You have likely heard the mantra, “nothing happens until somebody sells something,” before. This holds true, whether it is a product or service, professional expertise or social entrepreneurship.
You can even extend this into government when elected officials “sell” improvements to the residents (aka taxpayers) of a municipality or state. The taxpayer “buys in” and pays taxes. The sale was made. The check clears the bank.
So, after four decades of helping organizations identify the respective strengths of their sales personnel, we have learned a thing or two.
Here are our basic rules for hiring the right salesperson:
- Above all else, the top-performing salesperson really needs to believe in the product or service he or she provides.
- The right person must be competent in support of that product or service, as no amount of coaching will overcome an inadequate skill set.
What we find the vast majority of the time is the answers to what drives our client’s top performers are right before our very eyes. As you think about your organization, there are likely some individuals in sales – granted, other positions as well – whose performance comes to mind as something you would like to instill across the greater sales team.
Forté has a rich history of identifying and understanding those communication styles and behaviors that drive top performance:
Step 1: Ask top performers to complete their Forte Communication Style Survey
In this specific instance, we ask the top-performing sales personnel to complete their Forté Adapting Survey regarding “how my customer expects me to act in the close.” In professional services, it could be “how my patients expect me to act,” etc.
Usually, the top performers fall within the top 20 percent of the sales team. From here, we can aggregate the results of a number of top performers to form a “Top Performing” profile for use in recruiting, onboarding and coaching potential performers on the team.
Now that we have this information, we move to the next phase.
Step 2: Build the existing sales team to higher levels of performance.
Salespeople want to achieve. Their success clearly impacts their income and career. We find them very open to coaching or adapting strategies they know have been validated from their team, instead of some cookie-cutter process completed on a national level across a very broad scope of salespeople that may or may not even come close to the product or service they are selling. The buy-in to the process is significant.
Step 3: The Forté Performance Coaching process continues to reinforce existing top performers on how they are adapting to their customer/consumer so they continue to improve. We may also find an updated adapting/coaching strategy that is more effective.
This is not a “once-then-done” endeavor. Life goes on and as the organization grows, new opportunities for improvement present themselves. We can provide Forté Adapting Updates as often as every 30 days to stay in touch with evolving trends and maintain performance ahead of the curve versus falling behind it.
It’s like the old adage, “A rising tide raises all ships” – that’s exactly what we do.
If increasing your revenue is of interest, we would be happy to share specific examples with you and discuss how hiring the right salesperson the first time supports the ongoing growth of your business.