Should we hire experienced or inexperienced sales people?

Posted on June 20, 2013

I had a meeting with my sales management team a few years go to discuss if we should focus on hiring experienced or non-experienced sales people.

It is our finding hiring non-experienced sales people were comparatively loyal and adapted to the organization culture easily.  Hiring experienced sales people produced immediate results, required less training, and the individuals quickly adapted to our selling process.

Category Experienced Inexperienced
1.       ROI (Return on Investment) Higher Lower
2.       Hiring cost Higher Lower
3.       Possible wasted opportunities Lower Higher
4.       Ramp up period Shorter Longer
5.       Daily management time Lower Higher
6.       Training and coaching time Lower Higher
7.       Cultural fit Lower Higher
8.       Loyalty Lower Higher
9.       Management Challenging Less challenging
10.   Change management Difficult Easier
11.   Cost of recruiting mistake Severe Less impact
12.   Adopt to selling process Faster Slower

Hiring is the most important decision a sales manager can make.  High-performance selling organizations try to hire the best sales people whether they are experienced or inexperienced.

 

 

5 Steps Learning Plan to Achieve your Goals

Posted on May 23, 2013

Russell Sarder, CEO of NetCom Learning, has developed a five step framework for getting the most out of learning so that you can transform yourself and become successful. Russell stresses that it is important to develop and follow a plan to reach both personal and career goals. According to Zig Zigler, “You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan.” As Russell points out this plan for learning is an evolutionary process one that involves constantly evaluating and assessing progress and making needed changes along the way. Russell’s five step learning plan allows for growth and changes, creating a five step plan that can be used to become a lifelong learner and to reach a business, career, or a personal goal all through the process of learning.

Step One: Learning Goals

Napoleon Hill, the author of, “Think and Grow Rich,” stated that a goal is a dream with deadlines. Before signing up for classes or starting a self study program it is important to figure out your learning goals and set deadlines for yourself to attain these goals.   Do you have a position or a particular career in mind? What are you passionate about? You need to think about both immediate goals and long term goals. Your immediate goal may be to become employed but long term you see yourself in a management position or as an entrepreneur. It is important to spend time figuring out exactly what you want to do with your life so you can start on the process to attain your goals. Your interests may change along the way as you find an affinity for a particular type of job or industry. Start with the basics and set attainable goals for yourself.

 

Step Two: Learning Domains

Learning domains refers to determining the type of skills or learning will help you reach your immediate goal. If you are interested in a career in information technology but you are new to the field, this means determining coursework that will provide entry level skill sets to get you started in a career in IT. If you are an experienced IT professional but are looking to get into management, this could mean taking coursework in project management and the development of leadership skills.

 

Step Three: Learning Methods

Learning methods are the different types of learning you need to achieve your goal. It is important to remember that people learn differently and to take that into consideration as you determine your method for learning. For a career goal, you will want to take advantage of as many different learning methods that are open to you such as on the job training, learning from other employees, studying on your own, taking classes, and finding individuals willing to coach or mentor you.

 

Step Four:  Learning Solutions

Learning solutions concerns the coursework you will need to reach your career goal. This is where you determine what type of learning experiences work for you. Do you do best in a traditional classroom setting? Is private training or customized training the best option for your learning style? Maybe you work best under pressure and you want to get through the training as quickly as possible, be certified and get to work. In this case, accelerated training or an intensive boot camp could be the answer.

 

Step Five: Learning Evaluation

Step five is the most important part of the learning plan. This is where you evaluate what you have learned and determine whether you are getting the best return on your investment in education. Ask yourself if you have been able to successfully apply what you have learned and has the training affected your company’s bottom line in a positive way. Has the training led to the achievement of an immediate goal or contributed to reaching a long term goal? Perhaps the training has led to new interests and new goals. Use this step to look at your list of goals and make any necessary changes in your career path as you work to achieve success.

 

Learning Movement for USPAACC 2013

Posted on May 16, 2013

 

How can you close more deals?

Posted on January 28, 2013

Common sense is not so common. Closing a deal can be easier to do if you use basic principles of human psychology, along with common sense, and use the knowledge of how people arrive at buying decisions. I have put together a basic framework for you so that you can apply it on a daily basis to the selling process.  I encourage you to test this framework, (I did not invent it, it is just common sense) and I guarantee you that your sales will go up.

 

(should be Build Rapport, Develop a Relationship, Identify problems and provide the right solution, Ask for the Order).

 

1. Build rapport – If a customer does not like you or trust you, they will never buy from you.  Period! You will be able to easily build a rapport with your client if you spend a little time in getting to know the person, their company and how our product or service can solve their problem or their company’s problems.

2. Develop a relationship – It takes hours, days, months and sometime years to build strong relationship with a customer. The fastest way to build a relationship is to adapt to your customer’s personality.  Trust me on this: it works!

3. Identify problems and solve them – 100% of our customers are trying to solve a specific business or personal problem such as improving employee productivity, launching a new IT initiative, upgrading software, trying to get a raise, get a new job, or get certified.  The faster you can identify the client problems, the faster you will be able to close the deal by providing the right solution.

4. Ask for order – If you do not ask for the order, you will not get the sale.  I know it sounds simple but  sales people can be shy about actually asking for the order.

 

Learning Vs. Training

Posted on January 18, 2013

Our purpose is to promote the values of lifelong learning.  Our purpose is our biggest competitive advantage. We are going to build a learning culture at NetCom Learning so that others realize that we practice what we preach.

 

How can we learn better?

  1. Learn by asking questions – learn from each other by asking open ended questions
  2. Learn through research – learn about a concept, person or company by conducting research
  3. Learn through reflection – learn by analyzing your past successes and failures

 

What is learning?

“Learning has very little to do with taking in information.  Learning, instead, is a process that is about enhancing capacity.  Learning is about building the capacity to create that which you previously couldn’t create.  It’s ultimately related to actions, which information is not.” (By Peter Sense)

What’s the difference between learning and training?  (by Michael Marquardt)

Training

Learning

– From the outside in, done by others – From the inside out, learner motivated
– Assumes relative stability – Assumes continuous change
– Focuses on knowledge, skills, ability, and job performance – Focuses on values, attributes, innovation, and outcome
– Appropriate for developing basic competencies – Helps organizations and individuals learn how to learn and create novel solutions
– Emphasizes improvement – Emphasizes breakthrough
– Not necessarily linked to organization’s  vision, mission, purpose and strategies – Directly aligned with organization’s vision, mission, purpose and strategies
– Structure learning experiences with short-term focus – Formal and informal, long-term future oriented, learner initiated