Advice on How Small Businesses Can Recruit Top Talent

In today’s world, many small businesses are struggling to compete against large companies because most people would love to work for those organizations. The most typical scenario is that small businesses get what’s left from the applicants of big companies.

Your employees will help you make your business bigger. So it’s always best to look for top candidates as they’ll contribute to your organization more.

 

Hiring top talentsbusiness in a company is one of the keys to its success. If you’re running a small business, one of the challenges your company faces is recruiting excellent employees.

This article will give tips on how small businesses can hire top talents and improve their company’s performance in the industry. 

 

5 Recruitment Strategies For Small Businesses

It may sound easy to create your hiring system, but it is challenging, especially for small businesses. There are plenty of ways you can secure the best candidates. 

 

Offer Flexible Schedules

Small businesses can attract excellent talents by offering flexitime. Most people are looking for a flexible job, especially regarding schedules. Employees use the time to search for other ways to earn money, such as freelancing, while others use it for personal growth.

Most employers think employees might not do their tasks if they don’t keep an eye on them. On the contrary, giving them flexible time allows them to increase productivity in your organization.

For instance, they have to finish 40 hours a week. Instead of making them complete it in five days, they can finish the 40 hours in four days with a 10-hour shift. They would have more free time for themselves to be used for personal growth or family.

Another example is they did 12 hours today; they can come in late the next day. Not only will it give your team more rest, but they can also make critical decisions for the company’s betterment.

Offer Competitive Compensation

Let’s be practical. We all need money to live and enjoy our lives, so job seekers consider salary before applying for the opening. If they have the skills but think they wouldn’t get the salary they deserve, they’d most likely turn away and look for another company.

Their skills are investments. They have spent countless hours studying to earn from them.

However, when it comes to compensation, salary isn’t the only thing involved. You can also add insurance, incentives, bonuses, and other perks that employees can get. Doing this will also improve your employee retention rating.

If your business is in sales, you can offer incentives if they reach their weekly or monthly target. This will make them try to sell more, increasing your sales.

Providing competitive compensation can also increase productivity in your organization. The employees will become more motivated to do their job, improving your business situation.

State Clear & Appealing Job Descriptions

Job seekers dislike unclear job descriptions. Before they consider the position available in your organization, they will read the description. If they find it very confusing, they’re more likely to give up on the job before applying.

Nobody wants to read texts that are full of jargon. So, it’s best to create straightforward job descriptions. You should include all the essential details, especially about the compensation, qualifications, and responsibilities.

Serious applicants and job seekers always want to be clear on what they are getting into. They don’t want to waste their time going through a hiring process that doesn’t give them clarity about the job description and requirements.

Job descriptions are your first move to attract top talents, so make sure that you write concise and appealing words to reach your target people. 

Create a Referral Program

Small companies have more limited funds than larger ones. They would try to save costs as much as possible, including the recruitment process. You can lessen the cost of your recruitment by using referrals.

Referral programs are affordable. You don’t need to allocate a large budget to run the program because your employees will do it for you.

It’s one of the best ways to find new talents for your company and, at the same time, promote a stronger employer brand as your current employees would recommend your company as one of the best places to work.

Your current employees will help you look for the talent you need. For it to become more effective, you can offer the referrers monetary incentives for every successful referral. Giving them gift coupons or shopping vouchers will encourage them to invite the people they know to apply for the job.

Remember to keep the referral program simple and keep the referrers updated even if their referral didn’t qualify. This will boost the employer-employee relationship.

Share Equity or Ownership

Sharing equity/stocks or ownership is not a very common approach when looking for talents. However, it is very effective and can keep the key people in the company.

Candidates are not just looking for jobs; they want to ensure their future and create opportunities for themselves.

Offering them a certain amount of your company’s equity can motivate them. The percentage isn’t necessarily large. A small amount is a good start, but when the company becomes bigger, its share value also increases.

You’re also teaching them how stocks work and probably become great entrepreneurs in the future.

Build a Strong Employer Brand

Think about large companies, such as Google and Amazon. They have built their brands that many people could easily recognize as one of the biggest companies in the world.

To build your company brand, you will create a strong connection with your clients or customers as a company. Creating beautifully designed logos, attractive websites, and effective marketing strategies are some ways to establish your brand.

Creating a strong employer brand is similar to your company brand. As an employer, building relationships with current employees is beneficial in successfully recruiting the best people. 

Talents want a stable job where they can work for a long time and see improvement. Aside from offering competitive compensation, invest in upskilling and professional development. You can provide them with free training and seminars. This will help you acquire high performing teams to help your business improve and become bigger.

Serious job seekers will surely love to work for your organization because they can also improve themselves and become better at what they do. 

Start Succession Planning

Employees usually ask themselves what they would get if they stayed longer in a small company.

Larger companies offer various opportunities to their current employees. A small business might not be able to compete with all of those, but when you offer promotions, such as leadership, to your current employees, they would feel valuable.

