Care to Be Different – Five MORE Business Development Tips

You know your staffing and recruitment services fit the bill, but if you’re under-prepared for business development calls, blocked by gatekeepers, or not making the most of conversations with decision makers, how will your prospects know? Shane Wheeler, Marketing Communications Executive, explores five MORE tips from our company’s Business Development (BD) team to help you reach more decision makers – and have more meaningful conversations when you do…
Five MORE Business Development Tips for Recruiters

Be prepared!

Always know who you’re calling and what their business is. If you’re regularly using your recruitment software to record information obtained through calls and further research (and, why wouldn’t you?), you’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips – so be sure to allow for a few minutes of revision before making that next call. Whether you speak directly to this foreknowledge or not, your prospect will most-likely appreciate your confident approach and ability to understand their business a little more each time you call. – Kylie Lamper, BD Manager

A clear vision

What are you looking to achieve from the call? You’ll probably have a long list of calls to make on any given day, but avoid simply ‘checking them off’ for little gain. Have a clear goal in mind and make sure the contact knows you’re calling with good reason. If you have news or a real offer to make, get to the point in a clear and concise way, don’t waffle. If the purpose of your call is more ‘routine’, think of an angle to make it sound anything but. Your prospect probably hears “Do you have any hiring needs at the moment?” all too often, try “Which skills does your business most need right now?”. – Kylie Lamper, BD Manager

Love thy gatekeeper

Day in, day out, gatekeepers take a lot of cold calls from pushy, insincere salespeople who simply view them as an obstacle to overcome. As a result, their ‘default setting’ can be one of habit to end those calls ASAP. Indeed, in the introduction to this very blog, gatekeepers are referred to as ‘blocking’ your calls – but perhaps that lacks empathy. There’s a real person on the other end of the line, not just a gatekeeper. If you’re warm, friendly and mean it, they might just warm up to you and connect your call to the decision maker. This may take time of course, but your genuine appreciation of their work and sincere effort to be different might just be rewarded. – Sam Monks, BD Manager

Two ears, one mouth

As the adage goes, ‘two ears, one mouth’ – it’s best to use them that way. Listening is key to understanding your prospect’s requirements and offering the best solution. Once you have a decision maker on the line, it can be tempting to ‘reel off’ all the great aspects of your service, but take a breath, ask genuine questions and, especially if they open-up about their business needs and aspirations, listen carefully. Practice ‘active listening’ whenever you can. Always remember to repeat back key parts of the speaker’s comments, helping reassure them you have listened and understood; and helping you manage this information and position yourself as a viable supplier – Sam Monks, BD Manager

Keep in touch

Don’t let the good work you have done fade in your memory (and your contact’s memory) by failing to keep in touch. Use your recruitment-specific CRM to record the details of all conversations and set yourself invaluable reminders to follow-up. Build real relationships upon those initial fact (and thought)-finding conversations. – Kylie Lamper, BD Manager

If you’d like to learn more about how your company’s recruitment CRM software can help manage the sales process from one screen, contact us today!

New Client Acquisition: A Systematic Approach to Bringing in New Staffing Clients

In our previous posts, we talked about how to hire top performers, how to motivate our teams, and how to develop our teams and prepare them for leadership. All three of those topics are critical to building long-term success within your organizations. What is equally important is the ability to succeed in new client acquisition. You will never achieve the growth necessary to meet your people’s goals without having a steady pipeline of new business coming in.

First, it’s important to have some context on why it’s important to focus on bringing new business in. The typical company will lose 10 percent of their customer base every year. What that means is that over a 10-year period, if you did nothing, you would have a customer base of zero. Additionally, the staffing industry is plagued with high turnover — often with rates ranging from 35 to 70 percent. That level of turnover within the industry has some severe negative implications on the potential customer pool. Most of your target customers view staffing reps and companies as commodities that have no significant differentiating characteristics from any other staffing firm. It’s critical that staffing firms bring in new business but even a cursory evaluation of your customer landscape reveals that you’re fighting against really challenging odds.

Given the challenging landscape you’re facing, what’s the critical path to bringing in new business? I’ve always been someone who’s oriented towards systematizing the sales process. That becomes even more critical in staffing where you’re dealing with infinitely variable variables (people).

