Some lovely insight this morning from Wendy Harris (Dropbox), Jane Oremosu (Thomson Reuters) and Toni Redman (Adobe) and a wonderfully refreshing panel at the Saleshacker Conference.
It is the first all-female panel I have attended in the last year and it's great to learn from three incredibly successful saleswomen who are not only a great example for any up & coming salesperson but a fanstastic role model for any young women who would like to break into sales, which is traditionally an overly male-dominated profession.
These 3 experts dealt with hiring, onboarding and training, & retention for their respective sales teams.
What are the key qualities in any salesperson? Resilience, awareness, tenacity
Some key questions to ask an experienced rep:
- What % of target did you hit over the last four quarters?
- What % of pipeline is their own vs. generated by a BDR?
- What % of business is inbound vs. outbound?
- What kind of manager brings out the best in you?
- What techniques do you use to haul yourself over the line if you're behind target 2 months into a quarter?
However, for Toni Redman, it's about hiring graduates who show passion and tenacity. Individuals who will fit into the culture with a demonstrable skill set. How do you look for/hire culture?
- Competency based questions - what would you do in situation X? How would you feel if Y happened?
- If they "slag off" their previous company, it's a big "red flag" for Wendy.
- Diversity in the hiring process is key, both in terms of the experience that an individual can bring, their habits (good and bad) and, of course, gender/race/backgrounds. This diversity will make your organisation successful through avoiding 'groupthink', bringing in fresh ideas and attracting a broad range of talent.
Now that you have the key people, how do you get the best out of them?
- Have a repatable, tried and trusted process
- "Buddy-up" the new starters with soemone who is already experienced / learn from their calls.
- Have some sort of assessment / accreditation for them to work towards in the first month so they can actually see their own progress.
- Give them weekly, monthly objectives so they have things to work towards - no matter how big or small - so it helps builds some momentum in their integration.
#3. Retaining talent: How do you keep the best talent in a competitive market?
- Culture, nice office, perks of the job and a pleasant environment are expected as a minimum. It's the intrinsic perks which today's job market demands.
- Setting expectations is key, says Toni - you will have to show that there is profression/personal success to be had but it does not come overnight.
- Graduates really want a clear cut development plan to enable them to get where they want to go.
- At Dropbox, they have a quarterly list which accords lots of public recognition and kudos.
- At Thomson Reuters, it's the possibility of big progression which is the big prize.
- In short, the money matters but it's the recognition & internal hubris which are the big drivers.
In short, hiring is the key starting block to growing your sales business and is a hurdle you will have jump to ensure long-term success.