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4 Step Strategy for Attracting & Selecting The “Right” Top Performers in Sales

4 Step Strategy for Attracting & Selecting 
The “Right” Top Performers in Sales

So often companies generalize the hiring of sales people, when the role is highly complex... and not general at all!

So often company leadership generalize the role of sales – attempting to hire another “sales guy” – when there is no such thing.  We find most the time... leadership doesn’t know or understand the complexities of a sales role... and really has no clue how to recruit and hire the “right” people.

It’s not their fault... a lot has changed.

Today, sales organizations are under extreme challenges... and the role of sales is increasingly more and more complex. Why... because technology advances and customer buying habits have shifted. As some products or services have become more of a commodity, the need to meet with a sales person to place an order isn’t needed... now we do this on-line.  However, for companies in high-tech manufacturing or industries where a “solution” is required, the role of a sales professional has become less of a “seller” and more of a problem-solver, expert “engineer” and value-added resource.   

This is why hiring any “sales guy” does not work. These sales roles require professionals who FIT the role, have the experience required and who can adapt. So how does leadership recruit, hire and develop the “right” professional VS a candidate whose best performance was the interview?

Here is what you should be doing to improve your sales selection success:

1.       It starts with one basic premise... define top performance in the role for today and the future.  Think about what your customers want and expect, what changes are coming, what is required of the sales professional, what are the performance metrics, and what skills, behaviors, attributes, motivation and experience are needed for top performance.

 2.       Build a targeted recruitment campaign that markets the role on the right employment sites (not all are created equal). Use targeted industry words based on the key skills and performance metrics defined in the top performance standard that align with candidate resumes, experience or credentials to attract top candidates to the job ad.

3.       Establish a recruitment and interview methodology that mimics or “mirrors” the role requirements, requiring candidates to respond, react or be proactive in the interview process in the same way they would need to perform in the role.  Follow a staged interview process specifically created to guide human resources and hiring managers through the steps to effectively qualify candidates (in or out) who meet the role criteria.

4.       Utilize a pre-selection assessment tool to validate a person’s FIT to the defined top performance standard and review the results with a “sales-centric” pre-selection assessment partner to help you “see” the candidate to support effective hiring decisions. 

Want to learn more? Click here to contact a GDI representative to receive additional information to support your sales leadership efforts. 

 

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Attracting, Selecting, and Retaining Top Sales Performers

Attracting, Selecting, and Retaining Top Sales Performers

A 2018 sales leadership study by Growth Dynamics revealed that 58% of companies were experiencing unique challenges with new business development, technology advances and long-standing sales teams... although 82% had one BIG common challenge... finding and keeping the right sales talent. In the March 2019 Industrial Distribution article, “Cutting Tools: From Auto to Oil to Aerospace, Disruption Lies Ahead,” by Contributing Editor, Mike Botta, he reviews challenges and disruption in the cutting tool industry. Not surprisingly, this includes, “Finding and Retaining Talent.” While every industry is facing similar challenges in attracting and retaining top talent in key production, engineering, operations, or leadership roles, having a top performing sales organization is most crucial for company growth and success.

With the disruptions occurring in the marketplace today, leadership of top performing companies recognize their competitive advantage lies in the strength of their sales organization...success is not optional; revenue must occur. Therefore, no longer can a company risk future business, profitability, or customer retention on a bad hire. So what is the solution?

 Solution for Success

The solution is to provide your leadership team and hiring managers with a targeted comprehensive methodology and process to attract, interview, qualify, select, develop, and retain the right sales professionals.  Attracting, selecting and retaining the right sales force is different from any other role in your company. When you consider that the sales professional will be representing your company in the marketplace, interacting with your customers AND will be responsible for driving revenue into your company, it is critical that the job ad effectively markets the role so you can attract and screen qualified sales candidates that FIT.

This is accomplished by helping your sales leadership team, not human resources, define the “picture” of top performance in the role (or roles) of sales for your company. The resulting picture (what GDI calls a sales benchmark) should clearly detail the experience, attributes, skills, motivation, and FIT required for top sales performance. Armed with this picture, or sales team benchmark, your leadership team can effectively attract, interview, and select the “right” candidates who fit the role criteria.