The first step in the process of new client acquisition is to understand their operational reality. Before you can ever present what you have to offer, you need to understand the current state of your prospects’ internal recruiting process, what changes they would like to see, how those changes would impact their business, etc. Once you’ve taken the time to understand the current state of your clients’ operation you’re ready to determine if they’re a legitimate prospect. During my time in IT staffing I took the added step of only targeting firms that had 75 to 250 million in revenue, multiple divisions, and a history of having three to six temps/consultants working in each division — firms which allowed me to work directly with hiring managers.

The next step in the process of new client acquisition is to build out your target lists and develop your strategy for contacting them. Your contact strategy needs to include a schedule and volume component as well as a content component. I would argue that the content of your outgoing campaigns is more important than the volume component of your strategy. As a result it’s critical to understand the prospect’s industry, competitors, trends, etc. Additionally, your messages should be focused, relevant, and add value to the recipient.

Once you’ve made contact, a process that usually will take 12 to 18 attempts, how do you make that initial meeting or conversation productive? The conventional wisdom in staffing would tell you to focus on orders that the company has right now that you can tackle. I took the opposite approach and focused on what that client has coming up six to 12 months from now. I knew that I didn’t have a strong enough understanding of what that client was looking for in my initial meeting and would need some ramp up time. As a result, I focused on their mid-term and long-term projects and initiatives. By taking the time to understand the organization, the hiring manager, the projects, and their business implications, I was much more successful in getting assignments. Additionally, I was never afraid to tell the client that a particular role wasn’t center of the circle for my organization.

If you’ve executed the first three steps in the process, the final step is to measure and make adjustments to the process as you go along. The metrics component of the measurement is relatively easy. If a salesperson is making 175 to 250 touch points a week, has 50 to 75 conversations, and 10 to 15 visits,  they will generate one or two new accounts per month (assuming a six-month lead time). Unfortunately, this phase of the process is where most firms go wrong.

Oftentimes firms will implement an initiative or process but won’t be disciplined enough to give ample time for evaluation. In fact, I’ve been a part of many change initiatives that were rolled out one month only to be forgotten the next month. From an implementation perspective, it’s critical that any new initiative be given 12 months “in the wild” before any evaluations are made. Additionally, there is a patience component that is required in order for reps focused on new business development to be successful. If you want to focus on building a pipeline of new business, you must be ready to accept that it will take six to 10 months before you start seeing results.

The approach to new client acquisition in staffing is fairly straightforward: target, qualify, meet, and measure. The challenges are in the details of the process. If you want to build a consistent engine for new business growth, it’s critical that reps understand their prospect’s operational reality, develop a coherent and relevant contact strategy, keep a long-term view in their approach to clients, and make data-driven decisions and adjustments to their processes. Taking a systematic approach to this process will allow your teams to be more effective and will allow you to identify the areas that need shoring up from an operational perspective.

And remember, the software tools your sales team uses are critical to their success. Bond can help with staffing software that cuts wasted time and effort, simplifies the daily work, and unifies all of the information needed to acquire new clients.

This blog series is available as a single whitepaper. Download Sales Team Success: Four Strategies to Grow Your Staffing & Recruiting Firm for more insight into how to hire top performers, motivate and develop your internal sales team, and acquire new clients.

Developing Your Internal Sales Team: Retention Strategies That Prepare Your Best People for Future Leadership

Now that we’ve figured out how to select top performers and learned how to keep our teams motivated we should be in the clear, right? Well, if your firm is like the vast majority of those in staffing struggling with turnover in the 30 to 70 percent range, there’s a lot of work left to be done. It’s not enough to select the right people and keep them motivated. Attention needs to be paid to understanding why they stick around.

Firms in every industry find themselves in situations where they have found great talent and invested in them only to lose them when the employee “was just starting to get good.” So what really happens in these scenarios? Understanding why people leave a company is the first step in stopping the bleeding and developing strong retention strategies. There are tons of reasons why someone will leave a company but the most common reasons people leave an organization are due to conflicts with their immediate supervisor (leadership issue) or lack of professional growth (leadership issue). The top three reasons an employee leaves an organization are directly or indirectly attributable to leadership issues.

