Do you ever scratch your head thinking about how the same NFL head coaches keep moving from one team to another, even when they haven’t been particularly successful? Well if you think about it, we do the same thing in our industry. We always want someone with “staffing experience”, which essentially means “I don’t want to train them”.
But if you think about it for a minute, it isn’t just that we don’t want to train our sales reps. What we are really saying is that we trust our competitors to properly train our future employees. The problem is that your competitors aren’t very good at training people, and most of the time they thought you or someone else was going to train them!
So here is where the opportunity is – your competitors stink at training, which means that if your employees are well-trained they will have a significant advantage in the marketplace. There is no such thing as a natural sales person, and on the job experience is no substitution for skill improving training (and vice versa for that matter). Someone that has been doing staffing sales for 10 years but has never been trained is likely doing the same things over and over. Not to mention they are probably still selling like they did 10 years ago, which was an era before LinkedIn, VMS, universal adoption of caller ID, texting, etc.
So if you want to create a true competitive advantage and maximize your sales rep investment, create a consistent training program both for new hires and tenured reps. Focus on the areas that have the most impact on their results – prospecting, appointment setting, negotiating and closing, and networking. Then reinforce those concepts on a regular basis. Your sales people will be happier, more productive, and significantly more successful.