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.
Learn our proven 7 step methodology for turning cold calls into hot leads.
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.
Having worked with hundreds of IT staffing CEO's and business owners, I’ve heard more than my fair share of frustrations and complaints over salespeople spending too much time on the wrong activities. I'm talking about salespeople spending hours a day on non selling activities such as servicing existing customers and consultants, formatting resumes, prepping candidates, conducting sales research, preparing client facing content, writing emails and many others. They say "how can I get my salespeople to spend more time prospecting for new business and meeting with prospective customers? The answer to that question lies in the reasons for why salespeople are in fact spending so much time on these non selling sales activities. Here are five reasons why salespeople focus on the wrong sales activities and how you can diagnose why your salespeople are struggling with time allocation.
In corporate America it's standard operating procedure to promote the top sales performer into management despite the fact that it's common knowledge that many of those top performers struggle with leading and managing a sales team. What might not be common knowledge is why so many top performers struggle with the transition into management. If you're a top performer actively interviewing for a sales management role or have already received a promotion, you should understand the most difficult aspects of the transition into management and leading a sales team. To give you a dose of sales management reality, I’ve outlined the most six most common reasons why new sales managers fail.
Today’s sales leader is expected to be part sales superstar who still closes deals and models the desired sales behaviors, part trainer, part CRM/ATS expert, part “chief problem solver,” and responsible for a plethora of other responsibilities including territory management, compensation and commission plans, performance management, recruitment and selection, customer segmentation, sales strategy, sales forecasting and opportunity management to name a few. Given such a multitude of responsibilities, the sales leader’s most pressing challenge is knowing which tasks and activities to focus on that will deliver the greatest return. The million-dollar question is, how do sales leaders know which tasks and activities those are? The answer lies in their sales cadence.
I've been blessed with the opportunity of working with hundreds of sales and recruiting teams from IT staffing companies across the country. One of the most common questions I get is "Dan, how does our sales team stack up against the competition?" As you can imagine, there are many ways in which I can answer this question and even more ways in which to compare and contrast one sales team to another. So a few years ago I started answering this question with the following question, "how accurate was your most recent sales forecast?" I usually get a deer in the headlights kind of response.
Every IT staffing sales organization has a sales culture. Great ones are hard to come by because they take a long time to develop and tremendous effort to sustain. Sales teams can have a lousy sales culture but still have a great year and hit or even exceed their sales quota. Consistently meeting and exceeding sales quota (24 months without missing your sales quota) however requires a healthy sales culture. Sales teams don't consistently meet sales quota without having a strong sales culture. At the same time, your sales culture can prevent sales quota attainment from happening.
Most people don't like to be on the proverbial hot seat. Professional coaches, (NFL, NBA, MLB) politicians, CEO's, individual contributors. Why would you, right? Sales leaders however, especially top performing sales leaders thrive on it. That is what the job is. Every month or every quarter they're basically trying out to make their own team. Sales leaders live under a microscope of constant scrutiny. So how do they do it? Better yet, how do top performing sales leaders perform and consistently deliver their number in this pressure-cooker work environment?
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.