Find, recruit and hire 3 new salespeople in 6 weeks. No problem, right?
That was pretty much the objective I gave myself. Like always, nothing like writing down a goal.
These three new salespeople started February 15th with lots of fanfare. We made a big deal out of it, both in the office and on social media.
We made a big deal out of it because it's a big deal.
Hiring new employees means taking responsibility for new families; it's not something to be taken lightly.
We concluded the week of content with dinner that included our significant others. If a family is going to share one of their own with me, I want the chance to know those family members. If wives, girlfriends, and parents have a clear understanding of what their family member will be doing, and the reasoning behind what we do, they'll be that much more invested in our collective success.
We're a relatively small organization, so there's a lot riding on us making good choices. The interview process was a lot different than what this recruiting class had been used to from other prospective employers. It was different on purpose. I wasn't interviewing for skill, I was interviewing looking for specific characteristics I find necessary to be a good teammate. I was interviewing to understand what it was that these prospective new members of my team were looking for because many people don't know what being on a good team is like and it shows in how they look for employment. Lastly, I was interviewing for determination. You can't win at anything without determination.
In many companies, sales training is non-existent. Lots of small businesses never grow beyond the threshold of contribution from their owner because the owner is a good salesperson, but not at all capable of being a sales manager as well. Many a prospective superstar salesperson have been thwarted by the lack of knowledge transfer that is necessary to become a proficient seller. The sales process is a discipline, and it can be broken down into a series of teachable steps if you're willing to spend the time getting those steps laid out into a plan - a plan you can execute, measure and refine over time.
We're using our training program as a way to create content for our marketing efforts. I've even started documenting the process via LinkedIn posts, again in the name of content. Class #1 is focused on 3 objectives:
- Creating video-based content for sharing on our social platforms
- Becoming involved in the conversations surrounding the Organizations we've identified as prospects
- Helping learn about and communicate the stories of those Organizations in their assignments
We have a content generation engine built and ready to go. We have eager and talented new people ready to hit the ground running. We have a difficult target to achieve but a realistic plan to execute, and we've all committed to ourselves and to one another to do the work necessary to make the objective attainable.
- A plan for success
- A well defined goal
- An atmosphere of assistance
- A manager that cares
Will I keep this group of salespeople? Will they all be successful? Will I find myself recruiting replacements after one season? No one knows for sure. What I do know is my team won't lose due to a lack of preparation.