My career has been spent working for B2B SME’s (small-medium sized enterprises) that have been under resourced and seeking overseas sales growth. In the seminal work by Steven Watkins, The First 90 Days, one of the strategies after landing in a new job is to build small wins. I buy into that concept for new salespeople because positive results stimulate more positive activity and a winning attitude renews itself past the probationary period.
It is hard to start in a new sales role, learning new product, new sales process and new teammates so lighter lifting may be efficient to make a 90 day impact. Seek customers in their comfort zone. Wholly new customer relationships need to be cultivated but are hard to win in the first 90 days particularly if you have a sales cycle that exceeds that short time. An existing customer base that has proven it likes the product, has been set up in the sales system and is receptive to an appointment is a great alternative and a great initiation.
Do some simple analytical work. Perform your A/B/C analysis of existing accounts. Segregate your B accounts and high C accounts:
Channel partner relationships are critical too if that is a path to market. Analyze and then hit the road. Go through the same A/B/C exercise for channel partners adding market position to the factors, and ask yourself:
As I learned early from one of my Tradewinds colleagues about the spotlight- “first you see the light then you feel the heat” when starting a new role. The metric with additional resources comes with the top management expectation of increased revenue, project wins and expanded sales/customer.
There are other tools to use to accelerate the new salesperson investment to break even above expectations, but winning new revenue is a direct path to success.
Do you want to have a free fifteen-minute call to discuss successful onboarding new rep sales tactics? Sign up on my web site or contact me directly by phone. This will be the subject at the late May Tradewinds meetings https://www.jimthomasintl.com/the-tradewinds-councilcopy.html.
A lot of my consulting work is centered around coaching Sales Managers for performance improvement or helping them navigate global sales channels. One of the principal decisions made by a Sales Manager are hiring decisions. Many Sales Managers do a great job of assessing product or technical skills, however it is also necessary to gauge a salesperson’s soft skills in several areas: preparedness, motivation, assertiveness and patience. Some Sales Managers struggle in assessing these softer skills and rely on canned non behavioral questions.
There are four Interview “soft” Questions I always ask Salesperson candidates. I am usually not the final decision maker but can provide information about the candidates’ soft skills during the interview and their sales process. I use a mix of behavioral questions to determine if they can tell a story (customers like stories) and demonstrate maturity. I will also want them to keep their replies short, concise, and on point (like a customer interaction).
Everyone has their favorite interview questions and I prepare my questions based on the position requirements, my role in the interview process and the candidates background. Once I have completed my portion of the interview, I complete a one page assessment of the candidates competency profile and provide a go/no go decision replete with any follow up items that the hiring manager may want to consider.
Do you want to have a free fifteen-minute call on interview preparation and strategy? Sign up on my web site or contact me directly by phone.