Whether you are hiring inbound, outbound, channel, or traditional salespeople and sales managers for your organization, you must be able to clearly articulate and measure candidates against the most important criteria in your role specification.
Failing to do this well will result in sales problems. Those problems manifest in lots of ways, including high turnover, low win rates, inaccurate forecasts, delayed closings, garbage in the pipeline, low margins due to price cutting to get the business, lack of motivation on the team, too much pressure on part of the sales process, mediocrity, and lack of passion in the sales culture -- just to name a few.
If you are having any of these problems, you have a data problem. You are either measuring the wrong stuff or you're trying to measure the right stuff the wrong way. You have to figure out which problem you have and then you have to fix it.
If you're measuring the wrong stuff, and this is much more common than you'd expect, you must conduct a sales effectiveness analysis to find out what matters most in the context of your company. You will want to analyze the impact and effectiveness of your strategies, systems, processes, and people.
Where are you in alignment?
Where are you out of alignment?
What is it costing you in opportunity dollars to live with the misalignment and lack of effectiveness?
Who on your team has the growth potential to be able to help you capture those opportunity dollars by focusing on developing specific skills or curing egregious weaknesses?
What are the three most relevant and low-hanging initiatives that you should focus on for the next 12-18 months that would yield the most return with regard to increased revenue?
What are the skills missing on your team, who can be developed, and how fast can you deliver those skills so they can begin producing at the level they are capable of producing?
What are the differences in your sales roles and how can you attract, hire, onboard, and retain more of the right people for those roles?
Below are a few ideas to help you think through the differences in your sales roles. As a sales leader, CEO, president, or worldwide sales VP, it's on you to make absolutely sure you get the data right for each position you need filled.
Who is the ideal prospect?
How much is the offer?
How long is the sales cycle?
How will the salesperson reach buyers?
What is the competitive landscape?
Are your buyers in the market for what you sell or are you creating a market?
What is the level of resistance your salespeople typically encounter from prospects?
How will you measure your salespeople?
How often will a manager interact with them?
How will they be held accountable, and to what?
It's important to consider your top producers and what skills they possess. How do your top performers differ from your underperformers?
In other words, what are your underperformers missing in terms of skills and sales DNA?
What are the weaknesses that prevent your more skilled underperformers from executing and reaching their targets more consistently?
Who on your team should be developed?
Who on your team should be redeployed?
Which of your salespeople would perform better under a different manager?
In other words, what impact are your sales managers having on performance?
How could you improve pipeline performance?
What do your most skilled sales managers do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to ensure targets are exceeded?
Why aren't all of your sales managers doing that? In other words, what skills or DNA or weaknesses are getting in the way of better, more consistent overachievement?
What are the ideal skills and DNA for your particular sales managers?
How can you hire for those skills and DNA?
Get the answers, do the analysis, gather the data, and create your company context-specific roadmap for hiring the right people who can and will deliver you to your goal and beyond.
I help CEOs, presidents, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses. In addition to providing tools and strategies for exponential growth, my company, Align Strategic, also recruits sales and sales leadership talent with guaranteed results. If you'd like to learn more about Guaranteed Sales Hire, click here.
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