Recruiting external candidates isn’t the only option for small businesses. You have your current employees to become the next key person you need. You don’t need to look elsewhere to find the right person because your employees are your excellent people source.

Always use data to back up your succession planning. It’s important to know who the right candidate is among your workforce. Using a metric performance system is the best way to identify the person.

You can check which person has been doing well and deserves a promotion. 

Use Combinations of Recruiting Techniques

Small businesses shouldn’t just focus on their recruitment process; they should also consider the ways to secure top talents for their companies. Posting a job and waiting for a candidate isn’t a strategy to help your business grow.

Follow the tips above to attract more top talents. You’ll have more candidates to choose from and will be able to hire the best ones to improve your company.

How SMB Owners Are Attracting Top Sales Talent in 2022

SECRETS TO ATTRACTING TOP SALES TALENT FOR SMB OWNERS

There is a growing crisis in sales talent. According to Forbes, companies are “struggling to keep the sales reps they have, and having an even harder time finding and developing sales reps to replace them.” 

Recruiting and retaining top sales talent has always been challenging. But, if you are trying to grow a small or mid-size company, it’s an added struggle to compete with the bigger salaries Enterprise companies can offer.

To help you attract top sales talent and navigate this era of the Great Resignation, I’ve rounded up six SMB owners to share their advice how they overcame specific constraints to recruiting sales talent.

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #1. Hiring Salespeople Who Can Produce Quickly

How ClickGuard Overcame This Challenge:

 

Hiring is tough and in 2022 hiring the right sale people who can produce and ad value quickly is even tougher. 

Sales is a competitive sport, and like any good general manager, you should recruit and evaluate candidates based on their track record.

Hire candidates that are already active within your industry with a strong social network of relevant contact which you can benefit from. 

Ralph Perrier, CEO of ClickGuard
Protect Your Google Ads from Bot Clicks,
Click Farms and Competitors and Prevent Waste.

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #2. Limited Budget and Limited Local Talent Pool

How Function Fox Overcame That Challenge:

When we hired our first sales team – we are looking for people physically in our geography, so it was a limited market and we didn’t have big budgets.

We hired a former chef who had never really worked in an office before. He became one of our top performers and stayed with us close to 10 years and even got a FunctionFox Tattoo! 

We always try to “Stay Creative” with any challenge that comes our way.

Corina Ludwig, President/ Partner – FunctionFox.com
Timesheet and Project Management Software

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #3. Finding Salespeople Who Were Willing to Hold Themselves Accountable

How Green Rope Overcame That Challenge:

The biggest challenge we faced was finding salespeople who were willing to hold themselves accountable (fortunately, we have a great team now). 

We have focused our energy primarily on inbound marketing, which is conducive to having a team of farmers. 

Farmers are generally better with accountability and providing the data needed for closing the loop on the customer journey. Hunters tend to be more outgoing, extroverted, and harder to keep track of. We have found this role has been the hardest to fill and keep and are still in search of a good one.

Lars Helgeson Founder / CEO, GreenRope
All-In-One CRM with Marketing Automation

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #4. Managing Budget & Expectations of the Sales Team.


How WeStrive Overcame This Challenge:

As a first-time tech founder, the biggest challenge has been managing the budget and expectations of the sales team. 

To overcome this, I’ve taken the time to meet with people who have been in my shoes before.

Cory McKane, CEO at Westrive.com
The All-In-One App for Personal Trainers

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #5. Making the Pivot to Enterprise Sales Teams

How Read Cube Overcame That Challenge:

ReadCube is part of Digital Science, which is part of the broader Holtzbrinck Publishing conglomerate. People who work in the Science Technical and Medical (STM) sectors know that Digital Science is a hot commodity.

So, I leveraged three core ways to be able to attract top sales talent.

 

  • I engaged my network looking for potential sales candidates who already had a rolodex.
  • The sellers I recruited worked for me in a past professional life, so we had/have mutual respect for each other.
  • I also worked with a headhunter. 

From those tactics I was able to source 15-20 top qualified candidates to interview.

Miles McNamee

Senior Vice President – Enterprise Sales, ReadCube

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #6. Not Getting Enough Candidates

How DSP Helps Companies Overcome This Challenge: 

In our 15 years in business we have been through many challenging times such as a recession and Covid 19.  2022 has been just as challenging, the challenge this time is finding quality talent.  

Only 4-5 years ago if we contacted 20 potential candidates we would get 10 quality resumes. Today, if we contact 50 we are lucky if we get 1 strong candidate.  What we have done to combat this situation is think out of the box and consult with our clients to do the same.  

 Although the clientele might be different the core processes and sales cycles are the same.”

Jim McKenna, President at Definitive Search Partners
We Partner with You to Bring You the Highest Quality Candidates!

