Which factor drives winning sales teams, excellent reps or excellent managers? Through our findings, there is a clear and vindictive answer – while excellent reps with an average manager will outsell a team of average reps with an excellent manager in the short term, their advantage will quickly taper.
So the trade-off is eminent, but what better place than this and what better time than now to experiment!
Having an assortment of qualified candidates is the perfect medicine for many sales hire problems.
For example, when your organizations ponders on the reluctance of letting people go who aren’t performing go, it is as though they believe “the devil you know” in a sales territory is better than “the devil you don’t.” Or, as one sales leader told us, “I think in this case bad breath is better than no breath.”
Really? Is that the best you can do? How about building your bench in such a manner that your sales task force cannot reckon with your decision. Sounds decisive? Well, it’s powerful as well. But then how do you build this elusive dream team, this perfect sales taskforce bench?
Without a solid recruitment process in place, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to hire salespeople. Key steps in the process, such as coordinating second interviews or extending offers, may be delayed days or even weeks.
Inconsistencies within the process, such as how data curated assessments or pre-employment checks are being used, may also affect productivity or retention down the road.
So as a sales manager what should you do?
Start a process and stay judicious to it.
Your internal human resources (HR) group or recruiting partner is an excellent resource to help analyze what’s working and not working within your process, so you can figure out how to best move candidates through the pipeline.
As you develop a recruitment process, watch for red-flags and how you deal with them.
For instance, is it difficult to schedule in-person interviews because decision makers are traveling? Consider telephone and Skype interviews for your first round and in-person meetings for candidates who make it to the next round. This keeps the recruiting process moving and strong candidates warm.
This is best left to your software which can screen a larger volume of candidates at a faster pace, freeing you to do other things (such as all that traveling). At this stage, prescreening questions that ask about licensing or education level, for example, explore whether candidates meet the minimum requirements for the position which ultimately reduces the mundane aspect of your work. These factors often determine whether a candidate is ultimately suitable, so it’s best to screen for these skills up front to save you and the candidate from embarking on a lengthy, fruitless interview process. Simple and efficient, right?
Conduct assessments which are sales force centric
Data curated assessments which exactly know which competencies and behavioral checks should be made so that you get your perfect sales taskforce served to you in a platter to devour.
Building an effective process is the key to success
Whether a company is making one hire or 100. A solid process helps establish important milestones within the hiring lifecycle and identify measures of success so that hiring stays on target.
A good recruiting strategy backed with a data curated assessment process will serve any sales organization, large or small while taking your mundane processes for a toss. It takes discipline, but in many respects the process and tactics are no different than managing a good sales pipeline. Make it as routine as your daily prospecting and opportunity management tasks, and you will reap valuable, long-term results from these habits.
Originally posted August 23, 2017
Quality sales drives on team effort and not one individual person. Over time, the market landscape and customers have changed to flesh that statement into truth. And in this alternative reality, the everyday salesperson pivots into the spotlight, becoming what you may call a central point of contact.
He or she understands the product, its complexity, and delivers on its nuances to evolved customers with touch points to the marketing, technology and product teams. You get the picture. You need great people to fill these pivotal roles – roles that drive your business.
Funnily enough, pivots are aplenty in the talent market; but what about ones that fit perfectly into your organizational doorknob? Ah. Do we have your attention now?
Touch Points with Talent Acquisition
To sales leaders tasked with hard numbers aimed at profit margins and growth, recruitment may just equate to an unwelcome distraction – a necessary evil best passed along, and left to, the HR department. Thing is, the wrong (or right) people categorically impact company KPIs, sales culture, account retention and even growth.
In fact, today’s talent-driven market demands a close relationship with your HR department. It’s worth its weight in gold, this partnership.
Having put that out of the way, this article is aimed to unveil trends that matter to sales directors looking to acquire and retain the best talent. So, without further ado, let’s just take a grand look at what we have to say.
Starting from Within: The Salary Game
We start with this because remuneration has never always been the most important criteria for candidates, but it rarely does fall out of the top four in that regard. On one side of the coin, you have sales executives ready to ask for more, even at fairly junior levels. On the flipside, hiring managers identify that expectations don’t match commercial realities or visible skillsets.
Your most talented organizational fit is just as likely to gloss over your offering figures as much a newcomer with the potential to be a top performer. But this doesn’t mean that expectations must be met to stay competitive; just that it requires additional thinking.
Is it possible for sales leaders to work with HR to better leverage strong team culture, company brand, or powerful learning and development programs in lieu of a salary bump? Or, do you require adjustment in tandem to market realities? Of course, the latter’s only possible with a sound grasp around who’s paying what, and for whom.
Nonetheless, whatever the truth – it is a matter of cross-discussion between sales leaders and the HR function.
