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
Before we dive into the five sales enablement tools your salesforce needs today, we should remind ourselves of what sales enablement is and why it matters. Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales (and recruiting) organization with the technology, tools, processes, methodologies, training, coaching and playbooks that help salespeople sell more effectively and recruiters recruit more effectively. The intention of sales emablement is to provide salespeople with what they need in order to consistently engage customers and candidates in productive conversations at each stage of the sales process. There is a plethora of sales enablement tools available, but I think the examples that follow should give you a good idea of the types of technology on the market including the types of tools your salespeople need and how they can make your sales team more productive.
Before I dive into metrics to track sales enablement effectiveness, we should first take a quick refresher on what sales enablement is and why it is important. Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales (and recruiting) organization with the technology, tools, processes, methodologies, training, coaching and playbooks that help salespeople sell more effectively and recruiters recruit more effectively.
Learn our proven 7 step methodology for turning cold calls into hot leads.
Frequently I get asked by customers and industry colleagues, "Dan, what are the trends you're seeing in the marketplace?" "Dan, what are some of the best practices you see high growth IT staffing firms adopting? "What are the common characteristics shared across high performing sales teams?" While I wouldn't say there is one specific characteristic or best practice, there is however a growing trend. The trend I'm seeing with many of the most progressive staffing CEO's including the fastest growing IT staffing companies is they're adopting sales enablement as a formal business practice. While this has been a common business practice in other industries for years, only the truly commited, the early adopters, seem to be incorporating sales enablement as a formal business practice in their staffing business. As I wrote in a previous blog, there seems to be much confusion over what sales enablement is and why it matters.
If you work in the sales profession than chances are you’ve heard the term sales enablement. While it has been a hot topic, there seems to be a bit of confusion around what exactly it is and whether or not it's a short term trend or a practice that truly delivers results and is here to stay long term.
Film room study has long been a core component to sports training and coaching athletes at all levels including high school, college and professional. Coaches and athletes alike use video to analyze and improve technique, scheme and performance. Video coaching and analysis goes far beyond simply talking about practice or what happened in a game. While sports coaches rely on studying film to improve technique, scheme and performance, staffing and recruiting managers rely on rep-rides, analogies, metaphors, activity reports and rah-rah speeches for motivation and improved performance. From my experience, I have found that many people feel the word “coaching” is awkward. There seems to be an assumption and belief that because we were hired to do a job because of our qualifications, there is no need for coaching. Coaching is for the incompetent. But all professionals, regardless of experience and skill level need coaching. I think the real issue is it can be difficult to accept constructive feedback, and for the coach (manager), it can also be difficult delivering constructive feedback. Some people simply don’t feel comfortable with what coaching entails. But what if there was a way to bridge the gap and make coaching easier and more comfortable for both the coach and student to participate in?
IT staffing organizations should be ensuring that their sales reps and recruiters possess the proper knowledge and skills in order to execute on every customer and candidate conversation. I like to refer to this as “conversation ready.” Video coaching is a proven method for certifying that a sales rep or recruiter possess the knowledge, skills, messaging, and tonality and is prepared to execute in the heat of the conversation. This is why top performing staffing leaders incorporate video coaching and video training into their coaching strategy including video recorded role-plays, social learning, sales call planning, certification assessments and other activities.
By far, the most important phone call or conversation that IT staffing sales professionals engage in is the candidate interview feedback call. This is the conversation in which the salesperson speaks with the customer to get their feedback on how the candidate interview went and attempts to close the deal. After all, this is the conversation where “closing” truly does take place. Either the client says “yes” and decides to move forward with your candidate or, they say no, resulting in a longer sales cycle and/or lost opportunity. In this blog I’m going to share with you best practices to executing the candidate interview feedback call and share with you some tips for how you can improve your interview to offer ratios and ultimately your sales win rates ratios.
While prospecting and cold calling get a ton of well deserved attention, and executing the initial face to face sales meeting is sexy and what everyone is striving for, executing the candidate submittal call is probably the most pivotal step for IT staffing sales professionals. Yet when customers come to me and say “Dan, we need sales training,” very rarely do I hear sales leaders or owners say “we need help with executing the candidate submittal call.” But I know that doesn’t mean that every sales rep is nailing this key step in the sales process because just about everywhere I go sales leaders tell me that they need to improve their candidate (client) submittal to interview ratio. So why doesn’t the candidate submittal call garner more attention? Today it does! Today I’m going to share with you Five steps to properly preparing for and executing the candidate submittal call.
What is the definition of a sales opportunity, or in the world of staffing, a qualified job order? There is no universally agreed upon or correct answer. However, a few clarifications are needed because the concept of a qualified job order or sales opportunity impacts how salespeople and recruiters spend their time, sales-recruiting alignment (if you can’t agree on what a qualified opportunity is you will struggle to scale your business) and your ability to forecast sales.
“How many initial sales meetings did you go on last week?" "How many prospect sales meetings do you have scheduled for this week?" "Dan, you need to get more meetings with new prospects." "Just get the meeting!"