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE # 7. Candidates Who Change Their Minds

LinkedIn recently published the top challenges facing recruiters. A staggering 75% of recruiters report they’ve dealt with candidates who went through the entire interview process, only to then change their minds last minute. (Ugh!) Unfortunately, this is growing problem that’s been happening at an increasing rate in the post pandemic world we are living in today.

top sales

How Yoon Cannon Helps SMB Owners Overcome This Challenge:

While it is unrealistic to completely eliminate this problem you can expect to greatly reduce candidates changing their minds by focusing on the big rocks I call the 3 R’s:

  • Remote Options: The latest studies are finding that 56% of candidates turn down jobs because of lack of flexibility to work remote. They want flexibility more than they want pay and security. Where we have been able to help SMB owners is by designing systems to help you effectively manage a remote or partially remote team while boosting their sales performance.

  • Retention through Relationships: Working remote certainly gives your sales team greater work-life balance, but it can also lead to your sales team feeling too isolated and disconnected. Pandemic or not, never forget human nature has proven throughout history that people will often stay with a company longer, not necessarily, because they love the actual work they do, but because they love the people they get to work with.

    • Introduce candidates throughout their interview process to multiple managers and peers in your organization.
    • Show the vibe of your people and the camaraderie they enjoy through your company videos.
    • Create and showcase several videos of you, the founder as well as your leadership team. Don’t make it “corporate”. Be your genuine selves. Candidates will want to work for you if you give them ways to feel like they got to know, like and trust you.
  • Recruiting Funnel: There is no one reason why a candidate changes their mind last minute. There are multiple reasons.
  • Skills fit
  • Personality fit
  • Financial fit
  • Timing fit
  • Lifestyle fit
  • Future fit and 
  • People fit / Culture fit

So, by the time you are reviewing your top candidates you can be confident each of those candidates have determined for themselves the role they are applying for is truly the right fit for them.

 

Yoon Cannon, Business Growth Coach,
Founder, ParamountBusinessCoach.com
Helping entrepreneurs scale your business growth!

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #8. Generating Enough Sales as a Startup to Hire Sales Talent Without Any VC Funding

How Peeva Overcame This Challenge:

FIrst off, to make sense of this here is an analogy. Startups are like rock bands. Whereas, rock bands will send out demo tapes to whatever label will throw money at them. StartUps send out pitch decks to whatever VC will invest in them.

Either way, most of them never make it out of the garage. To get a record deal in your favor, getting out of the garage and touring is the best way to do this.

Investors want to see traction and there is no better way to show this than to have paying customers. It doesn’t matter who you know. People with money have it for a reason, they don’t spend it foolishly. Ironically, the far majority of VC funded companies also fail.

My best advice to any Entrepreneur is to get as many paying customers as possible and as quickly as possible. This also comes at great cost if you are irresponsible. 

Peeva’s approach is a top to bottom approach. 

Rather than hire a ground swell of boots on the ground (outside sales professionals) to make cold calls and hand off marketing literature and then pay them to chase and bother busy prospects, it was much more productive for us to establish a beta relationship with a large corporate chain of vet hospitals. 

From the C-level down, we were then able to scale at a much quicker rate with veterinary professionals and hospitals without ever meeting them let alone speaking with them. Our veterinary professionals essentially do sales for us, by selling Peeva to pet owners. 

 

 I did all of this myself, before requiring any sales professionals. It was not until after I established these types of accounts before brining on a veterinary relations director that overseas 3 other sales professionals that follow the traditional meet face to face sales model. No VC needed, and the only VC’s I ever speak with at this point are those that reach out to us.

I hope this helps many entrepreneurs that will go broke or focus on an exit strategy before getting started. 

 

Michael Hamilton, CEO / Founder of Peeva

Universal pet identification and central database

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #9. Sales People Who Are Transactional

How Qnum Analytics Overcame This Challenge:

The biggest challenge in hiring my first sales team was the transition from their past selling “norms” into trusted advisors that would solve the customers problems as opposed to selling our products and solutions.

I hired sales talent who had the desire and hunger and weren’t too worried about their sales track record as that was in the past and CVs are exactly that past achievement. I was more interested in how I can transform the potential that existed to meet what our customers needed. So, I trained them to be consultative and not transactional.

Bheki Nkomo, Founder, Tech Entrepreneur Qnum Analytics 

Digitize end to end inventory data capture

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #10. Attracting Highly Motivated Sales Talent

How Fin vs Fin Overcame This Challenge:

 
 

The key is well-structured, performance-driven incentives. Why not offer unlimited upside to grow your business?

Of course OTE  must be achievable so that your team can accurately forecast income and plan their lives. But incentivizing sales talent to treat your business like it’s their own has been the single most important thing. How can you make them feel more like an owner, rather than a rep?

Alex Goldberg, Founder Fin vs Fin

Discover the best wellness products

 

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #11. Making Our First Sales Hire

How Conmitto Overcame This Challenge:

It’s easy at first to try to go too big, too fast especially while building a solution or consulting business. While growing an early sales team, it usually works well to start with one great sales professional to help you begin bringing your product or service to market. 

Early on, it’s about learning quickly and allowing the sales, marketing and product development cycles to evolve together. It’s more difficult to do this with a large team in place, and I’ve seen firsthand how painful it can be to change or adapt once you’ve made a few great but potentially mistimed hires. 

