Updated: Dec 31, 2021
By: Dan Flynn - CEO & Founder of Skyhawk Sales Consultants Inc.
Business leaders are fond of saying, “People are your most valuable resource.” It is one of those generic, feel-good statements that seems like the right thing to say, but is it accurate? What if you have employees in positions performing work that they are not particularly good at? Maybe a more precise statement would be, “The right people in the right positions are your most valuable resource.”
Sales is the engine of your company, powering the revenue generation you are aiming to achieve. And for engines to generate maximum horsepower, all pistons need to be firing. Carefully recruiting the best talent for your sales organization is a vital step to ensuring maximum sales performance. To do this properly, start with a clear understanding of how you are going to execute your revenue generation strategy so you know exactly what type of sales role needs to be filled. Is your strategy to seek out new clients to expand your customer base? Or is it to grow existing client revenue by selling deeper into your product or service portfolio? The path you take plays a big role in defining the type of seller you will be looking to hire. Typically, a business development salesperson will be a hunter, while a revenue expansion salesperson will be a farmer. Rarely is a person a combination of both as their characteristics are quite different:
Sales Hunter: A salesperson who seeks out new opportunities, often utilizes a consultative sales approach, and innately finds and assesses an opportunity within a prospect. Common traits include being innovative, motivating, excellent with communication skills, and assertive.
Sales Farmer: A salesperson who builds and cultivates relationships and opportunities, typically within existing accounts. Common traits include being likeable and caring, a good team member, empathetic to needs of others, and detailed oriented.
But ensuring you have the right talent does not end once the hiring process is completed. Just as important is for sales leaders to observe their salespeople in action, to watch them interact with prospects and clients. How well do they make personal connections? Are they communicating your value proposition in a compelling manner? Do they need further sales training to better fine-tune their selling skills? While this may seem obvious, a survey conducted by Sales Xceleration found that only 50% of companies have had someone travel with their salespeople in the past 12 months. Yes, this requires a significant investment in time, but high performing sales teams are led by sales leaders who truly recognize the value in force multiplication, and for that to occur you must have the right people in the right positions.
Dan Flynn, the CEO & Founder of Skyhawk Sales Consultants Inc., is a natural leader and motivator with a 20+ year history in sales leadership and success. Dan has designed and led sales teams from start-up to annual revenue responsibility exceeding $200 million. Most notably, Dan’s success track record includes re-imagining and leading a sports media, multi-platform organization consisting of the Lakers & Dodgers sports networks, as well as NBA & MLB content from ESPN, TNT, TBS, FS1 & the MLB Network. The results were 50% organic growth in year 1 and 28% growth in year 2.
Dan Flynn earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Marketing from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a resident of Hermosa Beach, CA.