Three Ways To Increase Sales Win Rates
Job order activity continues to be plentiful in the IT staffing market. But while customer expectations rise to unprecedented expectations and concerns over european markets continue to mount, sales cycles are slowing. In some cases even coming to a dead halt. How can IT staffing sales professionals counter such obstacles? Below I highlight three ways in which you can improve sales win rates also known as staffing fill rate or staffing fill percentage.
1. Work the Right Opportunities: I often share with customers that the quickest and most effective way to increase sales velocity and improve sales win rates is to simply stop working the old, stale job requirements that you can’t fill. You know the ones. Review your pipeline and be honest with yourself. Do you really think you and your recruiters time is best spent on these job orders? Instead, define your target market by creating a profile for the ideal customer. The ideal customer profile should include:
Only clients in industries that you’ve had success in
Only client requirements (technical skill sets) that you’ve had consistent success in and have client case studies that speak to them
Only clients who spend enough $$ (can afford your services and will be repeat buyers)
Only clients where you have consistent access to the decision makers (don’t waste your time working through gatekeepers).
2. Sell Beyond the Submittal and Lead Your Customer through their Purchasing Process: Top performing sales teams recognized years ago that you can no longer expect your customers to “fit” in your sales methodology. That is simply Old School selling. When qualifying opportunities, today’s top performing sales professionals are asking themselves and their customers two questions:
Why would my customers buy now?
The sales process is your customers purchasing process. Therefore, IT staffing sales professionals must understand the steps and tasks that their customer must complete in order buy (hire) from them. More importantly, we must understand what we need to do to get them to complete those steps. Instead of looking at your sales funnel and saying “what have we already done,” we should be thinking, what do I need my customer to do next?” Example questions:
What is involved in getting funds released for a budgeted expenditure? Who are the decision makers who have to be involved in that approval process?
What would it take to get an unbudgeted expenditure approved? Who would be involved?
Who else besides my direct client is involved in the interviewing, hiring and decision making process? What is the role of each of these individuals? What happens if some of these stakeholders like my candidate but others don’t? How will my client make a decision then?
Check out my document driving the sales cycle. This uncovers all the common steps the typical hiring manager has to complete in order to hire an FTE or IT consultant. Your job or challenge is to lead them through these steps and accelerate their purchasing process.
3. Use Sales Play Books for Different Sales Scenarios: Sales Play Books are a new and evolving sales enablement tool that provides scripts, tools, content, coaching and messaging that help sales professionals advance and win deals.
Well-designed sales playbooks serve up the right information for opportunities, leads and accounts based on their characteristics and corresponding data. You can design them and build them yourself in house based on your sales process & methodology or you can hire an outside firm (such as Menemsha Group) to design the playbooks for you.
Sales Play Books provides sales scripts, email and voice mail templates, probing questions and follow-up questions to ask, objection rebuttals, learning models, planning worksheets, and tracking tools-that need to be executed in order to move the sales opportunity and client relationship forward. In short, sales professionals today need to be armed with the right information at the right time in order to win.
How Do You Know if You Need a Sales Play Book?
Are you and every member of your team prepared to handle any and every “curve ball question” and last minute objection that could determine the outcome of the deal? If the answer is no or you’re not sure than investing in a sales play book would be a good idea.
About Dan Fisher
Dan Fisher is founder and owner of Menemsha Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions dedicated to helping IT staffing firms improve win rates, shorten their sales cycle, and increase revenue per sales rep. Since launching Menemsha Group in 2008, Dan has consulted with over 200 IT staffing firms and has invested over 5000 hours coaching IT staffing sales reps. He’s authored is his own proprietary sales methodology and has previously spoken at Staffing World, TechServe Alliance and Bullhorn Live 2012. Prior to launching Menemsha Group, Dan spent 16 years in the IT industry running local, regional and national sales teams. Dan worked for Kelly Services, Oracle Corporation and Alliance Consulting. Dan currently resides in Boston, Ma.