 

 

That will help you define and grow your offerings to fit the needs they’ve seen solving this problem first hand. 

Based on the approach that works, it may make sense to hire more sales professionals with a similar background, or it may make sense to partner with a larger firm that is in the industry that can be trained to cross-sell or up-sell for you.

There’s no one-size fits all method, and you may find that direct sales hires, outside SDRs that focus on meeting generation, or a partner channel oriented approach work for you, or a healthy mix of the three may be the best approach. It’ll all depend on your industry and the state of your business, so the first step is to start trying and learning! 

 

Akash Agarwal, CEO, Conmitto

Configurable cloud software for supply chain management

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #12. Creating a Large Team of Sales Advocates as a Startup Company

How Aqai Overcame This Challenge:

Having been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, growing and scaling multiple teams and companies, sales is the lifeblood for growth. The challenges in hiring great salespeople and teams have evolved over the years. In my latest start-up at AQai we have focused on two key aspects to grow our company through a specific sales and go to market strategy.

Firstly, having a compelling mission, one that deeply resonates and connects with our audience of coaches and HR leaders. This driver to inspire & empower every human with the skills to adapt and thrive. Ensuring no-one is left behind in the fastest period of change in history, has been the corner stone to attracting truly great talent.

The second and important strategy has been to empower a global network of distributed agents to act as our sales advocates. With this strategy we have managed to rapidly train, certify, and enable over 200 coaches and consultants to win more business, and do more interesting work. With their sales and success, driving exponential growth on our adaptability assessment and training platform. This strategy has removed the traditional thinking for hiring, and the barriers of initial funding the growth of a direct sales team.

Using this strategic approach has enabled us to land significant projects with companies like Microsoft, IBM, The Federal Reserve Bank and Havi, among many other pioneering, people focussed organizations.

To find out more about our work, the community we are building focussed on the mental health and wellbeing in the future of work, please check out www.aqai.io

Ross Thornley, CEO & Co-Founder AQai 

Change, retain and prepare your people for change

SALES HIRING CHALLENGE #13. Making Sure We’re Hiring the Right Kind of People to Fill the Role.

How Sched Overcame This Challenge:

sched.com

The biggest challenge we’ve faced in hiring sales talent is making sure we’re hiring the right kind of people to fill the role. Sched helps individuals and teams create great events with our event scheduling software.

We invest significant resources in training our sales team to be able to offer solutions for our customers’ challenges when trying to plan great events.

We want to make sure our salespeople can uncover problems, explain our solutions and build trust along the way. 

Instead of just hiring a Sales rep, we are trying to hire people who over time can expand their roles.
 
Our company is remote, distributed and filled with self-motivated, accountable people. We look for bright, hard working, results-oriented individuals with high levels of integrity because they are the most likely to succeed within our team. 
 
Finding these people makes our typical hiring process look more like an audition than the typical “application and interview” process.
 
Hiring good people is tough. Hiring good sales people is even tougher. Our hiring process helps reduce some of that risk and increase the probability of a successful sales hire.

ceo

Marvin McTaw, CEO of Sched.com 

Event Scheduling Software & Event Mobile Apps

 

 

So, there you have it. Thirteen founders sharing their personal advice on how they overcame specific Sales Talent Hiring challenges. 

▶ QUESTION: What specific hiring challenge would you like to see covered in this article? Please share your comments below.

▶ Not Sure What The Best Way is to Solve Your Sales Hiring Challenges? 

Book a complimentary business strategy call with Yoon Cannon here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching/coaching-call-sign-up/ 

Hiring for the first time?  

 

Download the free printable Hiring Checklist here:

Managing a Productive Hybrid-Remote Work Force for SMB Owners

As an entrepreneur, you’ve likely dealt with some unimaginable circumstances and challenging decisions over the course of the pandemic. Although the last few years might have been filled with some extreme lows, both professionally and personally, there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Entrepreneurs, such as yourself, now have an opportunity to reinvent and grow their businesses in ways never considered before. By taking advantage of this new perspective, you can set yourself apart from other companies and invest in one of the most important components of the business – your people. If you’re looking for some helpful ways to show your remote or hybrid workforce that your company is worth investing their energy and future in, keep reading along.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

The pandemic has certainly heightened the need to be able to maintain a balance between work, family, personal obligations, and caring for our own health. Of course, this has always been something of value to individuals and professionals, but not at the same frequency it is now. From employees with aging parents unable to risk a trip to the grocery store, to parents of young children with changing school schedules, employees need the flexibility to adapt their careers to their life, not the other way around.

Supporting a flexible work arrangement as an employer is more critical than ever before and establishes trust within the employer/employee relationship. When employees are given the freedom, they need to be successful in their personal lives, it makes it easier and more enjoyable for them to be motivated and productive during their working hours. Rather than feeling stressed and anxious about a personal obligation, with flexible hours they can step away from their work for an hour and make up that time when they’re feeling calm and focused.

