Good inside sales managers are looking for Chasers not Talkers.
There are a lot of inside sales managers—seasoned pros and rookies? alike—who are cautious right now about hiring. They’re gunshy—they don’t want to make a mistake. The current economy is offering up a lot of talent to choose from which can make hiring decisions even more difficult to make. Remember, there are candidates that interview extremely well for the position, but who falter once they land the job. Unfortunately, that’s difficult to detect during the interview process.
One thing managers need to do once they’ve finished hiring is to pay very close attention to their new employees’ work habits and actions. This is not the time for a manager to squirrel away in this office and cut himself off. He must be on the floor watching and listening and offering advice. This is not considered babysitting, but coaching.
A manager has some key things to look for in new employees’ first few hours on the job, and he needs to address concerns and take action immediately.
Is the new employee focused on the job?
This may seem like a no-brainer because typically new hires are fired up and excited especially during the first week on the job, but there are little things that are not so obvious which a manager needs to take into account. For example, is the new employee developing a rhythm, or establishing a work pattern, or is he looking around aimlessly or talking with colleagues, or on the computer looking up leads? (Why’s he looking up leads—you just provided him with 200?) Although it’s critical for a salesperson to trust his instincts and make intelligent decisions to be successful, a manager doesn’t want him to stray far from the company’s sales process and training. The new hire that goes it alone because he doesn’t find immediate success needs to be reigned in quickly. A new salesperson’s independence should not be a given, it should be earned.
Does the new hire love the chase?
Love, not like. A good manager wants a salesperson that makes more than the necessary dials, and, more importantly, gets the decision maker on the phone. There are many salespeople who are content just to talk to someone, anyone, and usually not the decision-maker. The salesperson that loves the chase only wants to talk with the person that makes the call. The manager can make this distinction between the Chaser and the Talker simply by listening to the phone conversation. If the conversation is on the long side and too upbeat and cheerful, the chances are pretty good that the salesperson is talking to the wrong person. On the flipside, the salesperson that’s talking with the right person is more intense, more focused, and pushing the sales process forward. It’s all in the eyes. Look at the eyes of a Chaser. Look how he’s locked in. Look at the eyes of a Talker. Look how they dart about, glazed over.
Does the new salesperson want the ball when the game’s on the line?
The Chaser wants the ball, the Talker doesn’t. The manager knows this by watching how high or low the salesperson is shooting. The Chaser will go after those impossible to reach big time decision makers at large companies with the most difficult gatekeepers. He’s unafraid. The Talker will go down the same roads that every other salesperson has traveled and be happy doing it. He’s not driven.
Those new employees’ first few hours are critical to the inside sales manager, but if the manager has his eye out, and knows what he’s looking for, he’ll know sooner rather than later if he’s got a winning team on his hands.