Checklist: Is Your IT Staffing Firm Hiring the Wrong Sales Managers?
In my last post, I wrote about how most IT staffing firms make the major mistake of compensating their sales managers incorrectly, inadvertently encouraging them to focus on their own books of business, rather than developing the skills of their team. But compensation is only part of the problem. Many IT staffing firms are hiring the wrong sales managers in the first place.
I’m not saying the owners of IT staffing firms are careless about their businesses. But for all their experience in IT staffing, they often lack the know-how for hiring good sales leaders.
Without anything else to go on, the owners of most IT staffing companies figure the best sales manager is someone who is really good at sales. And it’s easy to be wowed by smooth-talking salespeople with impressive success records.
But think about it: Even bad salespeople can sell themselves; top salespeople, even more so. But that doesn’t mean they know how to recruit a team, make their successes repeatable, and make a company scalable.
The truth is, great salespeople don’t necessarily make great sales managers. So what should you be looking for in your next sales manager?
Searching for Mr. Scalability
In my popular blog post, “What Type of Sales VP to Hire for Your IT Staffing Firm,” I describe the four types of sales managers you could hire. Different types are a good fit for different firms, but for 80 percent of staffing firms (the same 80 percent that is in the risky position of relying on a single salesperson and a single account for the majority of their revenue), I recommend “Mr. Scalability.”
As I explain in my blog post, Mr. Scalability isn’t just a good salesperson. He “knows how to recruit, hire, and train salespeople” enabling your whole sales team to meet quota, bring in new accounts, and grow your business.
If you’re interviewing candidates for sales manager position, use the checklist below to make sure you’re talking to Mr. Scalability:
- Walk me through the steps of how you will build a top-performing sales team.
- Interview me as if I was a sales rep interviewing for a sales position on your team. I want to hear how you would qualify me.
- Step by step, walk me through the sales process you plan to implement for the team here?
- What is your process designing and deploying a sales process?
- What is your plan for getting the team to fully buy in and adopt your sales process?
- What experience do you have implementing scalable and repeatable sales processes?
- What is your process for coaching and developing talent. Role play the conversation with me as if I’m your rep who is 35% behind quota
- How do you break sales best practices down into repeatable steps so your team can learn them and use them effectively?
- How do you configure a CRM/ATS to your sales process, so other team members can follow it?
- Do you believe selling is more science than art? Explain why or why not.
- Do you know what metrics to look at to measure the success of your sales process and where it needs improvement?
What else would you look for in sales manager for your IT staffing firm? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And if you’re looking for other ways to help your firm finally break through your revenue goals, you’ll find my newest ebook, “The Top 4 Sales Mistakes Limiting the Revenue Growth of IT Staffing Firms,” very interesting. Download your free copy by clicking on the link below.
About Dan Fisher
I’m Dan Fisher, founder of Menemsha Group. Over 400 IT staffing firms including thousands of sales reps and recruiters apply my sales methodology including my scripts, playbooks, job aids, tools and templates, all of which is consumed from our SaaS based sales enablement platform and our mobile application. I’ve coached and mentored hundreds of sales leaders, business owners and CEO’s, and I have spoken at a variety of industry events including Staffing World, Bullhorn Engage, TechServe Alliance, Bullhorn Live, Massachusetts Staffing Association, and National Association of Personnel Services. Since 2008 I've helped IT staffing organizations quickly ramp up new hires, slash the time it takes to get new reps to open new accounts and meet quota, get more high-quality meetings with key decision makers and help leaders build a scalable sales organization. My training and coaching programs are engaging and highly interactive and are known to challenge sellers to rethink how they approach selling. Ultimately, I help sellers increase productivity, accelerate the buying process & win more deals.