The short answer is, you are not staffed right.
The sooner you accept this reality, the sooner you start your journey of never missing another revenue target.
This is the “why” behind the short answer…
It has been my experience that we typically fill a sales role based on the experience we feel the person needs in order to hit expectations. While I agree this is part of the equation, it is not the full equation.
The missing parts to the equation are your company culture, your business systems and process, and you (Assuming you are the person who will be managing this person).
A more complete equation is: Company culture + your business systems and process + the hiring manager + candidate’s experience = the ideal candidate for you
You can actually score this equation by answering the following questions on a scale of one to four, with four being the highest:
1. To what level is my sales process documented? Not at all is a one, and a printed step by step manual is a four.
2. To what level is my activity reporting tracked? Not at all is a one, and a printed report generated by a CRM system at the end of each day, or week, is a four.
3. Do you have a differentiating value that customers are willing to pay for? “Pay for” is the key phrase here.
If you say it is your people and/or your service, then give yourself a one.
If it is something that customers actually write a check for, not something thrown in the deal under the category of “value add” , give yourself a four.
4. Can your sales force sell your differentiating value?
No, they can’t, is a one, some is a two, most is a three, and yes they can is a four.
5. To what level has the manger of the sales team developed the following skills: (score each separately)
b. Holding people accountable to an activity goal?
c. Holding people accountable to a revenue goal?
e. Recruiting “A” players?
f. Growing the sales team? (Getting them better at something each month or quarter)
6. To what level do you have an on-boarding program?
No program is a one, two is they ride with the “senior rep”, three is an outline of what they need to know, do and use, and a four is that you measure their understanding of the on-boarding material and you have assigned a timeline.
Perfect score is 44
When you add these up, what is your score?
How this number factors into selecting candidates:
The lower your score, the more sheer talent, ability (skill), self-motivated and experience your candidates need.
If your number is below 22, you need to go find the most gifted, talented, and experienced salesperson you can find. They also need to be self-starting, self-motivated, self-directed, hate to lose and do whatever it takes to get the job done.
If you scored in this area, you can validate your score by the fact that you have nothing documented, you don’t hold your people accountable or train them, and your on-boarding consists of “go get ‘em!”
If your score is 22-37, then you can afford to hire “B” players that have the talent to be developed into “A” players over time.
If your score is 38 or above you can attract more “A” players because they are doing similar things to what you are doing, and they are attracted to the structure and discipline you provide. Deep down they know what is required to consistently win. (I did not say they will like this, just that they will be attracted to it) You also can get the best “B” players in town for the same reason.
Do you have a process in place that quantifies your candidate’s talents. abilities, and skills? If not, the best you will do is guess, and chances are you will lean heavily on the experience factor because you have no way of measuring the rest.
It is not just a question of, “can they do the job?” It is a question of, “can they do the job working for you in your company, selling your products, in your timeframe, at the level you have your sales department developed?”