by Jim Sander, VP of Sales, ACA Talent
I have a passion for making New Year’s Resolutions. I take great pride in putting them out there every year with the absolute intention of having them stick. I’m going to spend more time with my family, be a better husband, father, brother, son…Be more productive at the office, work smarter, praise more, and criticize less. I’m going to give more, spend less, and stick to a budget (oh, and put together a budget). I’m going to stop and smell the roses, read more, watch less. And then there’s my absolute favorite annual right-of-passage commitment; I’m going to get healthy through better diet and exercise.
I’ll be honest, I truly do work on all the other stuff all the time. Getting healthy and physically fit on the other hand, I tend to reserve for the New Year.
So why will this year be different? Because I’m going to avoid fast food, park in the spot furthest from the door instead of circling endlessly for the closest one (to the gym). I’m going to take the stairs everyday (especially when there is no elevator). I’m going spend tons of money on exercise equipment and use it for something other than a clothes rack.
I’m guessing I’m not alone with my desire to start off the New Year with a change for the best. It’s the time of year when we can make a fresh start, try something new, fix what’s broken and flat out live better.
So what does this have to do with sales and recruiting? Not all that much, unless you consider how maddening it is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.
Let’s see if we can bring this idea home, when it comes to your sales team.
Take a look at their 2012 performance. If you’re like most companies, you’ll review the list and notice that the team’s made up of various levels of performers (commonly ranked as As, Bs, Cs, and Ds). We all know what we have to do, retain the As, move up the Bs, make a decision on what to do with the Cs and cut bait with the Ds.
It’s also a great time to reflect on the Cs and Ds. Where did these underperformers come from? No one ever runs up to their boss to tout their success in finding incredibly average talent. That’s not our goal, but too often deadlines have to be met, metrics satisfied, and on occasion we take “the best of the lot” in hopes that our intuition will be wrong (knowing full well that it probably won’t be).
The problem is the quality of the candidate pool, and that’s where we need to break the cycle. If you are currently heading back to the same well to fill your sales candidate pool, history will most certainly repeat itself. It’s time to take a different approach, to break the cycle that’s made it such a challenge to hit your goals. Don’t wait until tomorrow, it’s not like you’re dropping LBs here. Do it now!
Oh, and feel free to ask how my resolution is coming along. It’s a new year and time for a new approach!