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 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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
Here is a startling statistic; according to a study by The Bridge Group, 50% of all sales people miss their quota. In years past I've actually witnessed a variety of behaviors and heard a plethora of phrases from staffing leaders that support and encourage the under performing behaviors that drive these very statistics. Phases like "Sarah is great for the office., not a great performer but everyone loves her so we have to keep her." Or, "I know my team is under performing, but I can't push them too hard, they could push back and even consider walking out, and what would I do then? "And the classic, "Ron has been with us for years, we just leave him alone let him do his thing (under perform and bring team down morale)."
Top performing staffing leaders including sales and recruiting managers are blowing their peers out of the water by over 20% on a gross profit per head basis. How are they doing it? They're dropping the old school sales manager approach (see Alec Baldwin, Always Be Closing) and instead they're connecting with team members on a deeper and more personal level. A recent Gallup study supports this showing that engaged employees produce on average 20% more higher sales than those that are not.
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.
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.
Having worked with hundreds of IT staffing CEO's and business owners, I’ve heard more than my fair share of frustrations and complaints over salespeople spending too much time on the wrong activities. I'm talking about salespeople spending hours a day on non selling activities such as servicing existing customers and consultants, formatting resumes, prepping candidates, conducting sales research, preparing client facing content, writing emails and many others. They say "how can I get my salespeople to spend more time prospecting for new business and meeting with prospective customers? The answer to that question lies in the reasons for why salespeople are in fact spending so much time on these non selling sales activities. Here are five reasons why salespeople focus on the wrong sales activities and how you can diagnose why your salespeople are struggling with time allocation.