Orientation vs. Onboarding vs. Onramping

One of the keys to successful sales leadership is getting newly-hired salespeople up-to-speed quickly.  The time it takes to move them from wide-eyed new hire to qualifying ninja is critical to any company.  High-performing salespeople are the lifeblood of any company. The way I see it, companies employ one of three processes for launching their new salespeople. Orientation This approach falls under the conventional wisdom mode of training new salespeople in the company’s products/services, CRM, expense reports, coffee maker…you get the idea.  The approach is inwardly focused.  The new salesperson, after training, is adept at navigating the internal pitfalls of the company. Often in this approach, the sales leader provides… Read More

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Hiring Trends For 2020

This is the time of year for predictions so let’s look to hiring trends in 2020 from HR Professional: The report also points to employment growth in personal care and service occupations (17.4%); computer and mathematical occupations (12.7%); healthcare and technical occupations (11.9%); and community and social-service occupations (11.2%). “Healthcare and IT are the elephant in the room,” says Alan Lacey, technical lead and economist in the division of occupational employment projections at the BLS. “Their [employment] growth doesn’t necessarily surprise us. That’s where we’ve seen things [grow] over the last half decade or more.” Right.  I don’t think anyone his surprised by continuing growth in healthcare and IT.  Those… Read More

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Gathering > Giving

This statement is going to sound blunt, but gathering information is always more important than giving information in a selling process.  This truth may sound counterintuitive to the stereotypical sales process.  However, it is crucial to understand this approach. The stereotypical thought is that good talkers make good salespeople.  I hear this conventional wisdom every week when dealing with sourcing sales candidates.  It is a well-established belief and it is completely wrong.  Strong salespeople are more closely related to adroit investigators -they ask good questions, pursue the right topics, and drill down on ambiguous responses. The ability to understand this approach is to first realize who is running a qualifying… Read More

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Entrepreneurs vs Employees

Your employees are not as committed to your company’s success as you are.  If you are an entrepreneurial owner, this fact is something you must understand.  I have seen this misalignment in many companies and it often leads to turmoil within the culture. This entrepreneur.com article provides 6 important points for entrepreneurs when leading their company. The first point may be the most important: 1. Employees are equally invested. Here’s a painful truth: Employees aren’t going to take ownership the way you want them to. If they wanted to be entrepreneurs, they would have taken that path. And it’s good that they’re not as invested as you are — it’s a problem if… Read More

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Bad Hiring Trend-Lack of Decisiveness

This HRE article addresses a worrisome trend in hiring today – slow hiring decisions. Decisiveness is the most important trait of successful hiring managers.  Lacking today because people are unsure of who they are hiring.  Can use assessments to assuage this fear. Gartner found that, in 2018, the average time between the initial job interview and the hiring manager making an offer was 33 days—an 84% increase since 2010. “The longer decision-making stage is causing a 16% reduction in candidates accepting offers,” says Lauren Smith, vice president of Gartner’s HR practice. “Ultimately, hiring managers are losing out on prime candidates because of this lag in decision-making.” In sales hiring, I… Read More

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1 Important Change To Prospecting

Has anything changed more in recent years than prospecting?  Cold calling a business phone number to sell a potential prospect is a marginal task, at best, today.  Email is a similar task with similar results.  Salespeople who do their own prospecting need an advantage, a shift, in their approach. This Selling Power article provides just such an advantage.  The gist of the article comes down to understanding System 1 and System 2 thinking.  First, let’s establish an important aspect of cold prospecting: The customer needs time to understand your words. In the first outreach, the customer is not expecting the call or email – and must change their mindset from… Read More

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Finding Sales Talent In Other Departments

The labor market is as tight as it has been in decades leading some to say we are at full employment. This labor scarcity is driving companies to look for sales talent in other departments. Have you ever thought someone would be good at selling? Do they seem to have potential? The key here is follow your intuition, but you need to know if it is correct. This is where we can help with our sales assessment tools. What we are looking for in the assessments are intrinsic abilities that lead to sales success. These abilities do not revolve around the gift to gab. The ability to listen effectively, ask… Read More

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5 Hiring Hacks For Full Employment

The job creation numbers are slowing down yet I don’t think that is due to a catastrophic economic slowdown.  The most recent jobs report shows that we have 50-year record low unemployment that is holding month-to-month.  The average hourly wage rate is rising at over 3%.  These factors are signs of a still-strong economy settling in to a cruise control speed for the time being. What is an ongoing problem is hiring…a problem due to a nearly full (100%) employment situation.  In fact, the latest jobs report revealed there are 6.7 million job openings and a total of only 6.4 million unemployed people available to fill them.  To say it… Read More

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Myths About Millennials

It is difficult to define an entire generation as having the same traits.  People are the ultimate variable which leads to vastly different traits amongst millions of people in a generation. Some of the early descriptions of Millennials may not be entirely accurate. There are a handful of findings from this Human Resource Executive article that cut against the conventional wisdom regarding Millennials.  Some things are timeless while other factors are somewhat surprising. The desire to advance within a company is well documented with the younger generations.  The Millennials often start a new role with their eye already on the next promotion.  However, they seem to have an ulterior motive… Read More

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Soft Skills Needed In Sales

The customer experience shift occurring right before our eyes is causing a sea change in sales.  The transactional sale is being consumed by a myriad of company websites offering products and solutions.  I think this description from the TTI blog deftly describes the trend in sales hiring: Only a few decades ago, a customer was mainly dependent on what was on supply. These days, a customer has so many options that the customer journey has become a key concept in the boardroom. Whoever delivers the most flexible, attractive, trustworthy and innovative product and/or support wins over the customer. The change is a supply issue – prospects have multiple solutions at… Read More

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