Sales is a process. And like any other process, it is only as good as its weakest step. If you are great with one or two steps of the process but weak in others, you will still struggle. But if you focus on improving in each area, you will exponentially improve your sales results. Here are the 5 critical sales steps and how to improve.
“Why do they continue to put up with such high turnover?”
“They keep telling me their current vendor can’t fill their positions, but I just can’t get them to make a change!”
One of the most frustrating aspects of the sales process is when we know the prospect is not happy with their current situation, but they still won’t pull the trigger. Why do they continue to deal with such major issues, when they have even told us that we are a better solution?
Its because we tend to focus on “issues” rather than the consequences associated with these issues. We talk about turnover, time to fill, no shows, the quality and productivity of employees, etc. All of these are issues that the prospect deals with, but in many cases they are not enough to compel them to make a change.
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Let’s face it – sales people (myself included) aren’t usually the best at time management. First, I’ve been around staffing sales people (myself included) for a couple decades now, and have witnessed firsthand how we struggle in this critical area. Second, I regularly speak on the topic, and always ask for a show of hands who considers themselves good at time management. After unofficially polling hundreds of sales professionals, I would say about 1% actually consider themselves somewhat good at managing their time.
Referrals are extremely valuable for building candidate pools, but we rarely actively do it. Generally we are passive about referrals. A candidate or recent placement may happen to recommend a friend or neighbor, but not because we solicited the referral. If you proactively seek referrals you can reap the benefits. Here’s why you want referrals and how to get them.
You arrive at work and before you know it it’s lunchtime, or better yet you didn’t even take a lunch and it’s the end of the workday and time to leave. But, you can’t leave because you feel like you didn’t get anything critical done. Does this describe your typical day as a recruiter in a staffing office? I know it did for me when I was in a recruiting “bullpen”. Here are three to-do’s to make the most of your recruiting time.
While waiting to board my flight back home, the gate attendant made the following announcement:
“This will be a completely full flight. For those of you boarding in later groups, we recommend checking your carry-on as we will run out of overhead space. You will not be charged to have your bag checked – we are performing this as a courtesy to our customers. I repeat, we will check your bag as a courtesy to our customers.”
A courtesy? They run out of overhead space and yet they act like you are doing the customer a favor to check their bag? Come on, they should be apologizing for the inconvenience, not trying to spin it like they are offering some sort of free benefit.
The number one knock I hear on networking as a sales activity is that it doesn’t tend to result in new business. And for many sales people this is true. But in almost every case, it is not because networking doesn’t work, but because the sales person doesn’t network the right way.
Most sales people don’t network enough, and the ones that do typically approach it from a “show up and see what happens” approach. Most of the time, this results in limited interaction with the right people, awkward periods of not having anyone to talk to or butting in to existing conversations, and ultimately frustration. The sales rep then blames the event or organization for being “clickish”, unfriendly, or just plain bad. After one or two attempts most salespeople just give up.
This is where your opportunity lies! That same organization that other salespeople have dismissed could be a gold mine for you, IF you network the right way. Here are 4 ways to get the most out of a networking opportunity and increase your sales.
Are you up to date on your employment and labor laws? Since the early twentieth century, our federal and state governments have enacted extensive laws and regulations to protect employees. We see a number of employment practices that, I bet, you did not even realize violate the law. Let’s talk about three common labor issues that will put your staffing firm on the feds radar.
If you are like most sales people, you struggle to get prospects to read and respond to your emails. There are a variety of likely reasons prospects are deleting your emails:
- It looks too much like spam or mass email
- Its too wordy
- The subject line and/or opening sentence is too salesy
- There is no value in your message
- You sound like every other staffing sales person trying to get their business.
While no sales email is going to result in a 100% success rate (or 75 or 50% for that matter), we’ve identified 7 essential components that significantly increase your odds of a response.
Compensating salespeople effectively is one of the biggest management challenges for a growing business. When a well-designed variable compensation plan is implemented it can have an enormous impact on the bottom line and future growth of your business. When developing your compensation plan for your sales professional, always consider what you want it to do. Here are 3 initial points to consider when designing your staffing sales variable compensation plan.