Friday, January 9, 2009

Sales Recruit Failures Cost 000000s

Writen by Tom McLaughlin

It's not poor skills or laziness but when management is fighting fires, a sales staff is on its own and the numbers start falling.

Even with the high cost of hiring, training and letting go of a majority of sales staff recruits, keeping weak performers would be a mistake. But just how many qualified new recruits are being lost? There must be some way of finding out.

The Real Problem It doesn't make sense that most sales recruits are duds or that an existing sales staff can't do more. Management needs a better, more pragmatic approach that manages sales performance differently and avoids sales staff coasting.

Is it possible that the primary cause of the high attrition among new sales staff is from not making enough calls? If this is the case, an unwavering discipline that ensures rapid notification of low sales appointment scheduling, followed by prompt management action, is in order.

A simple model:

  1. An intuitive computer interface allows sales reps to log the pertinent details of all call activity on a daily basis
  2. The next day a follow-up contact is made by a designated caller regarding each meeting in the form of a confidential survey-like phone call, using direct questions like:
    • Was our rep on time?
    • Did you accomplish what you had hoped to accomplish?
    • Would you meet again with our rep?
  3. All collected information is provided to Sales Management for review and immediate follow-up
This approach accomplishes three key goals:
  • Reduces the incidence of non-productive calls and fabricated activity
  • The customer or prospect is made aware that their time is considered valuable and that the quality of your representation is subject to critical review, as it should be
  • A additional and meaningful customer or prospect contact is accomplished
  • The sales staff is alerted that all sales call activity is promptly reviewed
For Sales Management there are important benefits:
  • Being relieved of a critical task that is generally not performed well by management
  • Proactive early intervention and possible remediation of good sales candidates
  • Timely and objective feedback relative to sales activity from customers or prospects for comparison with sales staff reporting
The continuous flow and diligent review of sales call activity can force a needed sales process turnaround to reduce the high rate of sales recruit failure. The ROI of this important switch in process could be significant. For example:

· A sales staffing effort engages twenty (20) new staff in one year at an average total full-year cost of $50,000

· Each staff member goes through a three-month trial period

· Ninety-percent (90%) fail, or $50,000 X 18 / 4 = $225,000

A reduction in attrition would also avoid additional replacement recruits, with a similar high chance of failure, and the cost expended on failed efforts. A twenty-percent (20%) improvement would save $45,000 and four (4) sales recruits within just one round of hiring.

Tom McLaughlin, President of A Turnaround Company, serves service-based business organizations by helping them to get a better handle on core operational factors that contribute to positive growth and dramatically improved profits. Go to the company's website to start saving big bucks and Turn Your Company around Fast. 37 Years in IT Services Industry, 27 Years Corporate Executive, 11 Years Field Technical and Technical Management, Responsible for Five Corporate Startups, MBA Executive Management, Co-Founder of theQ – A State-of-the Art Information Engine, Founder of A Turnaround Company

No comments: