I am trying to help our sales team generate as many new req's as possible; however, their methods of securing new req's worries me. Their preferred, and apparently company wide, method is just to send numerous letters to companies. I guess the theory is, eventually someone will read the letter! However, from my experience and speaking with collegues with other companies, typically, in order to land the "big fish" one needs to be out there, on the front line. So, does any one have any suggestions on how I could help a sales team, with such a passive approach?
I was a sales manager for 10 years and your comment makes sense. Just like they should bring in an independent recruiter when needed, I would recommend they bring in an independent sales strategies consultant... and LISTEN to what they tell them! I can refer one or two if there is an interest. You can't do it for them... Richard Kirby, Atlanta
Does this work for them? I wouldn't discount the email approach as I've had great success when I do very targeted emails to potential hiring managers. However, it's not my only approach by any means. They need to follow up the emails with calls, and they need to be consistently keeping in touch with companies they want as clients, not just making random calls once or twice and then that's it. They also need to be gathering information from their candidates, as to what they see in the market, what companies they're liking, where they are taking jobs, etc.
They also need to focus on filling every req they take and growing business within the clients they have, that is where the real payoff comes.
The success rate is very, very limited. Occassionally, they will get req's, but there are two issues: 1) the validity of the req; and 2) the req's are typically for lower level positions and are far and few between. It definitely feels there is a relationship piece that is missing in their equation. My problem is, our branch manager heads up the sales team and seems to be okay with the status quo. So, I am desperately seeking ways improve things. Thanks for your feedback!!!
Let's assume you have that talk with the branch manager about bringing in a Sales Strategist and he/she says "No way, letters are the wave of the future." In my opinion, you have two choices to improve your current situation.
1. Go get the business yourself. Not sure how much communication you have with hiring managers, but if you do, farm some more opportunities out of them. Ask them to give you warm intros to other managers they may know in and outside of their company. If you are feeling extra spunky, pick up the phone and dial some of the C-level and VPs at those "Big Fish" companies. Who knows your "inventory" better than you do, anyway?
2. Leave current company. At least now you know to ask about or research future company's sales model.
If your sales team believes that sending letters is the best approach to winning new business, then your best bet is to be elsewhere. I've never even heard of using letters alone to break into new accounts.
We are in the same boat here. My boss is in still in the 90's mode where he made some relationships with a big client. Trouble is he does not support our new Business Development person. These days with the large MSPs, vendor Management companies, you need to get on a list to become a vendor and many companies are not accepting new vendors.
How do you motivate the owner of a company to start working again to get new business?