Introducing Butler Street’s Monthly Millennial Insights. With millennials representing nearly 50% of today’s workforce, and the most sought after segment of talent, we are tapping into Butler Street's team of millennials to share their insights and perspective on client and talent development each month.
My favorite question to ask sales leaders is “What is your biggest challenge in building/running a sales team?” Wording sometimes varies, but the majority of the answers are about this common theme: Attracting and keeping good talent.
I usually follow up that question with, “If I was a potential candidate, how would you sell me on joining your company?” Answers are usually all over the place. I’ve heard answers range from unlimited PTO or great benefits to having a pet-friendly office. There were even times when sales executives weren't able or chose not to answer the question and tried to laugh it off (red flag).
Then I would ask, "How will your sales training help me at my next job?”
This is when whomever I am speaking with usually looks at me puzzled. I quickly explain that this is an opportunity when trying to recruit and keep talented sales reps. The talent market is tight in every industry and companies all over are promising unlimited PTO, great benefits, and even pet-friendly offices. What you need to be able to do is differentiate your company through your sales training. Put yourself in a prospect’s position and imagine how impressed they would be if they heard the following four things as an answer:
“Our sales training is what differentiates us from our competitors.”
This should be a defined process that can bring success in any type of economy through discipline. A process that remains consistent, even if the strategy around it must change.
“We have ongoing sales training that continues past the onboarding process.”
Learning should be ongoing, beyond teaching about your company and the industry (onboarding). Candidates want training that will continue to help them with personal development, both professionally and personally.
“Our training focuses on continuous improvement the whole time you are with us.”
This looks like a company that truly wants their employees to be the best they can be. A company that continues to challenge and invest in their employees whether they be new or 10 years into their career.
“We understand that you may not be with us for your whole professional career. But what we can promise you is that what you learn with us will be transferable wherever life may take you – in any other sales role and in any other industry.”
Now you have the candidate’s full attention! The potential candidate feels relief knowing that, you as an employer, are not asking them to sign a 10-year contract with your organization. The potential candidate feels gratitude to know that an employer is willing to invest in them and in their career as an individual to be mutually successful.
By differentiating your company through emphasis on continuous learning and development, two success-maximizing things will happen. First, you will be able to screen out individuals that may only be concerned with unlimited PTO or having a dog in the office. The second is that, over time, you will build a sales team that stays longer because you have created a consistent culture of continuous learning and improvement. Imagine a team that motivates each other and holds each other accountable. Now imagine the rewards of that success and smile. Those rewards can be yours!
Butler Street specializes in helping companies and their people grow. The key to our clients’ success is implementing a learning strategy and a growth mindset. Contact us.