So recognizing that the most common reasons for why an employee leaves a company has to do with leadership, how can we fix the situation and hold on to our best talent? The answer to that question is actually simpler than what you may think. It starts with understanding that under most circumstances, an employee leaves an organization because of something they’re missing from us. Simply put, it’s not them, it’s me. When we think of leadership as a concept, it’s made up of three aspects: supervisory activities, mentoring activities, and training/coaching activities. As leaders of our organizations and teams, most of our time should be spent doing mentoring and training/coaching activities. Unfortunately, most managers end up spending most of their time managing the metrics-oriented supervisory aspects of their role.

In order to shift this supervisory paradigm that we’re all stuck in, we must do three key things. First we must teach a simple workflow for our lowest-level people to make sound decisions without our intervention. I call it the decision pyramid and it’s made up of three questions:

  1. Is this action good for the customer?
  2. Is this action good for our company? and
  3. Is this action ethical?

If your employees can say yes to all three questions, they should be able to act without your intervention. I would add that letting your people know “that there isn’t a mistake that they can make that we can’t fix” is an important coaching tip that should be part of your organizational DNA.

Once you’ve empowered your people to make their own decisions, you’ve laid the ground work to prepare them to grow within your organization. The second step in shifting the supervisory paradigm is to shift the focus of your conversations from being metrics-driven to being vision-driven. It’s important to talk about the metrics required for success in our organizations but that shouldn’t be the focus of the conversation. Oftentimes managers focus on the numbers without giving consideration for why an employee should even strive to achieve the numbers. Do we take the time to understand our employees’ passions and vision? If not, we need to. As part of our retention strategy, we need to meet our employees where they are and understand where they are going before we ever dive into the numbers. If we do this successfully, no employee will ever ask the question “Why am I here?”

Many firms think of the concept of growth and leadership in terms of promotions and the organizational chart. While that may be true for some, a real growth culture is a lot more than just promotions and the vertical hierarchy. The third step in the process of keeping and growing your talent is to build a culture of inquiry and innovation. This may sound complex, but if you’ve done the first two steps, this step is easy. You’ve empowered your people to make sound decisions, you’ve taken the time to learn what drives them, and now this step allows them to execute. All you’re doing is creating a culture where your team can look at any aspect of the business and identify the gaps in how things are done. Then you’re empowering them to find solutions for that problem. By taking this approach, you are preparing your people to stay with your organization and really make an impact independent of the size of your company.

Keeping your top talent is a critical issue for many firms. Any staffing firm that can speak to systems and processes they have in place to get the most out of their people will have significant competitive advantages. Shifting the focus of leadership from managing metrics to inspiring your people and creating an empowering culture will provide the necessary fuel for your people to keep moving your firm forward.

Discover how recruiting software from Bond can provide actionable information that can give leaders like you insight into employee retention strategies.

How to Motivate Your Sales Team: Developing a Long-Term Strategy for Keeping Your Sales Team Engaged and On Board

One of the most important responsibilities you will have as a staffing leader is finding the right salespeople for your team. We addressed how you can solve that issue in our previous post. Finding the right person is only the first step in the process of transforming an organization and represents one small facet of a complex hiring system.

Once you have selected the right person, what then? How do you continually motivate your sales team? Unfortunately many firms approach this in a decidedly one-sided manner and end up in a constant cycle of peaks and valleys in employee performance. So what’s the right way to get out of this “boom and bust” cycle we often find ourselves in as staffing firm leaders?

Well, one thing I can tell you for sure is that sales contests are not the answer. In fact, this “one-size fits all” approach to motivating a sales team often does more harm than good. I’m sure many of you have incentive-based contests at your firms and yet many of you still struggle with keeping your team engaged and on board. The reality is, from both a research and practice perspective, sales contests have little to no positive impact on your overall performance in the long run. What is particularly interesting is that while you may get a slight short-term “bump” the long-term negative consequences far outweigh the slightly positive outcomes. The core problem with a contest-driven culture is that it relies on external stimuli to drive performance. When that stimuli is removed, the performance increases (if any) disappear.

If contests aren’t the answer, then what is? If you want to build a team of self-motivated, high performers, the process will be a decidedly long but simple one. First, you have to recognize that most of your people are not there simply because of the money. In fact, I would suspect most of your people are looking to make an impact and make a difference within your organization. Unfortunately, many of us in staffing don’t take the time to uncover the real reasons why people are with us and end up losing really talented people. The organization that can retain their best people in an industry where 30 to 75 percent turnover is the expectation will have a huge competitive advantage.

