I asked Tony Cole, sales development expert, to answer a few questions about hiring sales people. He recently launched a webinar appropriately named "How to Avoid Salespeople Hiring Mistakes."
1. Why is hiring sales people so difficult?
Hiring sale people is not hard. Hiring the right ones is hard. Why? Too
few good sales people. Poor processes in place to separate pretenders from
contenders. Desparation to hire somone. Wrong profile used for the actual
2. Do people tend to hire salespeople that are like them? If they were
successful, why is that a bad thing?
Success is not always duplicatable based on why one person is deemed
successful. You have to look at criteria to succeed currently and then
determine if the successful person doing the hiring achieved success based
on that criteria or did they get lucky or have an unfair advantage.
3. Are there ways to predict whether a salesperson will perform without
Certainly a pre hire assesment will help. But it is not a substitute for
all the other steps required in an effective hiring process.
A lot of small businesses never get started link building. I wrote a post the other day on the HubSpot blog which describes different methods for link building. Since not all link building methods deliver the same amount of results and since some link building methods are slightly out of reach for newbie internet marketers, I described how a newbie link builder can go from 9th, 10th, 11th and senior year by gradually adopting all available link building methods.
The article got a lot of great comments and a bunch of people said they really liked the high school grades analogy. The article was selected as a top seo/sem blog article for September by the Small Business Search Marketing blog.
So, what does this have to do with link building being sexy?
Go watch this video and skip to 20:12 (20 minutes 12 seconds)
I don't read Seth Godin's blog. He already gets too much attention. But, Rick Burnes shared this with me in google reader.
From Seth's blog:
Everyone isn't going to be a leader. But everyone isn't going to be successful, either.
Success is now the domain of people who lead. That doesn't mean they're in charge, it doesn't mean they are the CEO, it merely means that for a group, even a small group, they show the way, they spread ideas, they make change. Those people are the only successful people we've got.
When I ran my own company, it was easy to lead both internally and externally. A big reason I started my own Company was because I was frustrated with the company I was working at. I left a large bureaucratic company because I knew that it'd be 15 years before I could accomplish anything... maybe. The Company was too busy protecting what it had and that resulted in people protecting what they had. I'll never work for an organization like that again.
As part of HubSpot, the dynamics are much different than running my own bootstrapped startup or working at a large old company. Since I feel that we are changing the way the world markets, I am a part of creating something bigger than I ever could have created before. On the other hand, I don't get to make decisions. I still strive to lead where I can by helping my clients, people on my sales team and picking projects where I know I can affect significant change both for the company, clients and partners.
Like Godin, I believe that leadership is granted when an individual takes initiative to change things. Small successes along the way add up to amazing opportunities.
Some social media marketing detractors speak against the need for a professional standard to this medium since its ruled by customers. But as a consultant, I look at things from both the business' and the customer's viewpoint. Businesses are completely like a fish out of water and frustrated when they see customers lamblasting their brand all over social networks. So they generally either bury their heads in the sand and throw money at their interactive agency to create more digital advertising, or bravely create social network accounts and sometimes anonomously get involved in a negative discussion about their brand and try to change opinions - unknown and with no authority, so often to be found out - heaping even more dirt on a struggling brand. Don't think this won't happen with you or your clients - some of the biggest brands in the US fell into this trap.
I'll be speaking at the New England Business Expo. About 3k people from all over Central New England attend the show w/ 150+ exhibitors. I'll be giving a talk titled, "Inbound Marketing: Get Found Online and Turn Your Website into a Lead Generation Machine"
You can register for it on the New England Business Expo website.
If you are a CEO or sales manager, I recommend you attend Frank Belzer's talk, "Are your salespeople driving you crazy?"
Tailored to women, I recommend you attend Deb Penta's "Create Your Personal Brand" and Jeanne Worrick's "Sell Like a Girl"
Considering that I've been passionate about social software since 2004, you wouldn't think you'd ever see a headline like that on my blog, ha?
Via a tweet from Ellie Mirman, I read an article written by Chris Brogan, a force behind adoption of social media in business.
His article was about how social media isn't that important... in the scheme of things... in most people's lives. And that the people living in the social media world need to remember that.
A specific paragraph in his post inspired me to echo his sentiments:
I met a master salesman this year who sells products that cost more than double my annual salary. He's reasonably new to social media and the web, but he could teach me more about qualifying, prospecting, nurturing, and closing a sale than I could about blogging.
I totally agree with Chris. In most people's worlds, social media doesn't impact them. It probably won't impact them significantly for atleast another year or so, even if they adopt use of it today.
If they don't adopt now, though... when their buyers become the 25 year olds of today, they'll be in trouble then. But right now it's not that important.
What is important is that smart people like the salesman mentioned above adopt and use these sites and technologies and can teach us how to apply hard won business lessons to them.
There are many inexperienced "entrepreneurs" that I know first hand, who seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of social media, trying to make a quick buck. They'd be served well if they took the time to learn that their MBA and youthful energy will be unlikely to deliver them Zuckerberg status. They'd be well served by learning how to "help people solve real problems" and "to act always in the best interest of their clients" like I'm sure the salesman mentioned above knows how to do.