The following are some of the key business development strategies we've learned after years of working with many business in a variety of industries.
1. Target prospects that have shared “Core Values”.
You have heard it a million times: “People do business with people they like and trust”. The same is true with companies: “Companies hire recruiting firms that they like and trust”. It is not enough these days to have just industry experience in common with clients. Businesses, HR managers and hiring professionals want to make certain that their recruiting firm partners share the same core values, credos and “take” on people services and communication practices. Share your company philosophies on how you treat candidates, share your methodologies for approaching a search and, by all means, share how your services and values will benefit a potential client’s brand and industry reputation.
2. Share “Placement, Project and People Success” stories.
Whether you create, post and advertise a company marketing video that contains positive client testimonials, candidate accolades or a blog that describes a search assignment that was successfully executed, it is important to share this kind of information with potential clients. Ask yourself this question when putting together your sales and marketing materials, pitches and campaigns: “How can we best illustrate our staffing company’s success and proven track record with candidates, clients, employees and the community as a whole?”
3. Develop solid sales processes that are consistent and carried out by the entire sales team.
• Your values. Are your values clear to your sales staff? Are your sales representatives able to communicate your value proposition effectively and effortlessly to potential clients? Are your company values understood to your prospective clients? Are they communicated on your website and social media footprint?
• The number of prospective clients you see. Does your sales staff have a sales strategy with clear cut business development requirements, i.e. prospecting calls, social media outreach and development activity, appointment setting and in-person meetings or responses to RFPs?
• The quality of your prospective clients. How about the quality of your prospective clients? Are they willing to partner with a staffing company? Will they pay for your services? Are the hiring managers easy to work with or do they have unrealistic candidate (or recruiter) expectations? Does your prospective client have a good reputation in the marketplace for treating employees well or will you have to fight tooth and nail to get candidates to interview?
• The quality of your presentation. Is your sales staff equipped with the right sales support materials like a sales and marketing video, a professional PowerPoint or Slideshare Presentation? Are your sales reps confident, show up on time for meetings and dressed professionally?
4. Invest in Sales Training & Sales Recruiting
Being a great and high achieving sales person does not happen overnight, nor does it happen by chance. Like a great athlete or entertainer, being a great salesperson takes practice, practice and practice. Invest in sales training to keep your sales staff excited and fresh.
Even more foundational than a great sales training training process is a great sales recruiting process. Think about it - if you don't hire best-fit sales talent to start with, all the training in the world probably won't do much good.
The team here at GO Solutions are sales recruiting experts. If you'd like to learn more about our sales recruiting process, the best way to contact us is to schedule a recruitment consultation. In the meantime, check out these posts from the GO Hiring Insights Blog:
- How To Hire A Great Sales Manager
- Sales Recruiting: Finding The Right Sales Hire
- Sales Recruitment: Hiring The Perfect VP of Sales
5. Best Practices and Communications when approaching prospects via Social Media.
This one is important because “prospecting” via social media can be a fine line between a quality approach and unappreciated spam. Get to the point quickly. The approach needs to be brief, with professional language that is “benefit-selling” oriented. Why are you asking this person to connect? What is your value proposition and why would they want to schedule a meeting or phone call with you?
6. Pipeline. Pipeline. Pipeline.
Question: When do you develop new clients? Answer: Always and always. Clients are fickle and open job orders can be canceled or put on hold indefinitely. Never assume that you have no competition, not as a recruiter and not as a recruiting firm. Does your sales team have clear pipeline goals and reporting tools so that analytics can map out future strategic business development? This leads to the next point.
7. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Recruitment Technology.
Also known as CRM or Recruitment CRM. Your sales tracking technology is just as important as your Applicant Tracking System, so why not combine the two? A comprehensive CRM must have the intuitive ability to help strategize, drive, support and manage the entire sales process from cold call to close. Another CRM “must have” is marketing capabilities that are built into the system to support sales efforts such as email marketing, newsletter builders, lead generation tools and campaign management so you can track the success of a marketing initiative. Another important feature of a comprehensive CRM is the ability to create custom reports and dashboards so that individual salespeople and sales teams, marketing, management and executive staff have the ability to share analytics and create sales and marketing strategy utilizing that data.
Most highly successful recruiting firms (not just the big-ones, but the medium and small sized firms) have implemented intuitive recruiting software. The benefit of having a single solution Applicant Tracking System and CRM in one system is that you don’t have to implement multiple applications and you can manage the entire staffing business from recruiting to sales, marketing to accounting in one, centralized system.