Second, leaders within staffing have to recognize that in order to fix the issue they must look at themselves as agents of change and consider the needs of each team member. That may seem like an abstract concept but what we’re really talking about how to lead our people. We in staffing need to get away from always managing by metrics and move towards leading through inspiration. This requires each staffing leader to understand what motivates each and every member of their sales team and manage to those things instead of arbitrary weekly metrics.

Third, leaders need to do a much better job of empowering their troops. The biggest challenge in making this shift in approach is that we all know how to get results. In fact, we could probably create a “paint by numbers” workflow and dictate that everyone else follow that process. Unfortunately, this approach may not be the most effective thing we can do. We need to learn to take our hands off the wheel and let others drive. At a certain point we have to recognize that our role has shifted from mapping out the steps to pointing the way. Workflows, as helpful as they can be, should offer guidance, as each customer relationship may be unique. The idea is to talk about the value of the mission and the goal and let your people get there on their own. In order to keep your sales team motivated and on board, your role needs to change from task manager to cultural leader.

The last and arguably the most important step is that we have to recognize that one-size-fits-all approaches don’t work. We have to take the time to meet with each of our people and talk to them about their vision for themselves. Furthermore, we have to create an environment where we can tell our troops our vision for them. The most critical aspect of building a long-term culture of self-motivation is to meet your people where they are and try to understand what is important to them. Only at that point can we move forward and build sustained performance and engagement within our organizations.

Finally, with a well-motivated sales team it becomes a necessity that they have the tools needed to produce results efficiently. That’s where Bond can help. Give us a call and let’s get started.

In a recent survey we asked nearly 80 staffing professionals to share insights into how they choose, train, and support sales teams. Read the results in the Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014.

Selecting Sales Candidates: How to Hire Wolves

I have found that one of the more common problems staffing firm leaders encounter is finding and hiring top-level salespeople. More specifically, it seems that hiring the farmer profile seems to be much easier than hiring hunters. It seems that this challenge applies to not only startups and small firms but large firms as well. So what’s the solution?

Believe it or not, this is a challenge that’s common in many industries. I’ve been involved in the hiring process in the retail, technology, and automotive sectors and hiring managers struggle with overcoming the same challenges. What I have found, through observation and experimentation, is that there is a fairly simple four step process that can be used to identify and hire sales people who fit the hunter/wolf profile you are looking for.

The first step in the process is to look within your organization and identify your own hunters and build a baseline profile. Hunters and farmers work differently so it’s important to document the way both types of salespeople work—you may choose to utilize your recruiting software for insight. This step in the process requires some level of business process analysis and the ability to look at every step in the sales cycle and how the individual behaves in each step.

The next step in the process of hiring sales people is to incorporate psychometric testing into your selection process. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense to some, it’s important to keep in mind the costs associated with making the wrong hire. Research has shown that firms can spend two to three times the first year salary of the “wrong” hire to fix the mistake. Adding psychometric testing reduces the risk of making that wrong hire and adds a research-backed instrument to your hiring process. I have found that both the Predictive Index (PI) and the Life Styles Inventory (LSI) are effective diagnostic tools with documented reliability and validity. Conversely, stay away from Meyers-Briggs or similar tools since their predictive capabilities have recently been called into question.

The third step in the process of hiring sales people is to understand the psychological profile of the hunter mentality. I have found that the candidates who best fit the profile have the following attributes: patience, resilience, confidence, humor, curiosity, service-orientation, learning-orientation, and competitiveness. There are wide-ranging research opinions on what attributes carry the most weight but the key takeaway is that your “perfect” hunter profile will have all of these attributes. As a result, your interview process needs to include behavior-based questioning that distills out the presence or absence of these attributes.

The fourth and final step in the process is interviewing and selecting the hunter profile. Like just about everyone else, I’ve been on both sides of the interview table. What I’ve found particularly interesting is how sales interviews are conducted. Generally speaking, interviews have been structured in such a way that hiring managers aren’t testing for capability or profile. Oftentimes the process itself really doesn’t gauge if the candidate has the necessary competencies. Organizations looking to hire hunters need to gauge performance under pressure and should be interviewing candidates with that in mind. A simple approach would be to tell the candidate (in a polite way) that they’re not good enough and see how they respond. Most sub-par candidates will crumble. The ones left over provide you a “semi-qualified” pool of candidates to evaluate further.

The process of hiring sales people is a complex one for most organizations. Hiring for the hunter profile can prove to be one of the bigger challenges a sales organization can face. As a result, it’s critical that firms take a systematic approach to the process that includes both quantitative and qualitative criteria. This four-step process should provide a good foundation to build from. Then, once you’ve found your ‘wolves’, Bond will be there for you with the tools they need for hunting success.

For more insights from leading staffing industry experts on how to build, coach, and train your sales team, get a copy of our Bond US Sales Selection, Training and Development Report 2014.

Recruiting Sales Teams Consistently Win When They Adopt Racehorse Training Plans

Turn Your Sales Team into Thoroughbreds With A Training Plan and Top-Notch Tools

What happens on the first Saturday in May? America’s best three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses compete for one of the biggest crowns in horseracing: the Kentucky Derby.   When you see these magnificent animals primed for the fastest two minutes in sports, you can’t help but think of the high-tech tools and extensive training that got them there.

What do training racehorses and training sales teams have in common, you ask?

Both require a long-term comprehensive commitment and top-notch tools.

Break In Your Team For Onboarding Success

Although they won’t begin racing until late into their second year, young thoroughbreds begin their handling training at birth.  They learn their manners (hopefully) and get used to the activities around a busy barn that will prepare them for the hubbub of the backstretch.

Sales training for new team members within a recruiting firm is somewhat the same.  Managers need to get their new charges used to the corporate culture of their firm quickly and get them settled in with procedures, goals and expectations.

Drill Them on the Basics

racehorseFrom schooling in the starting gate to galloping on the track each morning, trainers cover all the skills young horses need to be successful constantly.

Take a look at these points for training techniques you can replicate for success with your recruiting sales team:

  • The Client’s Challenges Are Yours – Chris Burkhard, President of the recruiting firm CBI, gives this tip in his article for Staffing Stream: “Consider your staff and your client as being members of the same team. Know the client’s priorities as well as your own. Be able to anticipate client feedback instinctively… as fellow team members often do.”

Training your team to intimately understand the client’s needs and problems enables them to respond more quickly and cohesively with a solution.  In a popular webinar on Sales Best Practices for Bond, Leslie Prince of Roth Staffing encourages teams to assess the impact of the problems your clients face, which will help your team to craft a fine-tuned solution.


  • Focus on High Value Actions – In her article “Stop Being Scattered And Start Selling,” Dr. Janet Lapp shares this telling statistic, “Top sales performers spend between 75% and 95% of their time on high-payoff or ‘worth-it’ actions.  Low performers spend between 25% and 40% of their time on ‘worth-it’ actions without even realizing it.”

Lapp offers this advice: “Schedule the behavior you want to increase by pairing it with a habit already established. Habit strength will transfer to the new action.”  That could be as simple as to make five sales calls every time you fix yourself a cup of coffee.

This principle applies to day-to-day time management and the benefits of recruiting software.  The more familiar your sales team is with your recruiting software, the better they can manage daily tasks quickly, leaving more time for finding new candidates and networking with referral sources.

  • Get in the Habit of Positive Energy – Obviously positive energy between team members is essential, but positive energy directed at clients is crucial, too.  Sales expert Jeff Shore addressed the benefits of positive energy in his article, “Misery Loves Company,”

“Think of encounters with customers as having a finite amount of space. Your job is to FILL that space with positive energy, leaving no area for negative energy to exist.”

Give champions a chance to mentor them

jockeyThe delicate art of training thoroughbreds includes replicating the training regimen of their triumphant relatives.  Adapting training to a horse’s inherited traits means copying proven successful methods — bringing the youngsters along in much the same fashion as their winning parents and grandparents.  For example, some family lines include later-maturing horses, so training has to move at a slower pace.

Trainers also use experienced racehorses as training partners to settle younger horses—a great strategy for training your recruiting sales team, as well.

Creating a mentoring system pairing high level and extra-successful sales team members with newcomers can provide valuable insight in a supportive environment.  In addition, scheduling educational seminars and brainstorming sessions for the whole team builds relationships and fuels creative energy.

In addition to training practices, whether it’s the right bridle or the best supplements, trainers of the top equine athletes have all manners of sophisticated tools at their disposal to help their horses stay healthy and happy because that’s the foundation of a stellar performer.

Likewise, hiring companies should provide their sales team with the best recruiting software to make their jobs easier.  Add that to the platform of strong training and your sales team will end up in the winner’s circle more often.

Discover insight into more staffing sales best practices with our webinar and video, “Staffing Sales Best Practices.”

Sun Tzu and the Art of Engineering Staffing Victory

In a previous post, I mentioned four key steps in addressing the issue of staffing employee retention. In order to continue that discussion, I thought it would be wise to look at the issue from a micro perspective. One of my favorite books is Sun Tzu’s Art of War and for those of you unfamiliar with it, I would recommend checking it out. It’s one of the most important leadership, strategy, and decision-making books ever written.

I was reviewing my dog-eared and heavily highlighted copy the other day and ran across a section that stood out in terms of defining and achieving victory in the staffing industry. Effectively applying the “Five Factors for Victory” that Sun Tzu spoke about could be the difference between being just an average firm in your market and becoming an elite firm. Ultimately, if you can engineer victories in the field, your people will be more inclined to stick with you. After all, everyone loves a winner.

First, know when to fight

The first factor for victory that Sun Tzu spoke about was knowing when you can fight and when you can’t fight. From a staffing perspective, this is essentially saying that we should all pick our battles and what opportunities to take on. Practically speaking, the firms that successfully take on the roles that are “center of the circle” for their practice will emerge victorious and grow while their competition remains stagnant or declines. Taking on a role for the sake of taking on a role isn’t a winning formula.  If the goal is victory over the competition, it is unwise to try to be all things to all people. Knowing what you can deliver and being able to deliver it means certain victory.

Second, focus resources

The second factor for victory that Sun Tzu spoke about was recognizing how to deploy large and small numbers. In staffing, this is all about working closest to the dollar on the highest margin opportunities. From a practical perspective, it’s essential that sales and leadership have a system in place to determine what the hottest recs are and assign the number of recruiters accordingly. Additionally from a sales and planning perspective, this also means keeping an eye on mid-term and long-term projects your clients have coming up. The ability to have a pipeline of candidates ready to fill roles before the competition even gets wind of the rec is a crucial success factor. The majority of clients I brought to Addison was a direct result of working my project pipeline and keeping my leadership and rock-star recruiting team in the loop on what I had coming up. Do this successfully and you win.

Third, align goals

The third factor for victory that Sun Tzu mentioned was having leadership and the team in alignment on goals, objectives, and desires. This is a critical leadership issue in any firm but especially staffing. We all know what a “day in the life” for us looks like, so it’s essential for leaders within our organizations to be visible, communicate the message, and inspire the troops. The difference between winning and losing an account can come down to the passion your recruiters and sales people have for the firm. If you’re inspiring your people and sharing with them the vision and mission of your firm, you win.

Fourth, prepare, prepare, prepare

Fourth, Sun Tzu noted that those who wait fully prepared for the unprepared to act will always win. From a sales perspective, this is a critical success factor. Your team should be digging in to the weeds about their prospects. They should know what skills the hiring managers look for, what personality types work well with the team, who is planning on leaving, and any number of other things about the firm (and be able to keep track of the information for easy retrieval). I found that asking every hiring manager who their best employee was and their plan if that person left tomorrow crucial to really understanding the manager and the account. Understanding the granular details of what the account is looking for and being prepared to deliver it in “emergency” situations guarantees victory.

Fifth, lead with trust

Lastly, Sun Tzu noted that capable leaders needed to be left alone in order to insure victory. This point applies at all levels of the organization and is especially important from a morale and turnover perspective. Once you’ve determined that the team you have in place is capable and have the tools needed to perform their jobs successfully, there’s no need to micromanage them and map out a step-by-step list of things for them to do. Your role is to inspire and coach. If you fall into the trap of micromanaging, you run the risk of having your star players and even your “steady Eddies” going elsewhere.  If you’re focused on inspiring, motivating, and coaching your team instead of micro-managing them, you will win.

