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
Imagine what would happen if you could increase your prospect or candidate email open rate by 5X and your click-through rate by 8X? That’s a massive jump in the number of prospects or candidates reading and taking action on your emails. The kind of jump that has every rep and recruiter in your company asking you, what the hell are you doing to crush it?
Is Cold Calling Candidates Dead? There has been a great debate whether or not cold calling candidates remain relevant in professional recruiting. Perhaps you have seen the articles on Google and LinkedIn that read “Cold Calling is Dead.” The so-called “experts' and “gurus” say that recruiters should never cold call candidates because candidates despise receiving them. They go on to say that cold calling no longer works and that it’s not a productive use of time.
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation rapidly evolving, I wanted to share a few tips for those who are now tasked with leading a remote team of sales reps or recruiters.
The ability to clearly communicate with candidates is the foundation on which recruiting careers are built. With today’s highly educated and highly empowered candidate, it’s paramount that recruiters possess world-class communication skills. If you thought any of the following - objection-handling skills, closing skills, or probing skills, were the key, guess again. It’s communication skills that differentiate top performers from average performers. The reason is because it's their underlying communication skills that enable them to effectively handle and overcome candidate concerns and objections. It's their communication skills that also enable top performing recruiters to ask-and receive-honest answers to sensitive probing question. It's their communication skills that enables top performers to consistently pre-close and close candidates.
In my prior blog post, How to Read, Understand a Client Job Description, I discussed the importance of recruiters possessing a natural sense of curiosity. Having a natural sense of curiosity means having an active mind. You’re not satisfied until you learn all you can about your subject matter and have the supporting data to start doubling down on what works (and in our case, what matters most to the candidate and hiring manager). As children, we’re naturally curious because it is how we learn. But as we grow up we start to loose that sense of curiosity.
Do you recall the old marketing slogan from General Electric, “We bring good things to life.” This slogan was heard at the end of all of their commercials throughout the 80’s, 90’s and even into the early 2000’s. What most people don’t know however is that the engineering team at GE had their own internal slogan, “to build a better product, you need to write a better product spec.”
For many recruiting professionals, conducting candidate reference checks is a thing of the past. Many find it to either be too difficult or too time consuming or both. Not only that, most recruiters will tell you that conducting candidate reference checks is a waste of time. They will go on to tell you that they are a waste of time because most employers are secretive and protective of the information they are willing to share regarding their former employees. Don't get me wrong, that is a legitimate issue and challenge that must be overcome. But I'm hear to tell you that these challenges can easily be overcome. In fact, reference checks are only a waste of time for those who ask weak questions or call the wrong people (when conducting the candidate reference).
I know, as you read this blog topic you probably thought to yourself, "really, who in the heck does candidate reference checks these days?" Yes, sadly, many recruiting professionals have stopped conducting references checks altogether. They rationalize this decision by claiming that references no longer offer any information of value. They go on to complain that organizations today will only validate a candidate's dates of employment and offer no other insight regarding the candidate's work performance or quality of work. Recruiters will also tell you that they when they ask their candidates for their references they get stuck with candidate objections like:
As the new year quickly approaches, it's time for staffing leaders and CEO's to ensure they have the right strategy in place to scale for sales revenue growth in 2020. Scaling for growth is about replicating success across your organization and making it repeatable on a broader scale. Chances are your existing sales team falls into a bell curve like you see in the illustration below. You're getting 80% of your revenue from from your top performers, likely just 10%-20% of your sales team. Meanwhile, 60% of your sales reps are only achieving 50%-70% of quota and the bottom 20% is really struggling just trying to figure things out.
As the IT staffing industry continues to grow, services are increasingly commoditized by off shore competition and low-cost, high touch providers who focus on "skill marketing." As a result, IT staffing firms are (have been) feeling their margins being squeezed. To counter this, results based selling and the ability to sell business outcomes rather than features and benefits becomes the differentiator. IT staffing firms who figure out how to build an organization of salespeople who can differentiate themselves based on the ideas and insights they share and align pricing with the business outcomes or business results customers receive from using their service will win the day and grow profit margins. However, this transformation is not easy and it doesn't start by simply hiring experienced sales reps.