how to execute a step in their sales process such as describing their service offerings, taking a job requirement or scheduling a face to face meeting. This is a good first step, but it's nowhere near enough. What average and laggard companies fail to do however is build knowledge amongst their sales team. What is the difference between skills development and building knowledge? I'm talking about teaching and developing knowledge in your sales force around these key elements:
As it turns out, a lot actually.
My brother introduced me to the T.V hit series Mad Men at the conclusion of season 3. I breezed through those first three seasons via Netfix in just a few weeks and haven't looked back since! What's not to love......sales, an over indulgence of booze, crazy corporate shannigans and brilliant writing. Oh, I guess there is a fair amount of sex not to mention adultery. But if you can get past that last part I assure you you will learn something about sales and pitching.
I think we all agree that selling is hard work. Despite the IT staffing market's impressive growth rate, it is still difficult to win new accounts and close deals. Sales people are taking on bigger quotas, calling on more accounts and attempting to make more contacts than ever. And to top it off, they're inundated with more data (the web) than what they know what to do do with. Suffice it to say, they're overwhelmed!
A blog offering fresh ideas, novel sales strategies and sales leadership advice for the IT staffing industry.