By: Connie Blaszczyk, Managing Editor, Monster Resource Center
In today’s competitive recruiting landscape, sales force effectiveness is top of mind for staffing firms.
Yet the topic prompts a bevy of crucial decisions -- from whether your firm should hire experienced sales people to how to effectively retain top sales performers.
The 2012 Staffing Industry Sales Force Effectiveness Survey addresses these and other salient questions around sales force effectiveness.
The report’s primary objective: Identify what’s different about high-performing staffing firms who recruit, manage and motivate effective sales teams.
Survey Background and Methodology
The report, sponsored by Monster, was conducted by Towers Watson and Staffing Industry Analysts.
Survey participants, the majority who serve in top executive roles, were asked 8 questions based on three core disciplines:
- Recruiting the right people with the right skills
- Having a highly engaged and motivated sales force
- Establishing a sales force that is focused on the right opportunities
These principles reflect the systems, processes, and structural foundations that Towers Watson’s client work and research have shown to be crucial in driving improvements in sales force effectiveness.
Minding the Skills Gap
The full study, available for download, revealed many of the best practices followed by successful high-growth staffing firms. These factors, which enable these companies to cultivate an effective sales team, include:
- Setting clear sales force expectations
- Clarity of communicating pay, benefits, rewards, career development and growth
- Clarity of job responsibilities and customer segmentation
- Sales force enablement that prioritizes selling
Somewhat ironically, staffing firms that responded to the survey saw “recruiting the right people with the right skills” as the weakest element among the core drivers of their sales success. High-growth firms were shown to excel in this area with higher talent management scores.
Career Pathing and the Talent Pipeline
The study revealed the importance of a clearly-defined “employee value proposition” at high-growth staffing firms that extends beyond pay and benefits to career pathing for sales employees.
This “deal” between employer and employee includes non-management career paths for top sales performers.
Additionally, survey respondents from all segments gave high ranks to the visibility of their internal talent pool. “The importance of creating a talent pipeline and understanding the talent inside their organizations and teams was clear,” says Matthew O’Connor, Sr. Vice President, Monster. “This reflects one of the core values of Monster’s SeeMoreTM analytics platform as a means to streamline the talent search and selection process for companies large and small.”
The Goal: Enabling Sales to Win
High-growth firms who responded to the survey underlined the importance of getting sales staff to focus on critical sales tasks. Further findings show that those firms in IT and office/clerical segments were most likely to rate this factor as a strength, while healthcare staffing firms had the lowest marks in this area.
“Keeping non-selling activities to a minimum can be a challenge for sure,” adds O’Connor. Yet by truly enhancing productivity and efficiency by minimizing labor-intensive administrative tasks, “your sales team can focus on customer engagement throughout the day,” doing what they do best.
The report discusses effective practices related to recruiting, selection, training and management of sales force, such as hiring for talent, behavioral-based interviewing and regular sales planning calls.
“We are excited to share these findings with staffing firms that are looking to cultivate and retain a high-performing sales force.”