Adjust Benefits to Support Employees and Families

With the personal and professional lifestyle changes brought about by COVID-19, employee benefits should be reviewed and adjusted accordingly. According to the American Psychological Association, one-third of Americans developed mental health issues related to working from home coupled with the stress of the pandemic. Consider rethinking employee benefits to better suit their needs in this post-pandemic world. For example, enhance your well-being benefits to cover flexible schedules, caregiving, financial well-being, and mental health services. Whether it be online therapy, a life coach, or simply a way to navigate new challenges, evolving benefits will positively impact the way employees work.

Hold Financial Literacy Training

Financial issues have been increasingly prevalent because of the various changes in employment, pay, childcare, and so on. That said, your employees might feel strapped when it comes to making financial decisions that impact their future. Providing virtual training that allows employees who’re both remote or hybrid to continue building their financial literacy can help them feel empowered in their daily lives and more satisfied professionally. Employees might be wondering if they need to start setting more money aside and building an emergency fund for difficult times. This is recommended by financial professionals in general, but especially over the last few years, it’s been clear that you can never be too prepared.

Others might be looking to grow their family and, with that, are looking to purchase their very first home, upsize, or move. Employees might be uninformed about how to get preapproved for a mortgage, especially if this is their first time investing in the market. Providing resources that outline the documentation needed to start the process, when to get preapproved, and how long the period lasts is all helpful information that can guide them in coordinating their next steps with less stress.

Create Team Bonding Opportunities

Team bonding is a great way to inspire connections and get to know your employees on a more personal level. Even if it’s partially virtual, having conversations and activities that go beyond work deliverables and sales discussions is extremely beneficial for the company at large. Of course, building a strong professional team is key to your success as an entrepreneur. With that being said, to continue to foster those relationships, it’s helpful to know your people both personally and professionally.

Don’t leave it all up to your employees, as a business leader and entrepreneur you should also get involved in team bonding experiences. Host a trivia night, scavenger hunt, recipe swap, or happy hour. If you have a hybrid workforce that comes into the office on certain days you can schedule a field day at a local park, a hike, or a team picnic outside. The point is to simply make room for communication outside the walls of the office and create more personal relationships.

Establish Open Communication and Organizational Transparency

When times are tough or uncertain, employees want to feel like they can trust their employer to be empathetic to their changing needs. Establishing an environment where employees feel comfortable asking questions and voicing concerns is healthy for everyone. Creating a transparent work culture comes with some effort required, but it’s more than worthwhile. If your employees don’t feel they can trust you, there might not be a long-term relationship formed between the two, and therefore you’ll experience some issues with retention. Providing your company with regular financial updates that showcase the health of the business as well as being transparent when it comes to new opportunities in the company, changes in leadership, promotions, problems, and so on will help your people feel connected and involved.

Invest in Coaching Leadership

Leadership can make or break your success as a business owner. If you have strong, effective leadership, you’re likely to run a much smoother operation and experience positive growth. If you have employees who don’t like or respect management and other members of your leadership team, you’re bound to run into turmoil.

By investing in proper training for current and future managers, you can establish a better system of trust and authority. In addition, expanding leadership’s knowledge of the different types of workflows and support needed by some employees can be beneficial. If leaders can understand their team and the way they work, they can create a schedule that allows them to be productive without unnecessary stress. Most individuals aren’t natural-born leaders, and even if they do a great job, there is always room for improvement.

Prioritize Employee Recognition

According to Forbes, a happier team is not only more creative and energized but they actually have the ability to get more work done! The key to productivity is happy employees which translates to improved customer service, efficiency, and satisfied customers. According to Tanner Learning Group, 79% of employees leave their place of work because they don’t feel appreciated. This makes sense, but the numbers are truly astounding. By simply taking the initiative to create a recognition system, regularly checking in with your employees, and asking them how you can make them feel more valued, this number can be drastically reduced.

It’s no secret that happy employees make for a successful business. Although this is true, it’s much easier said than done when addressing the needs of every employee, increasing productivity, satisfying customers, and making your company a great place to work. By slowly implementing some of this protocol into your remote or hybrid workplace, you can begin taking steps towards those goals and seeing the positive impact on your employees.

How to Build a Dream Team as an Entrepreneur

How to Build a Dream Team as an Entrepreneur (for Startups) 

startupThe purpose of this guide is to help you build your startup from a team of one to a team of many. You’ll know how to identify your startup needs, find the right people to fill those needs, and how you can bring those people together to create a high-performing team.

If you want to get your ideas off the napkin and on the ground running, it can be helpful to prioritize the growth of your team. These are people that you can mold into your workflow, and bridge the gap between your expertise and business knowledge. Not only will you have to expand it, but also make sure these individuals have a strong foundation to launch from. 

Have a Clear Vision for Your Startup 

If you’re reading this you probably have an ideal plan for your business, but the development of a business idea still has to be completed. Either way, solidifying the vision is a great first step toward a clearer direction. 

