Our country has gone from conversations about how to recruit and retain quality employees in a market with low unemployment just a few short years ago to conversations about how to find a job in a market with record unemployment numbers.
What’s missing is the most important conversation, regardless of our economic situation.
No one is talking about what needs to be done by companies to optimize their organization with the highest number of “A” players possible. What percentage is possible? If done properly, 80-90%. In our current economic climate it is especially important to move away from mediocrity. The 80-20 rule, as it relates to sales, is just not acceptable if you truly want to be successful in today’s market. For those who aren’t familiar with the 80/20 rule, it says that 20% or your sales organization will produce 80% of your revenue. Is this really what you’re company is committed to? Have you considered the possibility of what your revenues would look like with 80-90% of your sales organization achieving quotas vs. 20-50%?
These questions are just some that you need to be asking yourself. If you’re not asking these questions, you are headed for mediocrity or possibly even failure.
- Have you calculated the costs of your hiring errors over the past two to five years? This is truly the only way to know how many millions of revenue dollars you’ve lost.
- Do you really know what type of people you’re looking for? Have you created a specific, measurable job spec using your current and past A players as the benchmark? Is the executive team aligned with regard to revenue and growth plans and how the sales organization directly helps to bring this revenue plan to fruition?
- Are you clear on your corporate culture, and have you put a process in place to assess candidate fit with your culture?
- Do you have a plan in place to assess your current employees and remove all your under-performers, as well as a timeline in which to complete this task?
- How are you finding candidates? If you employ an internal recruiting organization, are they posting ads on job boards or actively searching out quality candidates? Are you using contingent recruiting firms to find your candidates? Have you retained a firm for the search?
- Are you paying your internal recruiters at the same level you pay you’re top salespeople? If not, do you actually expect a 60-80k/yr recruiter to have the ability to find and attract a 300-400k/yr performer? If they had that ability, they’d be working for themselves, not for you.
- Do you have a plan to retain top talent?
- Have you created a list of questions, both open ended and closed, to qualify the competencies you require of your sales executives and management?