IT Staffing Sales Effectiveness
Sales best practices for improving sales win rates, shortening the sales cycle and increasing overall quota attainment. Sales strategies to make revenue growth repeatable, and scalable
When you on-board a new sales rep or recruiter and they go home after their first day or first week do you think they say to their friends and family “I’m so excited about my new job and my new employer, this is going to be an awesome place to work!” Or, do you think they say, “If I have to spend another minute in on-boarding training locked up in a conference room getting lectured I might lose my marbles.” Which of these comments, thoughts and feelings do you
The first challenge any new hire on-boarding or sales training program must tackle is ensuring you keep and maintain the attention of your learners. If you can't hold their attention they won't pay attention and if they don't pay attention you will never see results. According to Xerox, 87% of sales training content is forgotten within one month of the training.
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When a new sales rep or recruiter joins your staffing firm, their success is primarily dependent upon how well your new hire on-boarding program is designed, organized and executed. As I have discussed in past blog posts, there are many different ways in which you can set up a new hire on-boarding program. One way is a 30-60-90 day sales on-boarding program in which sales reps set out to master specific knowledge and skills over 30-day increments. The easy part is setting up the training and putting your new hires through your sales on-boarding program. The hard part is certifying and validating whether your sales rep internalized and mastered the skills and knowledge and can execute.
The time lapse between your new hire's start date and the date in which they track to meet or exceed quota represents your opportunity cost to on-board a new hire (sales rep or recruiter). A shorter ramp up time means reduced risk in (missed) opportunity cost. With the cost of a failed new hire ramp up at 6 times the base salary (Topgrading for Sales), it is imperative that your new hires ramp up to productivity as quickly as possible.
As a business owner or sales and recruiter leader, the first hurdle you must overcome with your new hire on-boarding and training program is to capture and keep your learners attention. If you bore them, you will lose them. According to Xerox, 87% of sales training is forgotten after just one month of the training.
From my years of facilitating sales, recruiting and management training I have concluded that there are two schools of thought when it comes to tracking and measuring training success. The first school of thought that I have heard from a subset of customers is that tracking success is really easy. "Either reps get more job orders and closed more deals post training or they didn't." Pretty straight forward for some. The second school of thought from another subset of customers have shared with me that they find it difficult to measure training success because identifying and understanding the attributes is a challenge. Me, I tend to agree with both.
Seems like a silly question, right? But seriously, do your new hires (sales reps) know how to engage prospects in an intelligent and meaningful conversation? Most likely you’re chasing an aggressive annual goal and the only way to hit that goal is to get strong contributions from your new hires. Your concern of course is, how long will it take before they “get it,” before your new reps are prepared to hit the phones and engage prospects and customers in an intelligent conversation? The most common reason why sales leaders and CEO’s miss their number is because their new hires take too long “ramping up.” What happens is your sales reps are literally learning about their customers on-the-fly, through live sales calls. And you don't need me to tell you how hard it is to get today's sales rep to pick up the phone let alone engage in meaningful dialog! To hit your revenue and gross profit targets you must eliminate this “learn on the fly” approach and start teaching your sales reps who your customers are and how to speak with them from DAY ONE.
Understanding the difference between sales process and sales methodology can be confusing as they often get mixed up. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your sales team it is important that you not only understand the difference between the two, but how each improve sales performance in different ways.
Chances are you're adding new sales reps and recruiters to your staff this year. Chances are that you also expect those new hires to help you hit your 2017 revenue and profitability goals. As you look over your current team you know which reps and recruiters you can count on to meet and even exceed quota but it's your new hires that make you anxious. Your new hires are the "X Factor" because they're the unknown, the unproven. The reality is you have no idea what kind of performance you're going to get from your new hires once they start. So the question is, what can you do to increase new hire productivity including the likelihood for success? Better yet, what-if anything-can you do to make new new hire performance predicable after just the first thirty days? In this post I'm going to share with you just that, how to make new hire sales performance predictable in just 30 days. Before I get started I want to make a quick disclaimer. You should never, EVER think of new hire on-boarding as a sprint. On-boarding is not a one time event but a process for enabling long term success. Companies who treat new hire on-boarding as an event by providing "crash course" training experience high failure rates which equates to high turnover. According to Topgrading, the cost of a bad hire is 15X their base salary. Depending on your market a new hire base salary can run anywhere from $40K-$75K or more and that doesn't even include your recruiting costs, travel or benefits costs. New hire on-boarding requires thoughtful planning. Without an on-boarding plan you're essentially asking your new hires to run a race without a map, blindfolded.
When your new employee walks through the door on day one you should have two objectives, to make them feel welcome and a part of the team and second, to ramp them up to quota attainment as quickly as possible. The shorter the ramp up the quicker they build confidence and start adding value to the business.