Posted by Richard Yadon in Employee Retention, Hiring, Hiring Process, Role Analysis, Sales, Top Talent | 0 comments
Simple Methods Yield Big Results
by Richard Yadon
Last year I read a book, Predictable Revenue, by Aaron Ross. If you're not familiar with Aaron, he took over the sales team of a small company, struggling for acceptance in the marketplace, and in a few short years, built it to $100 million in sales. The company was Salesforce.com and you know the rest of the story.
After reading the book I contacted Aaron and, because of our expertise in recruiting sales talent, we partnered in a Strategic Alliance. I asked him if I could share a small excerpt from his book about building sales teams. He graciously allowed me to present it here. Having built and managed sales teams for healthcare, insurance, and RCM organizations I can say his recommendations are solid.
Here's what Aaron writes....
If you want to build a solution-selling, high-value sales force, commit the team and company to invest in their success just as much as you expect them to invest in the company!
Internal Training Builds A Better Sales Force
Ongoing training can be the cheapest and easiest (yes, easiest) way to improve your team's performance. It takes commitment and focus, but is always a great investment of your time.
The Best and Cheapest Investment In Your People…
...is consistent, regular training and coaching (especially new hires). I see again and again what a difference regular training makes in improving sales skills and results, reducing ramp time and increasing “promotability” (yeah, I just made that word up, but what a concept!).
Simple monitored practice exercises, with feedback, can make a dramatic, noticeable difference in performance, whether in public speaking, objection handling, phone skills, demos or personal/career development.
- A program with an ongoing, regular format.
- Includes exercises/role-playing and useful feedback.
- Is designed effectively, to make it worth your reps' time.
- Follow through on everything: maintain the schedule, check progress, keep it fresh and don't let things slip.
Finally, the most important thing to making this work is commitment from the CEO or VP Sales to follow through and stick to it. You will have kinks to work out over weeks, months or quarters. Internal training will only get the attention and time it deserves if the management team believes in it, and is willing to invest in it.
Get 7 Fatal Mistakes CEOs and Sales VPs Make
Posted by admin in Candidates, Career Management, Sales | 0 comments
"Be All You Can Be"
This used to be the tagline for the US Army, but it echoes the inner drive of most people. After all, who doesn’t want to be all they can be? You don’t have to join the Army, as honorable as that is, to accomplish this goal. You can be all you can be in your career, in your community, in any or all areas of your life. We often see ourselves as somewhat contented with our lives the way things are right now. Of course it's hard to think of anything else when there are other, pressing issues to be addressed.
Still most of us aspire for something deeper and more meaningful. It all starts with a personal self development plan
Perhaps you are on the right track, perhaps you know you’re not, and perhaps you didn’t even know there was a track! MMS Group principal Richard Yadon gives you ten questions to ask yourself to uncover what it might take to be all you can be!
10 Questions to Start A Self Development Plan
Posted by Richard Yadon in Career Management, Featured, Sales | 0 comments
By Richard Yadon, MMS Group President & CEO
Twelve years ago I ran my first marathon. If you have not done this I highly recommend you give it a try.
Six weeks later I ran my second marathon. If you have not done this I highly recommend you don’t. I needed much more than six weeks in between two marathons!
During the 18 weeks I trained I learned a lot about myself. First, I learned that I really wasn't just a few workouts away from the prime of my high school football days. I had a long way to go. The second thing I learned is that I used skills from my sales career to train for that event.
A lot has been written about sales performance. There are books, studies, assessments; you name it, which is supposed to predict a person’s success in sales. What I learned is that sales performance has less to do with skills then we realize. In marathon running I am what you would call a ‘completer’ not a competer. Let’s be real… I am not going to beat the Kenyans. Usually the winner has crossed the 26.2 mile mark about the time I am crossing the 13 mile mark. So it is not my running skill that is going to carry me across the finish line. What will get me there is my attitude. There is as much adversity in prospecting, presenting, and ‘closing’ as there is in surviving a marathon run. If salespeople are only relying on their skill to cross the finish line they won’t have enough heart to keep driving when their mind and body says to quit.
There are, however, skills that are critical to sales success. What I learned is that the sales skills that matter the most are goal orientation and resilience. When I ran my first marathon I made it a big deal to tell everyone that I was going to run. My family has endured the hours of running I put in leading up to the race. They were waiting to cheer for me when I rounded the turn into the finish chute. My goal was to get there, not disappoint them or myself. My resilience to pain and fatigue kept me going past mile 20 and the final 6.2. If sales people don’t have a strong goal orientation, something that is bigger than them, they’ll never find the resilience to keep prospecting, to keep hearing the rejection, to pick up the phone one more time. That resilience to rejection and disappointment is perhaps the most important skill in selling.