Sales Recruitment: Streamline Your Process
57% cite hiring top performers as key to business success. But they’re just as unaware as to whether they’re hiring that top performer.
If there’s one thing we’ve noticed, it’s that hiring managers continue to miss out sales talent because of an annoyingly long recruitment process. The longer you make them wait, the more likely they are to look elsewhere.
At the same time, organization face the dilemma of cutting time at the expense of quality within the recruitment process. However, the advent of assessment technology renders that notion irrelevant. Especially, with how it’s now possible to reduce cost and time, while boosting quality of hire.
Look at how Mettl helped Berger Paints not just hire the best salesperson, but the right one.
Sales Alternatives to New Talent: Retention as a Recruitment Tool
45% cite that they have no idea why their top performers succeed. In fact, L&D programs often fail at identifying those competencies that make top performers, rendering programs useless for employees aspiring for the same.
For all that effort you put into talent acquisition, it’s often more cost effective to retain and train. In August 2017, BMS Index suggested that salespeople are unlikely to last more than two years at a company. In terms of how it impacts your organization – these employees tend to take their skills and experience with them.
At the same time, dissatisfaction upon departure may pose a risk to your brand reputation. But research suggests that most attrition related departure focus on career development or newer avenues to improve individual skill. This provides organizations with a reservoir of opportunities to tap strong employees with well-structured L&D engines that transition to long-term loyalty.
Conclusion: A Winning Approach to Sales-Talent Acquisition Strategy
In three steps, to attract, engage and secure the right talent for your sales function is no easy job. But with an understanding of what your employees need along with business requirement, you acquire the opportunity to tailor the recruitment process on an individual level. That’s a brilliant experience to deliver, and in today’s world, experience is exactly what talent desires.
We’ve based much of our findings on an extensive survey conducted by an internal team in 2017. You can find more insights here.
Originally posted September 12, 2017
Motivation will almost always beat mere talent – Norman Ralph Augustine
Motivation and talent are the two cornerstones to the success of every winning sales team. But from a nascent perspective, how do you find the right balance of motivation & talent to inspire your sales workforce.
We summarized what industries have been going after for a long time and uncovered interesting insights. So here is an infographic. Consider it a gift to the precursor which we will give out in the expanse of this month.
Read on to find out more in this infographic:
Suppose, for a moment, that you are an aggregator of X component. You may have to decide between two possible business models, and you are uncertain about which will benefit you most. You can take your product directly to the market, where in all likeliness you will be shelling out Y number of X to an indiscriminate set of employees. Or you can align yourself with a organization where you will be able to sell big numbers but the embargo would require you to feed in constant amounts at a fixed price.
In other words, you must choose between a B2B and B2C model. If you currently face some version of this question, you may be wondering what the differences are in selling B2B or B2C. For some guidance, read on:
Sales is sales, right? If you stand with certain competencies and skill set you can sell your product nonetheless to corporates, aggregators alike, be it B2B or B2C! Well, this notion isn’t true for most parts anymore.
Intricate dissimilarities in terms of approach, intent and maybe process which have been ignored for ages. Although, these ignored facts are no less important for that kick-ass sales team we have all dreamt of, B2B or B2C.
The Sales Call Stigma, how is B2B similar to B2C?
As a first, they both require an array of special process, the prospecting, nurturing, and the works. You know it!
The difference in push – B2B vs B2C
The Logical and the Illogical Difference
B2C or retail sales are more so than never driven by emotion, a perceivers’ immediate need and non-recurring. Whereas B2B or corporate sales are pre-planned, rational and can be recurring.
e-Commerce has changed the situation a bit but in essence this differentiation stays and cannot be affected much in the future.
Cheap vs Expensive.
Subjectivity is in galore here, but on an average account, B2C deals have a much lower price point and are less likely to be paid out over in dividends. A decisive crossover where B2B sales involve products such as air conditioner supplies and such.
B2B services are on the end face of the coin are often retainer-based over a long term.
One-off vs Relationship.
B2C sales contracts are rarely done on prior relationships and seldom result in a continued manner so-to-speak. On the flipside, in the B2B arena there are instances where the entire process is based on the foundation of prior professional relationship.
While there are many B2C sales people with years of experience, the learning (and success) curve is certainly shorter than in B2B.
Your B2B workforce must all be team players and executive decision makers in addition of knowing their products at the back of their hand. That can take years to develop and the right kind of skill to make it work.
So what’s difficult?
B2C sales forces are accustomed to a relatively brief buy-sell–buy cycle and a much closer association with marketing and e-commerce. With no respite against a B2C crowd, switching in between two different business functions gets a little frustrating for the manager as well as the salesforce. Thus, the time to choose wisely is here.
On the other hand, moving from B2B to a retail environment might prove to be too intense for the average B2B sales professional, with little of the predictability or planning they are used to.
