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
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.
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Until recently, salespeople could generate sales leads on their own, lead and even control their prospects through the entire sales process. Salespeople were involved early in the customers research and diagnosis process because the salesperson possessed one thing the customer needed but didn’t have, information. The salesperson could use that information as leverage with the customer to influence the whole sales process. Unfortunately times have changed.
The biggest and most common mistake I see with sales reps attempting the candidate skill marketing call is they fail to understand the difference between selling and pitching and most fail to provide context. The reason why most staffing sales professionals fail to successfully pitch a candidate or execute the candidate skill marketing call is because they focus on touting their candidate’s years of experience (with a certain technology), their certifications, location and availability without providing relevant context. Rather than sharing a story salespeople are regurgitating data and facts which is really dull and boring. As a result the hiring manager tunes out the salesperson.
Many IT staffing sales professionals have a hard time deciding which accounts and which contacts to call on and pursue. Even more agonizing is trying to decide how much time to invest pursuing any one contact or account because salespeople don’t know what the return will be on their investment of time and energy (pursuing the account/contact). As a result salespeople often spend too much time pursuing the wrong accounts and contacts (very frustrating) or they walk away from “good” accounts too early in the process only to discover months later their competitor has 20 consultants billing. This is one of those things that separates top performers from average performers. Average performers waste days, weeks and even months spinning their wheels on prospects who never buy yet top performers seem to have a knack for selecting the "golden goose" from the haystack. As a result top performers experience a quicker, shorter sales cycle. How do they do it? They execute the sales qualifying call.
“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!"
Did you know that Steph Curry (5x NBA All-Star, 2x Time NBA champion, 2x NBA MVP) shoots around 2,000 shots a week: He takes a minimum of 250 practice shots a day, plus another 100 before every game. 100 before EVERY GAME! Now that is commitment to mastering your craft!
The mere phrase ‘cold calls’ give many salespeople a case of the cold sweats and makes the hair on the back of their neck stick up. Nonetheless, cold calling is still a very effective sales prospecting technique for qualifying prospects and setting up the initial face to face sales meeting, when done properly.
The most common question I get from sales people at industry events, trade shows and certainly when I host workshops is "How should I stay in touch with my prospects and what should my sales follow up include?" Naturally, I respond by asking "tell me what you're currently doing?" The responses usually sound something like this:
Having now written several hundred blogs on everything from sales prospecting, sales leadership, employee training and how to close deals, I decided to aggregate some of the more interesting and surprising sales statistics I've churned up over the years. I share them with you in hopes they may inspire you to improve the way in which you sell. The topics include cold calling, sales process, sales training, sales methodology and much more. Enjoy!