By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp
Ask any sales manager what the #1 challenge they face is and nine times out of 10 the surprise answer is not “more business.” Generating more business takes a well-oiled machine that starts and ends with a focused, well-trained sales team. And therein lies the challenge question I hear every week. “Where can I find more good salespeople?”
With all the sophisticated technology available today – from Zoom and Teams to data mining and social media – it is hard to comprehend why any viable radio station would have difficulty recruiting “good salespeople.” I rarely faced that challenge in any of the markets where I worked. No matter what the ownership structure or market size – from Buffalo to San Francisco – recruiting and retaining “good salespeople” was only an occasional problem.
If you are a manager at any level, in any market, responsible for recruiting and training “good salespeople,” you may never view the task the same way again if you follow these six simple steps:
1) Recruitment should always be on your “To Do” list. Always, period, the end. Like the sun rises every morning, recruitment is a regular part of your day.
2) Times are changing, build your bench. If your sales team is a mix of generations, any given team member may decide to move on for reasons you may not understand. Be prepared. Turnover happens, don’t be ambushed.
3) Do you have a written profile of the ideal candidate for sales? Sound crazy? Try it right now. What are the three must-have qualities of every successful seller on your team? Those qualities may now be changing with newer digital, social media, and programming changes.
4) Is your compensation structure competitive? This is one of my favorites. Depending on ownership you may or may not have the degree of flexibility you want. However, you may find a friendlier structure through performance incentives.
5) Would you trust members of your current team to interview a candidate? I used the technique often over 15 years. Sometimes the culture in your sales department is unique or you may feature team performance incentives. The power of teams is a proven winner in most businesses.
6) Are you plugged in to the new-think of today’s entry-level seller? Here are some current facts that may change your view of recruiting younger sellers:
a) A study at the University of Chicago showed 56% of Americans think a college degree is not worth the money. Wow, is that different from most job postings!
b) As job markets become unpredictable, 97% of graduating seniors are open to alternative careers, as in not their major, this according to a study by iCIMS.
Finding “good salespeople” should never be viewed as a management headache. Once you make the commitment, the next great seller could be your next interview.
Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: Steve@Lapcomventures.com. Steve Lapa will be moderating the “Generating Revenue” panel at TALKERS 2023 on Friday, June 2 at Hofstra University.