Archive for March, 2013

How to Launch a New Sales Hire

How do you find, recruit, and hire proven, experienced sales professionals and set them up to win? Most sales managers I’ve spoken with over the past 20 years have the problem of searching, interviewing, and finally hiring a superstar performer only to have that individual produce lackluster results and leave the company within 1 to 3 years.

The truth is, the best sales professionals must be the best at what they do, and it’s in their nature to win. So if they are not winning, if they are struggling to grow in your company’s environment, they will normally pull their roots and move to a more fertile environment.

So how do successful CEO’s and sales managers do it? What do successful hiring managers do that others don’t?

One answer I’ve witnessed and heard over-and-over again is this; they provide their new sales pro’s the opportunity for some “Quick Wins!”

“Quick” may be within the first couple weeks or months depending on your business. But there is a critical need to support new sales professionals on your team by helping them, even “shoe-horning” them into a deal as quickly as possible. Here are a few reasons why quick wins are critical;

  1. Early success will flush out any doubts of the hires potential and commitment to you and your company.
  2. Builds and assures team integration and camaraderie. Individuals are more committed to a group of friends.
  3. Solidifies the support of the new hires spouse and family members.
  4. Puts some money in their pocket and may create the “golden handcuff” effect. It’s tough to leave a good situation. And, it’s easier to commit to a career and financial objective that feels within reach.
  5. And, the full sales-cycle experience, turning a prospect into a client, is the best way to understand the ins and outs of your business and what it takes to succeed. Their new perspective will be beneficial to the company.

So how do successful sales managers help create quick wins for their new sales hires?

Beyond the obvious HR set-up and basic product or service training, the most powerful method I’ve experienced as a sales manager, as a CEO, and as an Executive Search Consultant is by employing sales coaching and lead generation support for the newly hired individual during the first few weeks or months on the job. Specifically, this lead generation partnership allows the new hire to leverage expertise in building, or fine-tuning the contact database, creating strategic account plans, making referral calls and cold calls to build a lead nurturing program as well as set-up initial appointments within the first few weeks on the job.

This strategy works well for highly paid, experienced sales hires versus more junior sales hires since the more experienced hire can quickly ramp-up to handle the selling situation they are thrown into. The experienced sales hire understands the buyer-seller relationship, how to qualify, find the prospects pain, qualify the budget and decision process, and present your solution. If they are asked to work a pipeline of qualified buyers, they get excited and jump in with the tools necessary to win.

One of the toughest challenges in business is finding and hiring a star performer in the first place. And the reason is that most top sales performers are making money, on track, and admired by their colleagues. So why do they jump ship for a new company? Most of the time it’s due to the promise of a substantial long-term career growth opportunity and a short-term bridge to success. Establishing a sales coach and lead generation consultant to support that short-term success is a proven way to convince a star performer to join your firm and commit to the organizations success.

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