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
Top performing staffing leaders including sales and recruiting managers are blowing their peers out of the water by over 20% on a gross profit per head basis. How are they doing it? They're dropping the old school sales manager approach (see Alec Baldwin, Always Be Closing) and instead they're connecting with team members on a deeper and more personal level. A recent Gallup study supports this showing that engaged employees produce on average 20% more higher sales than those that are not.
Regardless of how your sales and recruiting team has performed this year, it is likely your goals for 2018 will be even higher. Many staffing companies plan an annual sales kickoff event to recap the current or previous selling period and prepare for the year ahead. This is the time for CEO's and staffing leaders including sales managers and recruiting managers to motivate and unite their teams to achieve the goals that they’ve set for the upcoming year.
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The most common question I get from sales people at industry events, trade shows and certainly when I host workshops is "How should I stay in touch with my prospects and what should my sales follow up include?" Naturally, I respond by asking "tell me what you're currently doing?" The responses usually sound something like this:
Imagine going to your family doctor for your regularly scheduled check up and after taking your blood pressure and temperature your doctor instantly gives you a clean bill of health. Your doctor never asked any questions about how you feel, didn't listen to your heart or check your vitals. This would never happen right? Right, because doctors take their job and responsibility pretty seriously and because doctors take a holistic approach to diagnosing their patients.
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.
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.