The answer is simple; Sales Leaders never have enough qualified sales pipeline or qualified sales candidates!
We spent quite a bit of time in the last few posts discussing sales pipeline and lead generation, let's shift our focus to the people side of the equation. It seems obvious that a top priority for any Sales Leader is ensuring that 100% of their team makes their plan. In reality there is always a subset of your team that will not make it. The most recent Sales Performance Optimization Survey by CSO Insights showed that last year 59.4% of reps made plan in responding companies. There are many reasons why reps fail, but the fact is some will and you need an ongoing process to replace them with the best talent available.
Many sales leaders fail to begin the recruiting process until a rep is fired or quits. Highly successful sales leaders, however, have an ongoing process to identify and track the top talent even when they are fully staffed. (Looking for suggestions on hiring the best talent, visit the Topgrading Blog for excellent ideas).
So how do you find this talent? One of the simplest approaches is to keep close eye on your toughest competitors. Identify their top talent and find a way to engage with them. Seek them out at trade events and bidders conference; if they belong to a trade association consider joining it. These are perfect venues for establishing a dialogue in a non-threatening environment. These days they are likely on Linkedin or Twitter, use your search skills there to identify them.
Just remember, top sales people have likely been achieving their sales plans year-in and year-out, making it difficult to recruit them away. By staying engaged you have advance warning if situations deteriorate at their present employer.
Trigger events that may cause someone else's Rainmaker to look elsewhere:
- Merger and acquisition activity
- Executive leadership changes
- Key changes in their company's financial position
- Lagging new product development
- Market share loss
- Regulatory changes
- Compensation plan changes
An ongoing recruiting process will shorten onboarding timelines and just as importantly create a hole in your competitor's sales bench. Losing a top producer to a competitor also causes remaining sales team members to question whether they also should begin looking for greener fields. Another plus if you need more than one new selling asset.
Does this help? If you want to talk about your hiring opportunities drop us a note!