ELIA ND Athens: You’ve Hired a Sales Person, Now What?

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Jessica Rathke – L10N Sales & Marketing

Sales people are one of your company’s most valuable assets, but success rates can be disappointing. How do you find the right person? Once on board, how to ensure success? Jessica discussed specific actions sales managers can take to manage great sales people, especially during their early tenure: What activities count? Is it quantity or quality? What should be measured and how? When should you be worried?

Initiation: New sales person needs to get familiar with the company people, processes, technology, differentiators, business procedures, sales methodology, “ideal clients”, and sales support materials.

Lead generation: Distill to top 20/top 100 prospects (ongoing process). Refine ideal clients, identify low hanging fruit, bring own contacts, use LSP database.

How do you measure progress in the first three months? Wins, losses and revenues is measuring the past – not the best way. Measure what impacts the future.

Activity – populating pipeline

  • Lead generation / prospecting
  • WebEx meetings
  • Face to face meetings
  • Presentations
  • Proposals

Time – sales velocity

  • Qualification time
  • New service introduction
  • Staying out of production issues

How to measure:

  • Set goals
  • Data to benchmark against (e.g., your best sales person)
    • Number of calls to identify prospect
    • Number of prospects to get quoting opportunity
    • Percentage of quotes that close
    • Measure weekly
    • If not, then begin:
      • Sales responsibility to record activities
      • CRM for reporting

Why measure:

  • Sales people focused on the right activities
  • Enables corrective action early
  • Prevents future shortfalls

Abandon misperceptions about sales:

  • Sales people should bring customers with them
  • Sales people manage themselves
  • Sales people are only motivated by money
  • I don’t need a sales process

Incentivize the right behavior:

  • Most accurate forecast
  • Number of C-level goals shared

Lead generation:

  • Consider inbound marketing
  • Alternative sales department structure

Avoid common mistakes during the first 90 days:

  • Didn’t give candidate specific objectives to meet on weekly basis
  • Didn’t cut losses after the first 30 days
  • Didn’t have measurable objectives