Yes, I am fully aware it is still 2012 and there are five months left in this year to exceed your quota and hopefully you are well positioned from a pipeline, marketing and headcount to achieve your goals. This week I want you to turn your thinking towards growing overall company revenues for next year and making sure you have the proper number of salespeople contributing on your sales team.
If you follow US college football or basketball, there is constant source of news describing the various camps, college campus site visits, athlete commitments and coaches “fanning” out across the country to recruit both next years and the following years athletes to play for their school. Sales managers must also focus on this aspect of the job, those with the best players seem to win championships, do you have the best talent on your team?
First, recognize that if you hire someone between now and the end of this year, they may contribute somewhat to your 2012 objectives, but if your new-hire to contribution/pipeline cycle is anywhere between 3-5 months, it won’t be substantial. However, by adding new salespeople in the next 90 days, they will be ready to be contributors in 2013.
Second, if you don’t know next year’s revenue objectives yet, begin thinking through this subject and discuss it with your management team. Many organizations are starting early stage strategic planning at this stage. If you need assistance in creating a strategic plan let us know.
Third, assess your current sales team. Do you have strong performers, legacy staff, potential players or deadwood? Rank each existing salesperson in one of these four categories. It will help evaluate who stays, who goes and what you need from a talent perspective.
Fourth, create a chart that describes your top five work experiences that a high performer should have and the top five personal characteristics you want from members of your team. This becomes the key starting point. This will help you craft your advertisement but more importantly it will clarify in your mind exactly what you are looking for and help you evaluate resumes and candidates during the interview process.
Fifth, is your current compensation working to attract top talent? On our website, there is a free sales compensation assessment that will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your plan. www.AcumenManagement.com
Sixth, as I have mentioned in previous blogs and in my book; Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams, make sure you define an interview process that tests, evaluates and challenges each candidate. I am currently working with a client building a process to hire a sales manager; this interviewing process becomes more complex and more important to get it right. We are building in case studies, presentation evaluations as well as on line assessment tools.
Seventh, and not necessary last, make sure your on-boarding process is designed to ensure the salesperson can effectively sell your company, present your products/services and fully understands the operations side of your business and sales organization.
Lots to do, but preparing now for next year will ensure you get a head start on 2013 and this time next year you will be enjoying the summer!