 Sales Force Performance and Retention

And…the same information can be used to lead, coach, and develop your existing sales team, helping them adapt to the complexities of selling today. Successful top performers will expect strong leadership that can help eliminate obstacles, will want to be held accountable and challenged to succeed, and will want to be armed with the tools, training, and support to develop new business and new customers for growth and success. Equally important, they seek compensation and rewards that fit the role expectations and performance accountability.

Given the complexities of the roles of sales in diverse selling environments today, defining the role of sales and establishing the metrics of top performance at your company is crucial to attracting and building a top performing sales organization. By building the right sales force, leadership can focus on advancing and retaining top performers to optimize sales efforts — resulting in increased revenue and customer retention.

Click here to read the full Industrial Distribution  article.

 

 

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Leading Your Sales Organization in 2019

Leading Your Sales Organization in 2019

First quarter is over…what are you doing differently in 2019?

So far in 2019, GDI customers are utilizing sales leadership solutions that include:

  • assessment tools
  • recruitment and interview methodologies
  • top performance benchmarks
  • team analysis and “voice” of the sales organization programs

These solutions allow them to successfully recruit, select, and develop sales leaders and sales team members who FIT, as well as, to transform the performance of their existing sales organizations.

Like your company, our customers are providing more complex, highly technical, engineered products and solutions…making their customer conversations more complex. As a result, how they engage, sell, service, and support their customers is constantly shifting.  This requires a sales organization that fits and adapts to the role (or roles) of sales at their company.

This trend will continue throughout 2019 and beyond. Now more than ever, it is critical to have processes and tools that are aligned with your company, culture, and customers to assure you build a top performing sales organization that can navigate a competitive, ever-changing marketplace.

 

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Sales Leadership & Human Resources - Hiring Top Performers in Sales

Today, Human Resource Departments are under attack to be highly strategic in recruiting, selecting, retaining and developing top performing sales professionals.  This is in addition to their responsibilities for overall company hiring and retention, as well as the administration, dissemination, and education of operational information and company benefits programs. 

However, as the role of sales has increased in complexity, so has the complexity of attracting and hiring sales professionals who can be successful at your company.  Changes in customer expectations, buying decisions, e-commerce, and technological advances have changed the role of sales for today and the future. And often-times, even sales leadership is unsure how to define the role and what is required for top performance.  Consequently, sales leaders are unsure how to guide human resources to effectively recruit the “right” sales professionals, so they can spend their time interviewing better qualified candidates. 

Adding to the challenges sales leaders face is the pressure to just hire someone, “a warm body,” which outweighs taking the time to establish a strategic recruitment, interviewing and hiring process.  While there is no silver bullet, following are 4 things you can do to more effectively recruit, interview, and select the right top performers who fit the role of sales at your company. 

  1. Start with defining the standard or metrics of TOP Performance in sales for your company. This is a company-specific, accurate “picture” of top performance in sales that defines the skills, behaviors, attributes, motivation and experience required for top performance.
  2. Utilize specific information from the benchmark about the role and requirements to create a targeted, compelling job advertisement to market the role and attract the “right” sales professionals. 
  3. Develop a strategic interview process that links role-specific, measurable questions to guide hiring managers to ask targeted questions and listen to the responses in order to hire only the best sales talent. Having a consistent, defined process will alleviate the tendency for hiring managers to be unprepared or be swayed by a candidate’s friendliness, industry experience, book of business, etc.
  4. Utilize a pre-selection assessment tool to validate a person’s FIT to the established benchmark or top performance standard for the role. The most effective selection assessment tool is one that is BOTH a pre-selection and a post-hire developmental tool to help a manager select, lead, manage and develop a new employee.  This provides the employee and manager with information to define strengths and areas of challenges to support performance, and retention after the hire. 

Top performing organizations integrate human resources with sales leadership to facilitate recruitment, selection, development and retention of the “right” sales team members.

Commit to hiring the best…Effective employee selection is no longer a human resources issue… it is a strategic leadership challenge that impacts the bottom-line.  Poor hires impact a company’s sales, profitability, shareholder value, and customer retention.  As companies today struggle to compete in an ever-changing and competitive marketplace, knowing you have a team of people who exhibit the rights skills, characteristics and abilities is crucial for success.

At Growth Dynamics, our research has proven that sales professionals who “fit” the role, “fit” your company, and “fit” the customer, will stay longer, be more effective and offer a sustained competitive advantage to your company and your customers.  

 

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