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
If your recruiters make calls that sound like this, "Hello Mrs. Smith, my client is looking for a Java Developer with 5 years of experience in JSP. Do you have that?" then you have your answer. That is NOT a recruiting approach. That is a sourcers approach. Now, I want to be crystal clear, before I get one thousand angry calls from recruiters, I am not saying that recruiters are bad at their job. I am also not saying that sourcers aren't important or that they are ineffective. What I am saying is that in the candidate driven market that the majority of us are in the type of call I described will not yield positive results. I don't think that's news. So why do I hear calls like that one so often?
This article was written by Tricia Bielinski of K2 Partnering Solutions.
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I have come to discover that one of the most under-performed activities and under-valued skills in the IT staffing industry is preparing candidates for the client interview. When I ask sales and recruiters how they prepare their candidates for interviews I get the following responses: "I go over the job description with the candidate" "I give the candidate the client's web site address to research the customer" "I tell him/her who they will be interviewing with" "I tell the candidate what to expect (if known) in the interview" "I give the candidate directions and make sure they have the phone number" "I tell them to come prepared with questions to ask the client" Have you noticed the theme that has emerged here? We are constantly telling the candidate what to do. But where in there are we testing and probing the candidate to understand what he or she has done on their own time to prepare for the interview? Where in there are we testing to see how our candidate will actually perform in the interview? The whole purpose of preparing the candidate for the interview is to put the candidate (and ourselves) in the best possible position for success right? Here are a few ideas and examples on how to tweak your candidate prep process so you can help your candidates increase their odds of nailing their interviews.
Every month I speak with dozens of sales & recruiting professionals, business owners, CEO’s and industry executives. And over the past several months I have been hearing the same thing. “We lost another candidate (and sales opportunities) at the 11th hour. The candidate took another opportunity (or decided to take a perm opportunity).” When I probe to better understand the situation and why this is happening it becomes pretty clear. Candidates are taking other job opportunities-usually opportunities their sales and recruiting team we’re unaware of or lacked the ability to sell against.
One of the most surprising (and far too common) things I have discovered within our industry is how unaware and out of touch we can often be when it comes to pricing a deal. I work with staffing professionals all day long, every day and I watch them put deals together. Screening process complete, check. Meet the candidate face to face, check. References conducted, check. Completed background check, check. Get the job offer from the client, check. What amazes me however is how little and infrequently I see a sales representative or recruiter using their calculator to crunch the numbers to ensure they hit their target GP%. Naturally I ask the folks I work with and observe “How did you arrive at the bill rate?” And the response I always get is “oh, well we always just shoot for an “x” markup.” I might respond with an “oh, and does that markup get you to your target GP%?” “Is that markup going to give you the highest commission payout you can earn?” I often get a funny look back in response. And I ask another question, “do you know what your target GP% is?” I get another funny look. I can’t emphasize this enough, it is very important that you know basic math formulas for pricing deals. Let me offer a quick overview on the math so you can start putting more money in your pocket today!
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