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My Top 3 Sales Growth Strategies
Posted by Nicky Coffin
I recently ran our 750k billing retreat and decided to write this article. Growing a recruitment company to 7 or 8 figures and beyond is straightforward; it really is.
Before you throw something at the screen let me clarify. Growing your recruitment company I suspect will have a main focus of increased revenue? More placements at higher fees and in today’s employment growth environment, by more consultants.
Do the ‘right’ things consistently with a laser focus and that will be the inevitable result. The challenge is we don’t always do that do we? It’s easy to get side tracked and lose focus. We suddenly look up and four months have flown by. That is why we need a clear pathway that highlights the direction we are heading in.
I want to share with you, in broad terms, the three sales strategies I recommend to every recruitment business owner I speak to.
1. Have a specific sales goal with detailed actions
There is a well-known saying called; “start with the end in mind”. It works in all walks of life.
For instance if you decided to run the New York Marathon (as I once did-what was I thinking??). You wouldn’t just pitch up without training would you? I suspect you would have milestones and mini goals in place along the way? I am sure you would have crunched your numbers and got your road miles in over a period of months; wouldn’t you?
Logical. Yet when it comes to business some recruiters set a goal without thinking about how they will make it happen. I have mentioned SMART goals before.
Let’s assume you know all your numbers and you use this data to inform the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) you have in place. If you know your ‘strike’ rate and you want to increase revenues by a certain figure you will now what you are working with.
Let’s say your average fee is £15k and that for every three first interviews you or your consultants achieve you make one placement, calculating what needs to happen is now straightforward.
To make the numbers easier if you want to increase revenues by £150k a quarter then, all things being equal, you will need to make 10 more placements which means an additional 30 more first interviews.
The devil really is in the detail. Think this through and develop your KPIs around actions that will deliver the results you have set in your goal.
2. Manage your sales pipeline
Pipeline planning might sound ‘old school’ and it isn’t. Vantagepoint a large sales management organisation in the US conducted research on the impact of managing a sales pipeline with 62 B2B organisations. These are big players such as; Rolls Royce, Lexis, and Citrix.
It revealed that companies with effective pipeline management grew 15% faster than those that didn’t. OK so how does that play out in recruitment?
Here are a few questions to ask:
- What jobs do we have on the board and why?
- Are we working the ‘right’ jobs?
- What is our follow up process with prospects- candidates and clients?
- How long has this role been vacant/how easy is it to fill?
- How often are we looking at this with our recruiters?
- What placement fee have we agreed and why?
I have written a number of more detailed articles on this process for you that explains step by step how to delve into each of the areas listed above. For example, the desk review process and are you working the wrong jobs.
3. Have a sales process or methodology in place
Do your consultants follow a sales process? I hope so because it will enable your sales results to become predictable. Though maverick, chatty, expressive recruiters might think they have the whole sales process handled the evidence doesn’t confirm this
My experience of thousands of recruiters over the years is that those who use a specific sales process consistently achieve better results.
Remember recruitment consulting is just that. It’s about consultation. It is a complex sale rather than a transactional one.
A process I have personally used for years is based around SPIN selling by Neil Rackham. What I like about his process is it’s based on data and research from some of the top sales people across the globe.
The key is consistent implementation and where you have a team, followed by review and coaching by your billing managers.
Is that it; you might ask? Well the reality is doing the basics works. The trouble is in today’s business environment it is easy to get distracted. Lose direction and go off piste.
Goal setting, crunching numbers, pipeline management and selling skills might not be the sexist things on our to do list. However I guarantee they will be the biggest predictor of your revenue growth. If you are not able to hold yourself accountable, then find someone that will – i.e. a coach that can hold your feet to the fire when you need it or join a group of like minded people who are in the same situation as you are to support and mentor you. If this is something that you need – we have a couple of places left in our £750k Billing Blueprint programme – click here to see what it’s all about.
Want to find out more about how to manage you team to deliver more ? If the answer is yes watch my free webinar – ‘The 6 Step System to Convert Your Under Performers to High Billers in 14 days or Less’