You don’t have to run a marathon to be successful in sales. Running has taught me to keep going. When I am fatigued or hit the proverbial wall and I’m 3 miles from home, I have to push on. I don’t know that I could be as successful in sales if I had not done that over and over.
The next time you are up against odds, you are fatigued and worn out, put that bigger than life goal in front of you. Push out the pain and just keep running. Believe me the finish line is worth the effort!
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Posted by Richard Yadon in Career Management, Featured, Hiring, Hiring Process, Job Search, Role Analysis, Sales, Top Talent | 0 comments
Your Next Superstar May Not Be From Health Care
While reading the article about the Health 2.0 showcase in Europe I was reminded of a conversation I had earlier in the day with a health information technology sales executive. She told me that the health information management solutions on the market today will be completely different in two years. That will require new blood, new thinking, and a different kind of health technology sales executive.
The old saying "You can't keep doing things the same way and expect a different result" comes to mind. Just recycling the same sales people from competitors will only move a sales team further behind
"That will require new blood, new thinking, and a different kind of health technology sales executive." (Click to Tweet this)
I am already seeing this in other areas of health care, especially in care management. Movement away from traditional care models is creating a need for non-traditional skill sets.
Sales competency is and will continue to be important. Also important will be the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking and selling. Organizations will need to look outside of the health care for their next sales stars.
Health 2.0 Showcase Article
Click here to get more ideas about finding your next superstar.
Posted by Richard Yadon in Hiring, Hiring Process, Sales, Talent Management | 0 comments
Many companies benchmark their top performers to determine how to hire more people like them. That’s a good idea, but here’s a better one.
Instead of benchmarking your people, benchmark your jobs. When you benchmark people there are variables that may skew the results and not give you an accurate picture of the ideal person for the position. When people assess other people, their personal biases enter in, in addition to the fact that people are complex and bring unknown variables that may or may not have anything to do with success in the job.
If you “let the job talk,” so to speak, you’ll get an accurate and reliable picture of how the job should be done – the behaviors, motivations, and personal skills needed for the ideal job fit.
Here are the steps to follow in benchmarking a position.
First, get three to seven people in the company who know the job well (your subject matter experts) to sit down with an unbiased facilitator and begin listing everything the person in the position must do for the job to exist. Then categorize the list; categories might include Professionalism, Communication, Customer Service, etc.
From those categories the group defines the Key Accountabilities for the person in the job. A Key Accountability is a concise statement that describes the performance objectives for a particular position. Most jobs will have from three to five Key Accountabilities.
An example of a Key Accountability for the job of receptionist might be to “Provide excellent service in a pleasant and professional manner to customers and team members at all times.” Key Accountabilities are not lists of tasks, although the person’s job duties can fall under the heading of each Key Accountability.
The job experts then prioritize each Key Accountability and rank them as to order of importance. Everyone should take notes and keep the Key Accountabilities in front of them for the next step.
When everyone is satisfied the Key Accountabilities are complete, they’re ready to do two job benchmarking assessments. The first looks at the behaviors needed for the job; the second looks at job motivators, what values people ideally should have to be passionate about the job. Referring to their Key Accountabilities throughout, participants must reach a consensus on how to rank the statements of behaviors and motivators in the job benchmarking questionnaires.
Then the company assesses its employees and compares the job benchmarking assessments with their scores. Those who best match both job assessments will be your top performers and people with those behavioral styles and values are the ones you want to hire in the future.
Companies that do job benchmarking have achieved some amazing results in reducing turnover and increasing job satisfaction.
* A mortgage company was experiencing over 300% turnover annually among their sales department. The position was benchmarked and the top 5 sales people were compared to the benchmark. Turnover was reduced 250% in just 6 months after job benchmarking.
*Another company was losing 50% of its new hires during the training program. Benchmarking the job and bringing in the right people increased retention to 80%.
*Another organization had a 74% turnover in its sales force. After the benchmarking and debriefing, they reduced that number to zero during the last 18 months.
(Source: Target Training, International)
High turnover has a high price, not only in money, but also in stress and low morale to HR departments, recruiters, supervisors, and support teams. The costs of job benchmarking and employee assessments are extremely low by comparison.
A 2006 study of 422 HR professionals showed that 49% of them said attracting and retaining new talent is their top challenge. At corporations with revenues over $1 billion, 77% of the HR professionals ranked attracting talent as one of their top five priorities. By comparison, 73% chose health-care costs as their number one challenge. (Source: Human Resource Professional Online, March 1, 2007)
Companies that want to attract top talent will increase their odds of doing so with job benchmarking. As Jim Collins says in his book, Good to Great, “People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”
From a post by Online earnings on 2/4/2009