Everyone knows that we’re in the business of selling people to people. In an environment where there are very few quantifiable differences between your firm and your competitors, it becomes critical to really understand what defines your firm as unique. Sun Tzu mentioned that one of the keys to victory is to know yourself and know your enemy. Applying these steps in addition to empowering your teams with the proper tools for battle will insure your victory. Want to win more and more often? Check us out.


Does your staffing and recruiting sales team have a champion?

Every sales team has a champion.

No, this person hasn’t ridden into the office on a white steed to save the princess from an evil witch, but he or she is a hero. An office sales champion is someone in the organization who is able to reel in the big fish clients, who understands the marketplace and thrives in the organization. In terms of the staffing and recruiting industry, every firm must have a champion staffing sales person. This sales leader will bring in the big fish clients and are a trusted resource. Behind this champion staffing sales person is a staffing and recruiting software database that enables them to succeed at the highest level.

Characteristics of a staffing sales champion

According to an article in Staffing Industry Analysts, sales champions are characterized by three primary skills. In the article, author Donna Carroll, vice president of sales, North America, for the Professional Services Staffing business at CDI Corp., stated that sales champions listen to their clients and really take the time and effort to understand the individual needs of the person speaking on the other side. Instead of walking into a meeting with an agenda, a sales champion understands that his or her primary focus should be to learn the objective and desired outcome of the partnership from the client. All of these details are then carefully recorded in a staffing software and recruiting software database to provide a team with the necessary information to find the right person to fit the job.

Once this is accomplished, a true staffing sales champion is able to reiterate the needs of the client and discuss the pros and cons of a strategy or potential solution without negating what the other person is saying. A champion establishes trust between the staffing firm and the client. The ongoing dialogue between a staffing sales person, account management and the client will create a successful partnership.

Importance of developing champions

Champions are not simply born into the world of staffing. The skills and strategies are taught over time, which is why it is important not to become complacent with one staffing sales champion, but to continue to train others to take this role on as well. Harvard Business Review reported on the importance of creating a strong network and multiple sales champions because unexpected things can happen at any moment and it’s not uncommon for people to quit, get fired, take a prolonged hiatus, etc. For example, Aimee, a senior executive at a global financial services firm, recently watched as the contacts she built over 15 years at a company became useless as people left due to corporate restructuring and the dip in the economy during the recession.

“Many of the leadership team whom I had worked with for a number of years changed,” she explained to the source. “You feel you’ve lost the equity you built up over the years – people knowing what you do and how you perform.”

In a staffing sales environment, the loss of a champion professional could have drastic results, which is why it is important to cultivate multiple champions. Talented sales professionals working for a staffing agency can achieve greatness or polish their skills, if the resources are available. In fact, research from Staffing Industry Analysts shows that recruiting agencies that invest in the latest tools like staffing and recruiting software as well as the training and support required to turn a good staffing sales person into a champion experience higher and more consistent profitability.

Want to make champions of your sales team? Give us a call at 800-318-4983 or email us for details on how Bond’s software can energize your sales staff.


Four Steps Proven to Bring in New Business

New client acquisition is the lifeblood of any business, but especially so for growing staffing and recruiting companies.

Research has shown that a 10% customer attrition rate is typical for most companies; most of that at no fault of the company. Over a ten year period, a company can stand to lose their entire client base if they choose to do nothing about it.

Considering that new client acquisition is such a critical component to the health of a business, what are some of the things you can do to insure that the pipeline of new clients continues to flow? Generally speaking, every company should utilize a combination of active and passive methods in generating new clients. Passive methods involve things like marketing and advertising that direct traffic to you. Unfortunately, passive efforts take time to generate results so there should always be an active component to your efforts at generating new business. This is where your sales team comes into play.

Here are some of the strategies and tactics that were effective for me in bringing new clients on board for the staffing and recruiting services we offered.

First, you need to be patient.

Taking the long view is critical when it comes to bringing new clients especially in staffing. Hiring managers get calls from account reps all day long so it’s going to take a while to get traction. Typically it took me 6-8 months to bring a client on from first contact. If you have an integrated marketing strategy, you may be able to shorten that time frame up a bit. In order to maximize your chances for success, you need to have a consistent strategy that incorporates both active and passive efforts. Here’s a great place to set up ticklers in your staffing and recruiting software to stay in touch.

