Forbes conducted a survey of Fortune 500 CEO's and 82% of them said they would be hiring more people within 2 years. Why should that be important to you?
To answer that question, let's talk about your KPI's, or Key Performance Indicators. The reason KPI's are more important than all of your other metrics is because they are, or should be, forward-looking indicators, rather than lagging indicators. In the consulting and training work that I have done over the past 30 years, I have always viewed the Fortune 500 and their respective strategies as another set of KPI's. We all remember the economic crash that hit in November of 2008. But two years earlier, I was training salespeople that sold to Fortune 500's when, all of a sudden, out of the blue, this unexpected feedback began coming to me.
Many salespeople began reporting that there were major delays getting purchase orders on business that had already closed, all the result of spending freezes. In September of 2006, more than 2 years before the collapse actually occurred, I wrote this article about Selling in the Upcoming Recession. The behavior of the Fortune 500, two years prior to the collapse, was a major leading indicator.
When I hear that 82% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are planning to hire more people, I sense confidence, expansion, revenue growth and the need for increased capacity at all levels. And if companies are planning to grow, then that sure as heck shouldn't be limited to the Fortune 500.
If you want to grow along with the Fortune 500, you'll need to hire salespeople. I know. You don't need any, there aren't any good ones out there, the last 11 times you tried, they failed, and it's too risky. I've heard all of the excuses. So let's dissect them one by one.
You've struggled to hire good salespeople - That means you keep doing the same thing, stupid, and getting the same results. You need a better sales recruiting process and a very predictive sales selection tool.
Your territories are full - Is that like when the bases are full? You need a heavy hitter to come to the plate and clear the bases. In other words, any time a great salesperson comes along, you should hire that individual and find a spot, especially when it allows you to jettison an underperformer. How do you know it's a great salesperson? Don't forget that very predictive sales selection tool!
There aren't any good salespeople out there - I don't know if I would agree that there aren't ANY, but there are certainly a lot fewer good salespeople who are actively looking. So what can you do? With a good sales recruiting process, you'll learn to write a job posting that attracts those who are out there, and find the passive job seekers too.
It's not the right time - it's too risky - It is never risky to hire a good salesperson. Even the worst of the good salespeople bring you something, certainly enough to to pay for themselves. But good salespeople are not expenses. They are investments, profit centers, and your economic engine! How do you mitigate the risk? You should know the answer if you've been paying attention. Objective Management Group's (OMG) accurate and predictive Sales Candidate Assessments! You can learn more and/or subscribe here.
Let's be like birds and take advantage of the lift they get when they fly behind the lead bird. Let the Fortune 500 lead the way so that we can get behind them and have an easier time of it.
Hire some good salespeople now and let the growth begin!