In our recent webinar, “Customer Engagement Best Practices for Staffing Firms,” we talked with Dan Fisher, founder and owner of Menemsha Group, which provides sales and software solutions for IT staffing firms. Dan gave us some great insight for staffing sales teams. Read on for an overview of the topics we covered. If you want to download the webinar for yourself, visit BrightTalk.
Here’s a rundown of what we talked about:
Sales inflection point
According to Dan, there are three sales inflection points – or points at which staffing firms either have an opportunity for success or failure. The first, invented by Dale Carnegie in the early 20th century, was selling products based on their benefits. The second was selling solutions or “spin selling.” We’ve only recently entered the third inflection: customer driven. With the rise of the Internet, customers no longer have to wait for companies to contact them. They can be more proactive in their search, perusing websites, social profiles and more to root out the information they need. As a result, many prospects are more than halfway through the buying process before they even get in touch with a sales rep. This means sales teams have to change their approach if they want to continue to be successful.
Customer experience and sales
According to Fisher, sales teams need to provide more value to the customer journey. The sales team’s job isn’t just to bring on new accounts; it has to create long term value for the customer. As he puts it, sales teams need to provide insight and information that is so good, the customer will want to pay for it. This may sound crazy, but it makes sense. If all businesses sold the same products in the same way, price would be the only differentiator. Great sales teams differentiate their company based on their knowledge. How do you obtain this knowledge? You have to really understand your customers, and you need to sell where you have the greatest likelihood of success.
Know your customers
Before sales teams can have valuable conversations, they need to understand their buyers, not only what each company does, but how each person contributes. To gain this kind of in depth information, you need to spend time researching and preparing. Sit down and create buyer personas, Dan suggests. What is a buyer persona? It’s a fictional representation of the buyer that highlights what is important to him or her. What matters to people in various roles? What are their responsibilities? Use this information to target sales pitches.
According to Dan, too many sales teams will go after any account. It’s time to take a different approach. Consider what types of accounts have been successful in the past. Are they large firms? Small firms? Do they have a similar number of employees and a similar sized budget? Do the companies have similar problems you solve for them? Use this information to qualify leads so you don’t go after a company that won’t be a good fit for your services. Once you have developed profiles of the kinds of accounts that tend to work best for your company, you can also begin to actively target these companies.
Finally, we talked about a trend we’ve noticed at Jobscience – integration. Companies will begin to integrate CRM tools like staffing software with sales solutions, such as Menemsha Group’s Quota King for a more complete workflow that combines all customer and applicant data in one system.
To check out upcoming webinars and download previous recordings, check out our channel on Brighttalk.
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