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
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.
Yes, you read that correctly, these email templates will help you open doors and build relationships with new prospects. No, they will not work every single time but compared to the generic, “one size fits all” and overly salesy emails most sales reps send, I’m confident these will work far more effectively.
Learn our proven 7 step methodology for turning cold calls into hot leads.
Rolling out a new sales process is not easy. It takes a lot of planning, research, communication and flat out hard work. But it is a really important task because the payoff-when done properly-is significant. A study conducted by CSO Insights showed that companies with a dynamic sales process won 53% of their forecasted deals compared to 43% who do things “ad hoc.” All other things being equal, rigorous sales process management yields 10% more output from a sales force. No too shabby!
In my previous blog post, How to Prepare for and Open the Sales Discovery Call, I discussed the importance of the sales discovery call itself (for the sales person), and how to prepare for and open the call. Now I'm going to walk you through the process of structuring and sequencing your sales discovery questions.
In most instances, the sales discovery call is the first conversation with the prospect-and often the most important conversation-AFTER YOU HAVE DETERMINED THE PROSPECT IS A QUALIFIED BUYER. I would argue that the sales discovery call actually sets the entire tone for the client relationship. Why? The discovery call is "make or break time" for the sales rep because he or she will either pigeon hole themselves in the commodity bucket or they will establish themselves as an authoritative thought leader who brings credibility and adds value to the conversation. Not only that, have you ever actually seen the calendar of a corporate decision maker? It looks something like the calendar below. When you you get on the calendar of a corporate decision maker (hiring manager), you sure as heck better bring your A game and nail the discovery call.
Think about how much time and energy you invest in reviewing sales metrics, sales pipeline reports, analyzing and updating your job board (assuming you have one in your office) and looking over sales forecasts in your CRM or ATS. Now also think about how much time and effort you put into preparing for and participating in sales meetings, and one-on-one meetings with your sales reps where you're trying to help them get those "late stage deals" back on track and closed. If you’re like most sales leaders than the answer is a LOT! For most sales leaders and IT staffing owners, the sales pipeline is the key driver for how the business is managed. The sales pipeline including the sales forecast guides many of the tactical and strategic business decisions from when, why and how to hire new sales reps and recruiters to making technology investments and expanding the footprint of the business. Your sales pipeline is your lifeblood!
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.
In this day and age it’s unfathomable to shop without using the internet. We research and buy products, pay our bills, book vacations, register for classes, file our taxes and download music all from the internet. Just the other night I was with two buddies after work for happy hour when one started sharing with us how he bought a new car. He shared with us how he started off by researching different makes and models on the internet. After narrowing it down to a couple of different cars he did additional online research on each specific model to gain insight on the performance and safety features of each model and to see what current owners had to say about their experience owning those cars. From there he started looking at different dealerships-all online-to compare prices and financing options and figure out who was offering the best deals. In essence my friend had walked us through his buying journey and how he arrived at the car he purchased. Keep in mind that about 80% of this was all done on his own, before he even picked up the phone and spoke with a sales person.
Learning doesn’t end when you graduate from college and enter the workforce and it certainly doesn’t (or shouldn’t) end with the completion of your new hire on-boarding experience. No matter what industry or sector you’re in, learning new skills, understanding the latest trends and innovations in your industry and gaining a deeper understanding of your field is essential to professional success.
Chances are you've heard some variation of the following statisticss: 85-90% of sales training has no lasting impact after 120 days. Sales Performance International reports that new reps lose 84 percent of what they learn in sales training within 90 days. Trainingindustry.com says U.S. companies spend an average of $5,000 per sales rep on training annually and the average time it takes to get new hires to the same performance level as tenured sales reps is 381 days.