Dear Ship Captain...
As CEO or VP of Sales of your company, who possibly could have more influence than you in shaping the future of your company?
One or more of these folks:
- Hiring Sales Managers.
And chances are the influence is not positive despite their best intentions.
That is unless you are truly maximizing shareholder value by ensuring that every single salesperson is unquestionably a Sales Wolf - a future top 20 percentile performer.
There is only one way to know. Read on.
The role of the CEO or VP of Sales.
Let's get this out of the way.
Your role as the CEO or VP of Sales is to maximize shareholder value.
Are you doing whatever it takes to maximize shareholder value?
Interested people do what is convenient. Committed people do whatever it takes.
Henry Ford famously stated, "Nothing happens until something gets sold."
A powerful sales engine is essential to maximizing shareholder value.
Following are five essential elements necessary for maximization of shareholder value to occur:
- The Best Sales Talent - Attract, select, hire, onboard, coach, develop and love the best sales talent possible.
- Intense Belief - Shape a strategy and vision salespeople and others will make their own.
- Product / Service Mix - A solid product / service mix.
- Relentless Customer Focus - Provide value the Customer seeks and should be seeking.
- Adherence to Sales Systems - Sales systems (ie: CRM, scripting, time management, etc) provide a framework of proven sales processes that create accountability as well as efficiency of time, energy and resources. Strong sales systems magnify and multiply each sales team member's performance.
Notice each and every single one of these five essential elements involves sales talent.
Perhaps you have realized that no one truly masters all five of these essential elements because the target and trends are continuously-evolving. The rabbit is always just a few inches away.
Yet one must pursue excellence...
The net present value of each sales hire.
The key to maximizing shareholder value (profits) is to have the best sales talent driving sales.
With each sales hire comes two futures.
- Future revenue stream.
- Future management cost.
Each sales hire represents hope for incredible Customer value creation, sticky relationships and ultimately a maximized future profit stream.
But only if the best salespeople are selected and hired.
What are you doing to personally ensure each new sales hire is the best sales hire possible?
Or are you, like most CEOs / Sales VPs blindly trusting others to get the single most important contributor to future sales right?
Who would do that? That's just insanity.
Get rid of your blind trust in sales hiring.
If you are like many CEOs / Sales VPs, you trust HR, recruiting and sales hiring managers to do their job. You trust them so much that you require little oversight unless something goes very wrong. Process? Of course they have a process. You trust they are using the best available sales selection and hiring processes.
But are they? How do you know definitively?
Blind trust is expensive.
Always remember that every human being involved in the sales hiring process brings their own sales hiring perspective based upon their background, personality and experience.
Three unfortunate truths have become evident to me.
- Many, most CEOs / Sales VPs blindly trust others to get sales hiring right.
- Few who are in charge of sales hiring have the intestinal fortitude to look in the mirror to identify opportunities for improvement. They adopt a methodology and hang on to it with everything they have.
- Most in charge of sales hiring will defend their power to their professional death.
We find three sales hiring sophistication levels illustrated in the following buckets:
- Complete ad hoc sales hiring methodology. Each person involved has their own approach. This leads to significant sales performance variation.
- Partial ad hoc / partial systemized sales hiring methodology. This leads to moderate to significant sales performance variation.
- Fully-systemized sales selection and hiring process with feedback loops. Every sales candidate completes the sales sales selection process and is scored as consistently as possible. Periodic review of sales performance is compared to sales hiring scorecards to identify improvement opportunities.
Which bucket describes how you and your company hire salespeople who help you maximize shareholder value?
Most companies fall in the middle bucket - partial ad hoc / partial systemized sales hiring methodology.
The most influential person in your company...
Unless you have your fingers strongly on the pulse of your sales selection and hiring process, you are definitely not the most influential person in your company.
Whoever does the hiring is. And you better hope they are getting it right.
Chances are they are not. They are the most influential person(s) in your company because the people who choose your future revenue stream - they wield massive influence.
Take the influence back. Hold every person involved in the selection and hiring of sales talent accountable for using a fully-systemized sales selection and hiring process with feedback loops.
What gets measured gets improved.
Never be satisfied.