Once you’ve outlined your idea or “vision”, set SMART goals for building your future team. As a refresher, these are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebound. They can always be adjusted throughout the different stages of your startup so don’t limit yourself, or feel limited to sticking to your original plan. 

During the stage of crafting your business’s vision, find individuals to network with and learn from. They may have gone through a similar process before, or have a well-rounded knowledge of establishing a startup. If conversations go well, and you build trustworthy work relationships with others, you can always further the mentorship process and ask them to be an advisor for your startup team.

These don’t have to be full-time employees, but more of a mentor or phone call away if you needed a helping hand. Without one, you could be missing out on necessary industry and experience-based knowledge so take additional time to prioritize those networking events, and connect with as many people on LinkedIn as you can! 

Once your advisor or board of advisors is established, make sure to take the time to review expectations and schedules with them. Take their areas of expertise and experience into consideration when developing a strategic plan for your business. ask questions such as: How involved will they be in the process? Will there be weekly or monthly meetings? 

Evaluate Your Startup Needs 

As an entrepreneur, you may pride yourself on being self-sufficient and independent, but you doing everything by yourself can actually lead to burnout. Skills that you may lack, another person could really excel at. Instead of thinking that you can do everything the best way, delegate the tasks to other people and work along with their strengths to help build your business.

Write down what skills you can improve upon, and what the main needs of your business are, and find the gaps in between each to create roles for your future team. Remember, self-awareness and honesty are key to benefit from this exercise. 

Hiring people who are different from you helps to create a well-rounded team with a diverse skill set. Diversity leads to more creative solutions to problems. Hiring people who are not only equipped with different skills and backgrounds but also different personalities and interests can lead to more success. While keeping diversity in mind, there are a few key abilities and traits that you should also look for when bringing on team members. 

First and foremost, startups can be completely unpredictable. Most of the time, they may be strapped for resources, tools, and possibly money. You will want people who can bounce back from mishaps that are bound to happen when you’re working in a company that’s in its early

stages. People who are adaptable, innovative, and capable of multitasking will thrive in this ever-changing and evolving work environment. 

Use Your Connections to Your Advantage 

This may seem obvious, but making connections is essential when you’re recruiting new business team members. Take advantage of networking events, industry-focused workshops, and other opportunities that may broaden your social reach.

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to first find someone (or maybe even multiple people) you trust to serve as an advisor on your team. Depending on what you’ve identified as your business needs, you’ll need people to fill those roles. Typically, the starting lineup of any company will include these positions: 

  • Chief executive officer 
  • Chief marketing officer 
  • Product manager 
  • Chief financial officer 
  • Chief technology officer 
  • Business development manager 
  • Sales manager 
  • Customer service expert 

However, don’t feel tied down to building your dream team around these positions. You can adjust or delegate multiple roles to team members. 

If you feel like the number of connections is looking limited, don’t hesitate to use hiring platforms to build your team too. Indeed, Linkedin and Glassdoor are reliable for finding and recruiting top talent. If you’re not confident using this method by yourself, consider involving your advisor in the hiring process. They can assist you in interviewing and choosing candidates, and it never hurts to have a second opinion on something that’s going to affect your business. 

Another thing to have handy in the hiring process is an employee checklist for candidates you’ve decided to move forward with. You’ll want to make sure your employees are set up for success early on in your business beginnings. On the note of successful beginnings, make sure your team is properly compensated whether it’s monetary or otherwise from the start of employment. 

Take your advisors, for example, they’re not just doing you a favor by mentoring you through your startup journey. There are a few ways to go about compensating advisors, one of the most common is to utilize the FAST Agreement from the Founder Institute. This is a flexible approach to providing compensation as it depends on the company’s maturity and the level of advisor engagement.

compensate top talentAs for your other team members, you may be wondering how you can not only compensate top talent but also entice them to work for you. For startups strapped for financial resources, it might seem like working for a startup is undesirable. Job seekers might opt for work at a larger company with higher pay and better benefits. But, how long does it take until those benefits are outweighed by a lack of satisfaction?

It all depends on an employee’s value, and how they are able to connect with your start-up’s overall mission. Even though a larger company is most likely more established, it does not mean they are prioritizing employee growth and opportunity. It’s all about how you advertise your business to those who you want to hire. Relate to an audience and show them that, even though you’re smaller and in a more development phase, it could give them a lot of experience! 

Working at a startup and on a smaller team fosters a sense of belonging and purpose as well. There is a clear goal for the team to work towards, and reaching that goal is the most satisfying feeling. Furthermore, a startup with a clear vision and personable leadership is more attractive than a big corporation with less than ideal morals and goals. As stated earlier, a startup may lack resources and constantly change. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, it gives employees a challenge that they can benefit from professionally. 

Making and utilizing connections is an effective way to form a team but it’s also crucial for finding support outside of your internal team. You’ll need people to advocate for your startup to help you achieve your goals. Accelerator programs are a great resource for breaking through a heavily saturated market.

Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, co-founders of the delivery company Gopuff, understood the importance of having an advocate in the early stages of a startup through their small business accelerator program. These are great for business-minded people who are starting their own companies because it gets them in front of the right people to find funding or other resources that can set them up for success. 

If you’re looking to expand, take advantage of the resources and opportunities that these company-created programs give you especially as you’re growing your team. And who knows, maybe one day you can give back to the entrepreneurial community with your own accelerator program or fund! 

Instill Strong Values In Your Team 

When you have finally assembled your team, consider having them take a personality assessment. This test can give you an idea of how individuals will work with you and the rest of your team. Remember, it’s less about who is on the team and more about how the team works together. Once you’ve done this, you know how your team can most efficiently work together. 

But, that’s not the end of things. What foundation are efficient and high-performing teams built on? A few things; trust, consistent communication, respect, and honesty. If your team consists of people with all these traits, they’re more likely to be there to support you and each other. From day one, you need to set up the expectations of these values for your team.

Re-evaluate Your Team as Needed 

Now that you have your team and know how best to work with each other, it’s important to keep track of your progress as a business. If you find your team is missing something, like a specific skill set or perspective, consider bringing someone on to help. You can either hire someone to fill a role on your internal team or you can outsource an individual or an entire team. 

Let’s say you’re lacking the marketing tools to propel your business and you find your team unsure of how to tackle this issue. Ask yourself, “Do I hire a team to do in-house marketing, or should I outsource?” While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, and it depends on what works best for your business, this outsourcing vs hiring guide may help you find perspective on what to do if you find yourself in a situation like this. 

At the end of the day, your team is what makes or breaks the success of your startup. Hence the saying you’ve probably heard countless times, “Teamwork makes the dream work!” By utilizing the tips mentioned above, you’ll build the startup team of your dreams in no time.

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Sales teams are at the heart of growing your business at every stage from startup to main street to middle market. How do you create the right sales systems? Find top sales talent? Clone yourself?

Steve Dailey from Entrepreneur Excellence interviews Business Growth Expert, Yoon Cannon where we discuss actionable strategies for growing your sales teams, cloning yourself as the CEO, strategic planning and more.

Here’s an overview of the sales team questions Steve asks Yoon Cannon. Scroll below to watch the video of the full interview.

Question 1 02:58 

  • You know I’d like to invite you to share with us some of the common frustrations that you see small business owners bumping into when it comes time to duplicate themselves through other people as the sales engine.

Question 2  07:12  

  • So how do you begin to formulate a selling system that can be translated or taught to somebody else? 
  • What are the important components of that?

 

Question 3 11:35 

  • So you mentioned Sandler there and and you know we can go out into the, you know onto the internet or into a, you know, on Amazon or into a bookstore and and get just fire host with all kinds of sales, books, techniques, you know, tactics and strategies and all this kind of stuff. Where does that stuff fit in to creating a winning hand off to a new sales team? 
  • Do you do that stuff? Do you adopt it? Do you introduce it? 
  • What’s your feeling about that? 

Question 4 15:36 

  • Would you say that bringing in new people to enhance, accelerate, expand our sales efforts, is that, is that a good time to introduce new ideas that we might have been thinking of or is it better to, to just bring people in to what we’ve done and, and what we know is good business and then build the new things in as we go, when is the best time to think about that?

Question 5 25:55

  • So I know that you’ve got all kinds of formulas and check sheets and things that people might find useful. Tell us how to get more information about how to figure out this sales puzzle and duplicate ourselves in the marketplace

Do You Need Help Growing Your Sales Team? 

Whether you’re interviewing for a VP of Sales, a Fractional Chief Sales Officer, a Sales Growth Advisor or you’d just need clarity what the best next steps look like for you to take your company to the next level …

I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: What is one important question you’d like to ask about this topic? Please share your comments and question below.

How to Motivate Your Sales Force

Even though most job descriptions for sales roles typically say that the candidate most be “self motivated”, as a business owner you’ve probably realized by now it is wishful thinking that merely hiring “self motivated” people will by itself, lead to creating high performing sales teams. Remember to keep your sales force motivated

Whether you have just one or two sales representatives or you have several dozen, either you as the business owner, or your sales manager (if you have one) need to play a vital role in keeping your sales force highly motivated.

Holding regular, effective sales meetings with your team is one way of keeping your team highly motivated. The key word here is “effective”. So, how does one make sure your sales meeting is effective?

This was the question asked recently but one of my email subscribers:

Q: “I have a team of 11 sales reps who have all been working for me for the past 5-10 yrs. I know I should be holding regular meetings with them, but I’m stuck on what to talk about each week.” ~ Bob Kelly from Austin, Texas

A: Bob, you are absolutely correct on having regular meetings with your team. Regular sales meetings is an essential key to grow your business. Every member of your team is expected to be better each day. I have come up a meeting structure for you which you can use to help motivate your sales force. I have used this same method myself in planning 1,000+ sales meetings I’ve delivered over the years.

