We are deep into 2015. You have several months left to make 2015 great. What will you do with it? Unless you change what you are doing right now - you will be lucky to continue the trajectory you currently are on.
Make the right changes to your sales hiring right now to make the rest of 2015 the best it possibly can be.
Now is the time to throw down your gauntlet! Here are ten ways you can dramatically improve your sales hiring. You can...
You must carefully decide to dramatically improve sales hiring. That is if you truly want sales to increase in 2015.
With rare exception, there is no strategy that is more important than who you hire to sell your products, services, brand, and solutions.
Too many CEOs and Sales Management Teams know they have crappy salespeople yet they do absolutely NOTHING about it! They do absolutely NOTHING to change their course. They accept having crappy salespeople on their team as a cost of doing business - as being normal.
Too many CEOs and Sales Management Teams love the status quo - the rut they are currently in - more than they love getting results. They do not "get it" or have the guts to make the tough choices necessary to hire only the best-of-the-best salespeople.
If you are the CEO, sales VP or sales manager... Here is your wake-up call!
YOU set the tone.
YOU can carefully shape your sales culture through the talent you hire and the systems you enforce.
That is, if you want to. YOU get to decide.
You have the agency and the power to make changes that will radically alter the trajectory of the organization. And if you are on the Sales Management Team and your CEO says, "You can't fire Fred because he has been here since horses were retired," you know what you must do. You must leave to work for an organization that gets it.
The buck stops with you.
Doing nothing is not delaying your decision. Doing nothing is a decision.
The status quo is a slow, painful and eminent death.
Help losers find work with your competitors.
You must "cull the herd", periodically removing your low performers.
What does "culling the herd" have to do with hiring the best salespeople? It has EVERYTHING to do with hiring the best salespeople.
Never, ever, ever mix losers with alpha sales wolves. Bad things happen. Alpha sales wolves HATE working on the same team as losers and losers never, ever push alpha sales wolves to be their best. What's worse, alpha sales wolves lose respect for their company when they see losers on the team.
The wrong way to remove low performers is slowly. Remove low performers quickly.
And stop with the excuses already! I hear excuses like, "I can't remove that particular low performer because I need a replacement first."
When you cull the bottom performers, you do three critical things. You send a powerful message to your:
- Remaining salespeople saying: "Perform or move on."
- Existing alpha sales wolves declaring: "We only accept alpha wolf class sales performance."
- Customers proclaiming: "We refuse to serve you through mediocre salespeople."
Remove non-believers and non-get its.
All it takes is one non-get it and/or one non-believer to screw up the culture of a sales team. Remove non-believers and those who do not "get it". Immediately.
The worst non-believer is a past high performer. Non-believers poison your water. Much of what you try to accomplish - they tear down. Non-believers must be helped to believe or non-believe somewhere else. Anywhere but your company.
Leave the miracle making to God. Trying to turn a non-get it, a true low performer into even an average performer on a consistent basis is absurd. I call these situations "special projects".
You do not have time for special projects in 2015. If you want to invest in special projects in 2015, make a donation to your favorite charity and keep paying your taxes. The government is an expert at pissing away money on special projects that yield no benefit. They do not need your help!
Dollarize the status quo.
What gets measured gets improved. If you do not know what the status quo costs, you will not invest the appropriate resources to hire the very best salespeople. You must know what the cost of doing nothing is!
We have a Client who identified their current sales hiring status quo cost at $20 million dollars annually.
This company has 20 million reasons to incentivize them to improve their sales hiring practices. Is this particular company taking action? You bet your ass they are! But it was only after they dollarized the cost of lost sales that they became serious.
Keep in mind that many CFOs only look at sales that come in. The CFO is focused on protecting and growing existing sales. Many CFOs do not have their finger on the pulse of lost sales unless their company is not meeting the quarterly and annual plan. Generally-accepted accounting practices do not require the tracking of missed sales. I guarantee that if they did, you would see far more resources invested in the identification and selection of only alpha sales wolves.
Stop hiring losers.
If you keep hiring losers, you are going to get fired... It is only a matter of time.
If you are not using a valid sales personality and aptitude test to identify top sales talent, you are profoundly missing out. And that is a real shame.
The only way to consistently hire sales wolves - the top 20th percentile in sales performance is to use a sales personality and aptitude test that is multi-science based.
Hire only the best sales recruiters and incent them well.
If you expect to dramatically improve your sales hiring, hire the best sales recruiters. THEN pay your sales recruiters like you want them to care like you do.
What does that mean? It means when your sales recruiters hire losers, your sales recruiters do not get paid. When your sales recruiters hire winners, they get paid well. Get it?
A strong sales recruiter is a strong salesperson. It takes a strong salesperson to convince a strong saleperson to join their company. Remember sales wolves can smell a poser. Sales wolves hate posers.
Invest the necessary resources to find the best-of-the-best salespeople.
You cannot solve a $20 million dollar problem with a budget of $500,000. You must invest the resources necessary to ensure you dramatically reduce your cost of the status quo.
What does it cost to hire an idiot? Tens of thousands per bad hire. And that is if you keep them for just a few months. We know this yet some well-meaning CEO or CFO says, "Nope! We only have $25,000 to use for job boards. Spend it wisely."
I have seen this way too often - companies with 500 salespeople strong who are hiring 50-100 salespeople in the next year quibble over a $50,000 budget for job boards and LinkedIn Recruiter access when they are HEMORRHAGING cash through bad hires!
Use EVERY available resource you can. Sales recruiting is NOT a place to try to save the company money.
Hold out for true sales wolves.
Only hire those who are wired to be the best-of-the-best. Never try to mix sales wolves with losers. Losers are a drain on management time and resources. The ONLY way you are going to identify true sales wolves is by using a valid sales personality and aptitude test to identify true sales talent.
Most recruiters are a disgrace to the recruiting profession because they do nothing more than put ads up on job boards and then wait for people to apply. That is not recruiting. That is trolling.
The best salespeople ARE NOT LOOKING FOR WORK! Did you get that? The sales wolves and Don Drapers of the world are being actively recruited by real recruiters who are hunting them down, so hire and retain sales recruiters who actually recruit!
Enroll your existing "get its" in your vision.
You are not going to increase sales alone. Engage your "get its" in your vision for 2015.
What will you do differently in 2015?
What is expected of them?
What does each "get it" salesperson need to do to contribute?
What powerful ideas do they have that you must hear?
Make 2015 your best year ever.
The first step is to decide. Anything is possible when you put talent and desire together. But first you must decide to blow your goals away. You are not going to blow your goals away by maintaining the status quo.
The first step is to decide.