Randolph Sterling Inc. and Talent Management Solutions Team up to Present a Great Roundtable Event in Durham, North Carolina

About six months ago I was approached by my friend, President of Talent Management Solutions, Rob Pulley. He was interested in the two of us collaborating on a seminar about attracting the right sales team for your company and helping them become and maintain being a strong, productive sales force.  Last week we had the opportunity to present this seminar for the first time as sponsors of a roundtable through Business Clubs America of the Triangle, in the conference room of KeySource Bank, overlooking Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  No, there were no Crash Davis sightings, just a strong group of aggressively growing companies looking for an edge in hiring and developing top sales talent.

I love presenting at seminars, but hate preparing for them. Our philosophy at Randolph Sterling, Inc. has always been to provide services and solutions that are the best fits for our clients and prospects based on their needs, so it is always difficult to develop a pre-selected seminar based on what I think is important. This is one of the reasons it was great to work with Rob. Rob had a lot of information that he wanted to present on figuring out what type of salesperson your organization needs and then finding them. It was my job to talk about what you do with them once you have them. This worked out perfectly for me. Rob presented his portion of the seminar and took the group through a series of exercises to help them to determine who an ideal fit was for their sales team. He had charts and graphs outlining different sales and customer types and how he helps to find the right fit for them as they grow. As you can imagine, this left a lot of people with a lot of questions, since you can only do so much when it comes to predicting success (this is often the part of a presentation where I remind people that future Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza was drafted by the Dodgers in the last round of the 1988 draft as a favor because Mike’s dad was good friends with Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, while they drafted pitcher Bill Bene in the first round of the draft. Does anyone know what Bill Bene is doing these days?)  Sometimes you just have to get out on the field and prove yourself.

This is where I get to come in. I kept my portion of the presentation relatively open, with very little pre-planned content and even fewer visual aids. That always works best for me anyway as I always prefer for my presentations to be more conversational in nature and more open to the attendees. Yes, I am presenting and I want to do business with you so I want to put my best foot forward, but you took the time to be there and paid to do it, so I want to make sure you walk away with what you are looking for. I had taken the results of the sales diagnostic test that we provided for the attendees and picked out 6 of the 30+ questions that seemed to be the ones that the most people had questions about. Fortunately, many of these happened to be areas where we best help our clients.

Question 1-do you have a defined lead generation plan for your sales team? The easy answer to this question is yes, of course we do, everyone knows that without lead generation we don’t bring in any new business so we make this a part of our everyday life, whether we have 1 sales rep or 100. As we discussed some of the attendees’ lead generation plans, it was discovered that many did not truly have a plan at all. In fact, most realized that they did not truly focus their salespeople on finding new business. Heck, we are so busy trying to keep our current clients happy and getting work out the door that we don’t have time for it until we slow down—music to my ears!

It is not surprising that this is the philosophy of many sales teams, whether they want to admit it or not. As salespeople get busier, it is always easier to knock on the door of the person who already knows you and likes you, rather than risk rejection by talking to the unknown person behind door number 2. Many salespeople fancy themselves risk takers, but in reality, they will take the safe route on this one. This is why we developed our outsourced sales solutions, so we can provide that type of relationship development service to companies to help keep their sales pipeline filled.

The next question that came up had to do with sales and operational process. While some of the attendees had defined this pretty well, the “norm” was that most really had not. In fact, many of the ones in the room who had a sales team built one out of necessity. They had too much ground to cover so they hired another salesperson. They hadn’t yet taken Rob’s matrix into account and defined their ideal sales profile, nor had they really developed a strong ideal client profile, so they used their gut to hire, usually leaving them with a stable of sales mavericks rather that a team that would truly best fit their growth needs.

This is another of the issues we often tackle when providing our sales management solutions to clients. It is quite a common problem, which is why I like opening these types of seminars up to the attendees to not only bring up these types of issues, but also to discuss how they have handled it before I give my two cents. Sometimes it helps to get an idea for a solution, either internally or externally, after knowing that you are not the only person who is dealing with this same problem.

All in all it was a great event. Attendees walked away with ideas they could apply directly on their own to their business, although many looked at the issues, turned to either Rob or myself depending on their particular issue and said “You deal with it!”

Music to our ears

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