Build a Top Performing Sales Team in 2016

Great sales teams don’t just happen. They are carefully built… Sales is the heartbeat of your organization and it’s important to invest in the right people. Hiring mistakes can cost you missed sales opportunities and management time in addition to salary and administrative expenses. The key to building an all-star team in 2016 is having the right people in the right positions, doing the work they were naturally wired for. Here’s how to go about doing that: Benchmark your positions, not your top performers Ideal sales competency models are commonly developed with A-players in the same role in mind, but…

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Why “Top Talent” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Top Dollar”

Every organization wants to fill their teams with “top talent” and a quick stroll through the internet will reveal that this buzzword is on the top of their minds. Naturally, we want to find and hire the best people, but what does “top talent” really mean? The word itself conjures up images of ivy-league educated, technical experts that have years of experience under their belt with a resume that no hiring manager would ever let slip through the cracks. This description tends to exude an air of expensive, but in reality, “top talent” doesn’t necessarily equate to “top dollar.” The…

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4 Tips for Maximizing the Sales Hiring Process

Selecting the best individuals to represent your sales team is crucial to the success of your organization—that is a given. The steps it takes to find that perfect match are where many people struggle. The sales hiring process can be a long and challenging one, but its importance cannot be overstated. Grant this opportunity to grow your team the attention it deserves, and keep in mind these 4 tips for maximizing the sales hiring process: 1. Determine Exactly What the Sales Position Requires Before You Begin Your Search, Not After This seems so fundamental, yet we’ve seen many clients make…

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The World’s Longest List of Sales Interview Questions

The single biggest challenge in hiring salespeople is one that is both logical and emotional in nature. The logical part of the challenge is that having someone in place is better than having no one at all. This is a false position to take, however, when you take a look at what a bad sales hire can cost you: Wasted leads and lost opportunities Customer and prospect alienation Loss of goodwill in the marketplace Poor image and reputation Morale problems caused for other salespeople Lost time and energy in hiring, training and retaining Delivery and customer service problems Picking up…

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How to Reduce Time Screening Sales Candidates

Hiring new sales reps can be a long and difficult process. First, you have to sort through piles of resumes. From there, you need to conduct endless interviews. And every step of the way, you need to wade through a barrage of unqualified, uninterested, or otherwise unsuitable candidates before finding the few that might work. If you’re searching for a way to reduce time screening sales candidates, look no further.  Here a few rules of thumb: Make Them Work Include some comprehensive and potentially time-consuming task in the initial application process: rigorous requirements for references, some information or documentation that…

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How to Reengage Senior Sales Reps Who’ve Lost Their Fight

In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Jack Lemmon plays an aging sales rep. Once a superstar within the company, he now struggles with his pitches, can’t seem to get potential clients interested in what he has to say, and, ultimately. can’t make sales nearly as well as he used to. This problem is sadly a common issue in the real world as well. Senior sales reps who have been with the company a long time can lose their edge, just going through the motions instead of working hard to stay current with their skill set. Many times, it’s not a…

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When To Fire Your Top Salesperson

The primary goal of most organizations is to drive revenue and profit. So any salesperson that knows how to do that, and do it well, is an important part of the team. True, top salespeople may give you problems sometimes, but they’re also doing exactly what you want.

It’s worth putting up with a few personality “quirks” to bring in more revenue, right? Well, not always…

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Sales Culture Shift: Should You Replace Your Entire Sales Team?

Your company is in the midst of a major sales culture shift. You’re overhauling your entire approach to how you sell your products and services and putting the focus on the customers and their experience, rather than on your company.

You’ve changed your strategy, your tactics, you’ve changed your policies, and you’ve even changed your training program. Everything is going well.

Just one question remains. Should you replace your entire sales team?

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7 Ways to Evaluate the Sales Hiring Process

Our research tells us that only 41% of senior sales leaders have confidence in their organization’s ability to attract, hire and retain top sales performers, yet many front-line hiring managers rush to fill open sales positions.

To make sure the sales hiring process inside of your organization ensures you only hire top-performers, senior execs must provide a multistep roadmap for hiring…and hold managers accountable to it.

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Guaranteeing You Have Top Performers On Board: The 3 Best Interview Questions To Ask Sales Candidates

Identifying, interviewing and hiring the right salespeople is one of the most difficult elements of a sales manager’s job.

One of the easiest ways to separate the poor sales performers from the good ones is to ask the right questions during their initial interview. Solid, proven interview questions to ask sales candidates will help you understand what kind of person they are and how well they will fit into your company’s culture.

Asking these three questions will help you be certain that you only hire top performers.

