The concept of having a virtual sales bench has been around for many years. It has been popularized by the authors of Top Grading for Sales. The concept promotes the need for sales management to always be recruiting because you never know when you will need to fill a vacant territory.
The problem we all face is open territory means lost revenue! Unfortunately most often, open territory means you have to start the recruiting process from scratch. This leaves your company open to months of lost revenue, poor customer satisfaction and frustration.
Every day you spend trying to fill the territory is another day you slipped farther away from making your quota. Frequently, it can take months if not years to get a territory back on track. The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way if you are always on the lookout for good sales people.
5 Steps to the Virtual Sales Bench:
- Always be recruiting – every sales person who calls or knocks on your door should be given a few minutes to make their case. If they are good ask them if you could keep in touch with them. No promise, just the opportunity to talk further at some point in the future.
- Ask your best sales people to recommend other sales professionals they know. Who better to understand what it takes to be a great sales person at your company than your current top performers. Reward them if you hire the person down the road and word will spread.
- Ask your business networking contacts if they have worked with sales people who impressed them with their knowledge and professionalism. Send them a thank you note after you made the initial contact.
- Find a specialized sales professional search company that offers on-going resume search functions. The cost is very low compared to searching resumes files on the mega job boards. You can request profiles on candidates that match your specific needs as they find them.
- Start actively recruiting and interviewing and as soon as you realize a territory will be vacant. Studies show that most sales people leave their current employer within 24 months. Determine your turnover rate and be ready to go.
As a sales manager I want you to think back to what led up to your last open territory. Did the sales person’s departure come as a surprise or was it a foregone conclusion? If you to think back to the last 2 or 3 sales people who left your company did you know they were getting ready to leave or they were about to be let go?
As the Boy Scout motto goes, “Be Prepared”. Once the decision is made, either by the sales person or the company, you will be ready to take immediate action if you have a virtual sales bench.
By using a virtual sales bench the territory will be producing revenue quickly and you won’t waste months of selling time as you begin a new recruiting program. Don’t be reactive be proactive. As a sales manager you will be more valuable to the company because you had a plan for success.
Robert J. Weese B2B Sales Connections
B2B Sales Connections is one of the few Canadian companies that can provide cost effective virtual sales bench services to companies looking for pre-qualified sales professionals. For more information visit http://www.b2bsalesconnections.com/employers.php.
To download a free copy of our white paper How To Recruit The Best Sales Professionals which includes “11 Telephone Interview Questions to Find Top Performers”, visit our Sales Download Centre.
Looking for some ideas for your sales meetings? Join our free webinar where we share quick and easy ways to make your sales meetings more interesting and productive. Webinar doesn’t fit your schedule? View the presentation video here.