Second, don’t be afraid to use “spies.”

Sun Tzu in the Art of War noted that what separated ordinary people from extraordinary people was the ability to cultivate information from their adversaries through the use of spies. Sun Tzu observed that if you were able to gain information about your adversaries’ motives, strategies, and tactics you held an advantage you could exploit. In staffing, your “spies” are the competitions’ working temps and consultants. Build strong relationships with them and they can often give you insights into new initiatives and projects. Being armed with the right candidate at the right time positions you to bring a new client into the fold before your competition is even aware of a role opening up.

Third, be asymmetrical in your approach to cold calling.

Every lesser competitor of yours is trying to work a 9-5 schedule. What you should do is concentrate your call blocks on “off” hours. I had the most success in getting my hiring managers on the phone from 7-8:15 am and after 5:30. If you can discipline yourself to call your key targets during those times, you should have excellent success in moving the ball forward and breaking accounts.

Lastly, take a marketers’ approach to your business.

What this means is that you have to think of multiple ways to get your name in front of a potential customer. You should be managing an active target list of at least 20 accounts and you should be reaching out to them consistently every 2-4 weeks. The all hands on deck approach works well here. Ideally, if you can combine marketing, with your calls, emails, and networking events, you should have a high degree of success.

When it comes to new client acquisition, there is a wealth of information out there on what your approach should be. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what works. I consistently used these steps and it helped me bring on 19 clients in 27 months. An effective strategy paired with solid tactics and tools is a winning formula for success.


Bond’s new AdaptSuite Sales Studio can help your sales team perform better by helping them plan and execute winning sales strategies faster and easier!

Reserve your seat to attend a special AdaptSuite Sales Studio Webinar on December 4th at 2:00 PM EST


Four Tips for Staffing and Recruiting Sales Team Success

Sales Teams benefit with Bond Staffing Software

How do you go about developing a high-performance sales team?

It’s a challenge that many team leads in staffing face on a regular basis. One solution to this issue is handled at the organizational level with seminars or workshops that produce short term results but may not deliver meaningful long-term change. What is often missed is the powerful long-term impact of a strong coaching culture.

The performance impacts of coaching are a well-researched topic across a number of functional areas. Studies have shown that a strong internal coaching culture will increase employee satisfaction, performance, and retention. Given all of the benefits, it’s surprising that many staffing and recruiting firms don’t spend more time coaching their sales teams.

So what can you do to create a strong coaching culture and in turn improve your teams’ performance? It’s easier than you think:

First, you need to have a PHD.

No, it’s not what you think. By PHD, I mean you need to have ‘pig-headed-discipline’. Whatever path or system you put into place, you need to have the discipline at the management level to remain consistent and follow through. There is nothing worse than getting your team fired up about a new initiative only to forget about it two weeks later.

Second, focus on the numbers.

Any coaching effort in the sales context has to focus on the internal metrics. Your sales metrics will provide the foundation for the discussion. Having that foundation allows you to have a conversation about how you can help your team reach their individual and team goals. That’s what a good coach does; they help put their team in a position to succeed.

Third, be careful with contests.

Often, we think that the best way to boost performance is to have a sales contest. There is a lot of evidence that creating a contest-driven culture actually diminishes teamwork and in the long run won’t improve aggregate performance. As contests that focus on individual results can often lead to conflicts, set up contests that encourage team goals and rewards.

Fourth, be opportunistic.

Don’t think in terms of once-a-week meetings. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to coach and lead every day. Your efforts to create a coaching culture should be both a planned and spontaneous exercise.

These are just four of the things that have been successful for me. There are tons of other ideas and approaches that could work for you. The key thing to remember is to be consistent and use an “all-hands-on- deck” approach. Make sure to incorporate both planned and unplanned methods and certainly leverage your staffing and recruiting software technology to help deliver the message and the metrics. What’s worked for you?


Bond’s new AdaptSuite Sales Studio can help your sales team perform better by helping them plan and execute winning sales strategies faster and easier!

RESERVE your seat to attend a special AdaptSuite Sales Studio Webinar on December 4th at 2:00 PM EST