While building an efficient & effective sales workforce, organizations should take the background into account while hiring. Are they the right find and the perfect fit? Is there a transition from B2B or B2C?
Many companies find that significant training is required to achieve a high level of sales performance as these transitions present themselves. But the fear isn’t unjustified and it’s not unsolvable. Find yourself a recruiting partner which does the ground work and benchmarking for you to find the perfect semblance between efficiency and efficacy.
The decision lies in your hands.
Originally posted September 1, 2017
You’re bound to have fallen prey to generational jargon – baby boomers, millennials, neo-millennials or Gen Z. But what exactly do they imply in the grand scheme of things? For organizations and business units alike, they’re representative of a makeover within the workforce, a bout of inevitable change.
In 2016, the Pew Research Center reported that the millennials had taken over baby boomers as America’s largest living generation – at roughly 75 million – with around 53.5 million young adults at work. Probe a little deeper and you’ll notice that Gen-Z constitutes a significant portion of the statistic as well, positioned at 22% of the current living population of the USA.
But beyond the statistical overview, these generations present business leaders – most of whom emerge from an earlier generation – with an opportunity to reshape the workplace.
Under similar pretext, Chief People Officer at Apollo Munich – Dr. Sriharsha Achar occupied digital centre stage to present his insights on the matter. A powerful presence in the HR ecosystem, Dr. Achar highlighted key issues from restructuring retention & recruitment strategies to realigning corporate culture, addressing a packed audience in the Mettl powered webinar.
Based on popular opinion, we’ve gathered some of the biggest insights from the 60-minute session. And trust us when we say that it’ll whet your appetite for more.
Getting the Message Right: Who Are You Recruiting?
In a survey by the ADP Research Institute, millennial employees emerged receptive to social rewards over compensation. While they are just as result driven – if not more – than their earlier predecessors, millennials tend to prefer work that makes a difference in the world. It might sound grandiose, but we say that in the broadest sense possible.
In conclusion, organizations that stress financial outcomes as their only goal are likely to falter when it comes to recruiting and engaging top-tier mission-driven millennials. It plays out similarly with their Gen Z counterparts as well.
During the session, Dr. Achar was quoted saying, “Financial security and compensation may rank in importance to a certain degree, but expect millennials and Gen Z denizens to show greater interest in working for companies that demonstrate a positive impact on the society.”
Generational Similarities: Why You Must Alter Workplace Values
It’s been noted that workplace culture works as a direct proponent to productivity within these two generations. In a survey conducted by Randstad across 4,000 new-age employees, it was revealed that:
Flexibility in terms of working off-site, on projects outside core job functions and a revamped vacation structure also echoed as important to both generations. Yes, each generation does have its own take on workplace perks and employee benefits, but the commonalities are enormous. How you leverage them just might define your foothold in the vastly aggressive market in the decades to come.
We’re going to be depending on an era that works to live and not the other way around. Working isn’t their absolute goal in life, but a simple means to an end; something that gives them access to what they’re passionate about. And we need to accept this change.”
What Can You Do as An HR Professional?
Generation Y & Z possess a host of characteristics that are assets to your business. They’re tech-efficient and driven toward building a successful career. At the same time, they also value sound mentorship and leadership, choosing to galvanize with companies that appreciate work attitude and styles significantly different from their predecessors.
It’s nothing short of smart to adapt and thrive in such a situation. But achieving that requires a certain level of commitment and change. Here are some of the most immediate action points you can address:
Consistent Feedback Over Annual Reviews
Workplace Trends, an HR research and advisory firm reports that both generations prefer and choose to receive feedback regularly (23%), weekly (24%), and daily (19%) as opposed to annually (3%).
Let’s start with something small here. It’s in popular belief to associate working remotely to remotely working or less productivity. But research from the Harvard Business Review suggests the opposite of that negative perception, citing increased productivity, efficiency and engagement in working from home. This benefit, at least part time, is an attractive workplace policy for both new-age generations.
Cohesive Multi-Generational Management
Experts suggest that colleagues learn more from each other than they do from formal training; as a result – understanding different layers of communication, building opportunities for collaboration and cross-generational mentoring open gateways to a culture that rewards across generational lines. The strategy for a cohesive team is more important now than ever before.
Conclusion: Tap Potential Where You Find Them
Baby Boomers are bound to slip into retirement sooner rather than later. And with the incoming buzz about a millennial & Gen Z workforce, it is in a business’ best interest to absorb their new age values and work styles, thereby enabling an engaging and comfortable culture.
Bear in mind that these highly educated millennials and their younger counterparts are passionate about making an impact in the world; harness that energy for your business. You can find more from the webinar itself, but all in all – we’re descending into a new era of organizational dominance. Are we among those who ripple the change, or those to crumble under historical rigidity?
Well, only you can tell.
Originally posted September 5, 2017
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