All good things must come to an end, especially in the world of sales and staffing. Whether all-star performers are leaving for retirement reasons or new opportunities on the horizon, the thought of finding someone who will deliver the same results and fit in the culture can seem daunting. Rest assured though, it’s not impossible. With some planning and putting a few processes in place, you’ll be well positioned to celebrate the departing team members and welcome the new ones.
Sandler Training recommends the following tips to help identify potential sales professionals that are worth the investment and will help bring long-term success to the company.
- Create a playbook for training. On a quarterly basis consult with top salespeople to get them to share their approach to the job. More often than not, veteran and top salespeople have a hard time putting into words how they go about their job. For some of them, they’ve doing it for such a long time, they just do it. Make an effort to ask them to take a step back and think about the attitudes, behaviors and techniques that lead them to success.
- Follow the SEARCH process. Sandler Training often looks to its SEARCH process when it comes to training and recruiting situations. By taking time to evaluate exactly what is needed to be successful in the position you’re looking to fill, you’re more likely to find someone who will be worth the investment.
- Skills – Identify skills your top salespeople possess and teach new associates the importance of those skills.
- Experiences – Know the ups and downs your top salespeople experienced and what they learned from each experience. Bring those good and bad experiences to life for the new person. This way, pitfalls can be avoided and the lessons will be learned.
- Attitude – Look at the attitudes of top salespeople and identify the common traits among them. Incorporate the importance of these attitudes in the onboarding/training process. In most cases they all have the ability to bounce back from failures, stay focused on goals, remain positive, healthy self-concept, etc.
- Results – Look at the numbers these top salespeople are hitting. In many cases, new hires are competitive and will want to know the shoes they’re ultimately going to have to fill. But, don’t expect them to hit these numbers immediately – that will come over time with proper training. In the short term, create achievable performance metrics for new hires to reach.
- Cognitive skills – Know which processes the top sales people use that the new hire should employ as well.
- Habits – Encourage the top salespeople to share their every day work habits to help create a framework and better understanding of a typical day in the position. For example, how many calls they make per day? How many are to current clients? How many are to new business prospects?
- Ask your network for recommendations. Some of the best hires will be people you know, have already impressed you or that your team has already been exposed to in some fashion. Ask clients that you trust, associates that network often or reconnect with someone who made an impression on you.
- Refer to LinkedIn. These days LinkedIn is a top tool for recruiting. Look to your connections on LinkedIn to see who’s performing well and engaging with other LinkedIn users in your industry.
- Incentivize associates for leads. Consider creating (or reinstating) a program that rewards associates for leads and referrals on new hires that meet milestones. The milestones can range from sales quota milestones to rewarding once the new hire reaches 6 months with the company.
While your top performers can never be “replaced,” a process can be relied upon to help you rebuild and restaff when the time comes – and it always does.