The reason for the discord…
So, what are the solutions to these issues?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the question, but you can start by looking at the following three strategic approaches.
- Be as specific as possible about the position and what will be expected of the new recruit. Don’t just think we need more sales, therefore a new salesperson is what we need.
- When you are going through resumes it’s important to remember that past success does not mean future success. Especially if the candidate wasn’t a salesperson in the same industry as yours, selling the exact same products you are.
- Make sure they will be a good fit for your culture. You can teach them how to do the job, but not how to fit into the team. Sophisticated team personality profiling is an essential tool that will show current team members subconscious and conscious ways of dealing with situations. When this is applied to the short list of new recruits it will often provide clarity as to who has the right profile to thrive in your environment. This step alone means the difference between a great team member and having to replace them when the chips are down.
Provide Clarity on Your Systems and Processes
- If you haven’t already, document your sales process. This will give you a clear understanding of the training new hires will require.
- Set your KPI’s around sales and activities, not just sales performance. This will give you a holistic insight into the new hire’s daily activities and progress if things start to go wrong.
- Provide your new salesperson with a clear commission structure that rewards the behaviours that lead to your business’ success. For example, if you have a lot of churn (people leaving within a short period of signing up) and your model is based on recurring revenue, you can change how the team get compensated to encourage the sales people to bed the sales down more professionally. One way to do this is to pay some on signup and the rest spread out over 3-6 months.
PROVIDE EFFECTIVE ON-BOARDING AND TRAINING
- Letting new hires sit with your star salesperson is not training. Apart from selling style differences, your star might not be a good trainer, or be unconsciously competent in their job, and as such will be unable to transfer skills and habits necessary for success.
- Training should also include developing new hires to have the right attitude, behaviours and competencies, not just job skills.
- Communicate issues early and develop a coaching program that deals with these issues in an encouraging and enrolling way.
- Provide detailed training on your products and services in a well-structured way. This ideally stretches over four to six weeks. Selling something new requires behavioural change and that change will not happen overnight. An extended on-boarding period is essential to create lasting positive growth.
Matthew works with owners and managers of B2B software companies to get more clients by simplifying high value, complex sales. Matthew started his first software business over 20 years ago, after a very successful sales career where he regularly outsold long established players in a number of markets. Matthews' relentless thirst for knowledge and his ability to apply that knowledge in real world situations makes him a truly versatile salesperson. If you're interested in scaling up and getting more clients then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.