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6 Problems Caused By High Sales Turnover

Turnover in a sales force is normal and to be expected. Zero turnover is bad but if you’re experiencing exorbitantly high sales turnover, it’s even worse.

Sales organizations, like any other organization made up of human beings, will experience personnel change. With people changing not only jobs, but entire careers multiple times in their lives, this is to be accepted, anticipated and factored into the equation. Too radical a situation at either end of the spectrum is a real cause for concern.

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12 Reasons For High Turnover In The Sales Department

Salespeople must be hired with caution, launched with clarity and the under-performing ones replaced with dispatch.

The essence of this rule lies in the speed of hiring and the speed of firing. They both need to move at their own proper speed. The correct speed? Hire more slowly and fire more quickly. The real-world? Sales organizations hire too fast and fire too slow. They have the whole thing backwards. The inevitable outcome? High turnover in the sales department.

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Where are the Good Salespeople? 12 Questions to Ask

The other day, I was in a meeting where someone was remarking about how difficult it is to find “good salespeople.” She was expressing frustration because she’s hired salespeople who look good during the hiring process, but quickly fail in her environment. Of course, my first inclination was to introduce her to our sales assessments, but I stopped myself because her issue goes beyond screening candidates. It’s a common question that’s rarely answered directly: Where are the good salespeople? The reason people don’t have a good answer is because it’s difficult to say what makes “good salespeople.” First, it’s tough to…

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How to Hire a Salesperson if You’ve Never Done It Before

If you’re not used to it, hiring salespeople can be a daunting task. Bad ones can sometimes do a pretty good job of slipping past a hiring managers. Salespeople — even if they’re terrible — are uniquely positioned to “sell” themselves to interviewers. Separating the strong candidates from the weak ones isn’t quite as simple as just asking the “right” questions. Instead, you have to dig deeper. Here are a handful of ideas… Interview former customers. When you’re checking references, don’t stop with managers or coworkers, ask to speak to satisfied clients. They’re the ones whose impressions count the most. Check W2s….

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Taking on the War for Talent

The other day, we came across a Fortune Magazine article called “A CEO Takes on The War for Talent” that appeared in the magazine’s October 29, 2012 edition. In the article, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson is highlighted because his company’s business is growing so fast that he can’t hire quickly enough. In order to deal with the challenge, he’s using TriMetrix, which is a tool we have provided our clients for many years. When our clients use it, they get the chance to peak “under the hood” before hiring a candidate. We thought you might enjoy taking a look at…

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Mashable on Hiring Zombies

Recently, we came across this great infographic from Mashable. Thought you all might enjoy seeing it, too. We think you’ll agree that it applies to hiring salespeople in a very real, frightening way. Check it out by clicking on the image. Have you ever hired a zombie? Share your experience in the comments section.

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Best Salespeople

Here’s a short post to answer a big question: Often, VPs of Sales, Sales Managers, and other Sales Leaders ask us to help them find the best salespeople. They tell us they’re tired of being fooled by salespeople who are “all show and no go.” They just want the best. Question is, what’s “best?” The “best” salesperson in one company (or territory, or product line, or for one manager) is not necessarily the “best” somewhere else. Why is that? Two reasons: Almost every salesperson is a human and humans are notoriously complex creatures. Every factor you can imagine (and some…

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How To Find The Best Sales Job

As a professional sales trainer, one of the advantages my work offers me is the chance to see so many different sales jobs. First, I should say that I believe any job has negatives and positives to it. However, some of us are more likely to see one or the other. With that said, it’s impossible to say one job is THE best because we all have different strengths that compliment different jobs. The secret is finding the one that’s right for you. In other words, jobs and people are each unique. The best sales job for you is really…

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86.7% of Salespeople are “Superior”

Last week, during a meeting with a client, I learned that… 86.7% of the salespeople we’ve helped them hire using our sales assessments are performing at a “superior” level. Nowhere in an organization are the metrics more easily measured than in sales. There are hard-and-fast stats that make it straightforward to determine success or failure in sales. And, by this client’s own measure, we have helped solve a major challenge in their organization: How to take the guesswork out of hiring salespeople. The most valuable time in any professional salesperson’s life is spent with clients. What are you learning while…

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The Most Critical Characteristic for Success in Any Endeavor

According to our research, regardless of what you do, Personal Accountability is the most critical personal skill you can exhibit. Personal Accountability, by our definition, is… The willingness to take responsibility for one’s own actions. A person who’s able to take the blame for mistakes (and the credit for wins) is far more effective at any job than someone who’s not. There are a lot of common sense reasons for this: Personally accountable people are more fun to be around because they’re not busy casting blame elsewhere. Personally accountable people are better team-players because others trust them. Personally accountable people have…

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