Part I: KEEP YOU SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION

Whether you’re have a team of 11 people, 80 or just 4 sales people, it sets a positive tone and energy to kick off your sales meeting with sincere recognition. Find something to recognize in some or all of your meeting attendees. In addition to verbally recognizing people it’s important to add visuals. People like to see their names in writing. It can be as simple as writing congratulation messages on poster boards and plastering them throughout your conference room or as formal as having a new name engraved each week or month on a sales award plaque.

You can reinforce that recognition in bi-weekly emails to your sales team as well as including it in the printed version of your sales meeting agenda.

Recognition is especially addicting for sales people, so make sure you apply generously to your team. When you recognize positive behavior you attract more of that same positive behavior.

Avoid falling into the trap of negative thinking like — “why should I recognize them for just doing their job?” Because when you take that philosophy you will likely end up going many weeks without giving any recognition at all.

As a mother, anytime my husband or kids tell me I made a great dinner it not only makes me feel appreciated (even though it’s my job to feed them) it also motivates me to make an even better dinner the next meal.

Making your sales people feel appreciated goes a long way.

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Part II: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION

This is the housekeeping tid-bits — FYI kind of stuff you want everyone to be aware of and note in their calendars, project folders, etc.

This part of the sales meeting is for you to share things like:

  • Here are two new marketing resources now available to you.
  • Here are upcoming deadlines in our company…
  • Reminders… etc

Part III: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSTRUCTIONS

Never undermine the importance of ongoing training. Sometimes I hear from some grow your business that they don’t need to train their top sales people because they’ve been doing their jobs for 10 years, and they know what they’re doing.

I emphatically disagree!

That’s like expecting pro football players to skip the training camp and send them right into the kickoff game – bad idea! Spend 30-45 min during your weekly sales team meetings to help your people improve one specific skill they use and need, so they can better perform in their jobs. Trust me, even for your seasoned sales reps you’ll never run out of drill-for-skill content.

Part IV: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION

It’s often more effective for your people to be inspired by the milestones achieved by their own colleagues than just being talked at the entire meeting by their boss.

You want to leverage the fact that sales attracts people who tend to have a competitive spirit, so inviting the week’s top performer to teach their peers is a powerful motivation for both for the person teaching and for their peers taking notes.

The person teaching ends up feeling like they now have a reputation they need to keep. And, their peers end up thinking — “hey, if they can do it, so can I” or “I can do even better than that”. By doing so people will see this as friendly competition, keeps your sales force motivated to hone their skills further.

So, invite one of your sales leaders to share for 5-15 minutes on how they achieved ______.

Examples:

How I got 85% of my leads to return my calls this week.
How I got 200% more referrals this month.
How I got all the decision makers to attend the 1st presentation meeting.
How I have my best sales month ever.

Inspiration appeals to their competitive spirit. It raises the bar and provides proof that it can be done. Share on X.

 

Part V: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT

This is the fifth and final part of your sales meeting. You, as their boss/sales manager make a big impact in keeping your sales force motivated or de-motivating your sales team. We see this happening all the time in sports. A football team won’t play their best if they’re constantly barked at by a dictatorship style coach or by a coach who appears hands off and indifferent.

They have to want to excel. Even the people who insisted they were self-motivated will still perform far better with a deliberate dose of motivational words from you each week as their leader keeps your sales force motivated.

While instruction gets their head in the game; motivation gets their heart in the game. Share on X

 

I always like to see a weekly sales meeting end with a motivation piece with what I call a wind up talk.

People don’t really get passionate about the products and services you sell as a company (sorry to break that news to you!)

But, what they do get passionate about resonating with why you do what you do. They rally around what you believe as a company, but more importantly, that you believe in them.

People inherently, want to be great and do great things. Your motivational wind up talk should serve to helping them become the champions they have the potential to be.

As Vince Lombardi so famously said: “Treat them as champions, and they play like champions.”

As you plan out your motivational wind up talk think about:

  • Why this week is different? What is at stake this month?
  • What is the target you want them to stretch to reach and why should they care?
  • How can you help your people get out of their comfort zone?
  • What’s it all for this quarter?
  • What personal success skills do you want to help them develop? The power of perseverance, tenacity, positive expectation, resiliency, resourcefulness, etc.

Ok, so to summarize what you’re aiming to accomplish using this 5-part sales meeting formula:

Part 1: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION = “I feel appreciated” [I work hard for me because I’m addicted to recognition]

Part 2: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION = “I feel focused and organized”

Part 3: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION = (Peer proof) “If they can do it; I can do it too” [I work hard for my peers because I’m competitive]

Part 4 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BYINSTRUCTION = “I feel equipped to succeed.”

Part 5 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT = “I believe I can achieve higher” [I work hard for you because I know how much you care about my success]

In closing, if you need more guidance on creating high performing sales teams I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: How often do you run sales meetings with your team and how do you know it was effective? Please share your comments in the comment box below.

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