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
The end of the year is upon us. Whether your sales team has already met their goal and is taking some much needed time off, or is working while they wrap presents to meet their quota, I've always found year-end to be an ideal time for sales self-education and to focus on improvement for the year ahead. Reading a good sales book is one of the best and quickest ways to improve sales skills and knowledge. I've also found that a really good sales book can be a an excellent source of inspiration. Here are five classic sales books to read this holiday season, all of which will motivate and inspire ensuring you have a successful 2018.
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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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.
The time lapse between your new hire's start date and the date in which they track to meet or exceed quota represents your opportunity cost to on-board a new hire (sales rep or recruiter). A shorter ramp up time means reduced risk in (missed) opportunity cost. With the cost of a failed new hire ramp up at 6 times the base salary (Topgrading for Sales), it is imperative that your new hires ramp up to productivity as quickly as possible.
As a business owner or sales and recruiter leader, the first hurdle you must overcome with your new hire on-boarding and training program is to capture and keep your learners attention. If you bore them, you will lose them. According to Xerox, 87% of sales training is forgotten after just one month of the training.
From my years of facilitating sales, recruiting and management training I have concluded that there are two schools of thought when it comes to tracking and measuring training success. The first school of thought that I have heard from a subset of customers is that tracking success is really easy. "Either reps get more job orders and closed more deals post training or they didn't." Pretty straight forward for some. The second school of thought from another subset of customers have shared with me that they find it difficult to measure training success because identifying and understanding the attributes is a challenge. Me, I tend to agree with both.
Seems like a silly question, right? But seriously, do your new hires (sales reps) know how to engage prospects in an intelligent and meaningful conversation? Most likely you’re chasing an aggressive annual goal and the only way to hit that goal is to get strong contributions from your new hires. Your concern of course is, how long will it take before they “get it,” before your new reps are prepared to hit the phones and engage prospects and customers in an intelligent conversation? The most common reason why sales leaders and CEO’s miss their number is because their new hires take too long “ramping up.” What happens is your sales reps are literally learning about their customers on-the-fly, through live sales calls. And you don't need me to tell you how hard it is to get today's sales rep to pick up the phone let alone engage in meaningful dialog! To hit your revenue and gross profit targets you must eliminate this “learn on the fly” approach and start teaching your sales reps who your customers are and how to speak with them from DAY ONE.