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It's Time To Recruit, Not To Hire

After eight days and six cities, I hope to make sure this message is clear: It's been a busy week! I missed last week's blog because of some of that travel, but I hope you used that time to contemplate the ideas in the post on sales compensation planning for 2010 -- it's a critical component for building a high-performance and self-managed sales team.

Another very critical component in creating a high-performance team is attracting and selecting the right level of talent. Hiring correctly is the No. 1 problem in the channel. 

While the jury is still out on the Minnesota Vikings and their recruitment of Brett Favre, Sunday's game proved the value of having a person on your team who has the right experience and can make things happen.

Let's recap: With two seconds remaining, Brett scrambled and hit a receiver in the back of the end zone. It was a come-from-behind win over the San Francisco 49ers. He said in post-game comments, "I kept telling myself and my teammates that we can still win this game." He accomplished a similar victory as a backup quarterback in his first game as a Green Bay Packer and has continued this pattern throughout his career more than 40 times.

So, here's a situation where the Vikings had two quarterbacks competing for the starting job, but they recruited Favre before the season started because he's proven that he's one of the best.

Sports analogies are cliché, but here's my point: Recruiting must be a constant focus of sales management. At this time of year, many top performers are assessing their current employer and asking if they are positioned with a winner, if the frustrations of the past year or two have been worthwhile, and what progress they made professionally. 

If you're not constantly seeking new and better talent, you will find that the top sales talent may not be looking in your direction when positions open up. We always tell clients that they need to develop a marketing campaign to recruit talent as well as to find prospects.

Favre came out of retirement. Likewise, with the general business environment, remember that there is also talent available due to cut backs, layoffs and some people opting to retire earlier.

In our book, "Recruiting and Hiring a High Performance Sales Team," I suggest that for every one salesperson you hire, you need to interview five and that a minimum of three people interview each person. I can't get into a complete recruiting, interviewing and hiring process in this blog, so here's one nugget to take away: Building a recruiting machine with a defined interviewing process will help you take the emotion out of hiring and help you select the winners required to make your organization a super team. 

Our Web site has a free video on hiring smart and it's there that you can also get our On Line Sales Manager's Tool Kit that includes a complete interviewing kit as well as a three-week, New-Hire On boarding training schedule.

Ken Thoreson, President of Acumen Management Group Ltd., "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead! Acumen Management provides keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. 3f4qb8v9ge

Posted by Ken Thoreson on September 28, 2009