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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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Get real value from CRM data!

One of the most talked about topics with our customers today is CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software that houses their customers’ data.  I have a background in CRM implementation and now at Growth Dynamics I am seeing the results from the view of the sales organization. The biggest challenge today’s leaders face is getting all the great data our sales team collects from customers into the CRM... not to mention getting the sales team (or even marketing) to use it for more than an expensive data storage program. 

 Most importantly, we are consistently engaged with the C-level and Vice President of Sales in large sales organizations where many, if not all, of the leadership is unsure today of the following same things: why their customers buy, what their customers are seeking in the future, and how they can retain or grow their customers’ accounts? Why is this important, because EVERY company we work with is changing how they operate, how they go to market and how they buy... changing the landscape and complexity of sales worldwide. Although you won’t hear this from the sales team, many struggle to define what their customers want and expect as they are so focused on retaining their business or managing through layers of decision makers who flow across 4 generations... all making decisions differently.

 Our company recently completed a comprehensive customer intelligence survey for a global tool cutting manufacturer we will call Company X. Their leadership in the US and Germany wanted to understand the needs of their distributor channel partners versus their end user customers. In addition, they (like so many of our customers) were struggling with a long-standing, highly technical, engineering-driven sales team that needed this information to optimize their sales efforts with their customer accounts. The company wanted to know: What is their customers’ perception of the company products, services or solutions? Do their customers understand the breadth of their line of tools and are they aware of their advanced solutions?  Do they see them as a Tier 1 supplier and if not, how could they achieve that status? This company needed a process that would provide customers with a “voice,” educate them on company products VS what they buy, and then re-engage the sales team to mine, develop and grow their business. 

 The mistake... so often companies reach out to customers with satisfaction surveys and they fail to do the one thing that is the most valuable…engage their customers, get their voice and ask questions... the customer will tell you everything you need to know about how to retain or support their account. Why? Because today’s customer have no more time than we do... the last thing they want to do is find a new vendor or supplier... negotiate pricing, start a new relationship. They simply want your company to be the best you can be for them. Engaging customers to gain their “voice”, feedback, suggestions and recommendations... then feeding that input back to the sales team arms you with information to help the sales team perform, arms you with information to drive customer needs, and allows you to hold a sales team accountable for what customers want and expect... driving sales growth which is the reason we are here!

 

 

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