Corporate BuzzSunday, October 03, 2021
LET'S TALK TALENT
What qualities do you look for in your sales recruits?
Knowing which qualities to look for when recruiting sales professionals is as important as using the correct tools to verify whether or not your selected candidates truly possess these qualities. Learn more in our article “The Sales Recruiting Eye” in this publication.
HR TIPS FOR MANAGING STAFF DURING LOCKDOWN
● Talk with your team about the importance of keeping well mentally and physically whilst working remotely. Include set times to exercise, take regular breaks to stretch and go outside in the fresh air.
● Encourage employees to maintain daily routines and habits, for example, consider wearing work clothes and make-up while still at home. Start working at the same time as normal. Arranging a packed lunch as normal.
●Ensure employees are familiar with the communication tools chosen by the company to keep in touch eg, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Trello, etc.
Delta Capital Partners Ltd
Q. Who do you look up to for inspiration for mentorship?
A. Many people have inspired me, including some business leaders as well as family and friends who wouldn't normally be given credit.
My favourite business leader is definitely Gordon ''Butch'' Stewart who I admire because of his vision and tenacity. He wasn't led by others and wasn't swayed by what others would say or think. Instead, he had his own strong views and wasn't afraid to take risks and put himself on the line for the greater good of the people he served, even if that made him unpopular. I admire his difference and his edginess — when he did things he did them big or not at all. That's something I try to emulate in my life.
I also credit my mother who is my number one fan and is ALWAYS there for me, and my father — they have both been great inspirations in my life. My father shared so many important insights with me without even realising their life-changing impact. When I decided to leave law school, for example, I was so worried that he'd be upset and disappointed in me, yet in fact his reaction was the complete opposite. Instead, he said he'd never force me to do anything that made me unhappy; however, he encouraged me to be the best at whatever I chose to do, no matter which path that decision took me down. That's something I'll never forget.
Another inspiration to me is an old friend of mine named Mark. Even from our teenage years he was the life of the party with a positive energy surrounding him. He once told me that he didn't care what other people said about him, it would never stop him from being himself. I learned an important lesson from that.
I've also been inspired by artistes and DJs, especially those from the dancehall genre. I see musicians as contemporary philosophers, explaining life in a creative and entertaining way. There are many things that I've only learned from listening to and playing music, and dancehall is an inspiration to me because it's a form of expression that has not only brought joy to the world, but that has also created many opportunities for people.
Q. Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
A. The simple answer is my family. I've been happily married for 25 years and have two amazing daughters that I'm very proud of. Maintaining a family is hard in today's world, but we've grown in love and support of each other and take great pride in each other's accomplishments. I'd give up everything else in my life if it was the only way to maintain that close and loving relationship with my family.
Q. Which is the most important business risk you've had to take and why?
A. My first big risk was leaving law school. It just wasn't for me and I didn't enjoy what I was doing. That decision changed my life's trajectory. The other risk was deciding to leave corporate Jamaica. I was tired of working for others and wanted to embrace a new challenge so I decided to work for myself.
Q. What advice would you give to somebody who has to decide whether to take a risk?
A. You have to be able to do a proper risk assessment. What is the potential downside of the decision? What are the impacts on your health? Your family? Your physical and mental well-being? What is the potential victory and goal at the end of the day? The best entrepreneurs are those who can clearly see the upside potential of a risk and stay focused towards achieving it even when facing obstacles along the way.
Q. How do you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
A. I have to first continue improving myself. I assess what my areas of weakness are and the opportunities for development on a personal level. Once I can continue to grow, then I will be in a better position to lead. Understanding how I can communicate more effectively enables me to better shape, guide and mould others because as a leader my number one role is allowing the people I lead to become the best versions of themselves.
Q. How do you go about aligning your organisation with your vision and mission?
A. By ensuring everyone is involved in the process of creating that vision and mission. We all need to work together to set a vision rather than relying on me telling others what needs to be done. Communication is just as important as the vision itself —learning how best to communicate with everyone in the organisation in a relatable way.
Q. Which three books would you recommend to an aspiring CEO?
A. I'd recommend Mindset by Carol S Dweck which is about developing a growth mindset and adjusting communication styles; How Successful People Think by John Maxwell, which gives insights on different levels of leadership and Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, which is about why only 20 per cent of individuals achieve their true potential and how you can achieve yours.
Q. What are the most important attributes for a successful leader to have?
A. Empathy — the ability to walk in someone else's shoes and see it from their perspective.
Self-awareness — being able to see how you come across to others and use that information to be the best version of yourself.
Flexibility and adaptability — there's no shame in changing your mind. The best leaders aren't fixed in their mindset.
Focus — being focused on your goal despite difficulties and without giving up. The one thing I'd say that successful people have in common is not giving up. Those who give up don't make it to the top.
HR THINK TANK
MANAGING THE DOWNSIDE OF REMOTE TRAINING
Although training remotely offers a host of benefits, it's important to remember that there are pros and cons to every style of learning. While the many advantages of e-training shouldn't be overlooked, you should bear in mind that it isn't without its challenges, and these should be borne in mind and mitigated for when adopting a remote training model.
# 1 - Irrelevant or unrealistic experiences
Creating virtual experiences which have relevance to the participants' interests, work environments and career trajectories is paramount, or learners are sure to find that these virtual environments fail to resonate with them. One problem which can often arise is that some providers of e-learning training often put too much focus on theoretical knowledge instead of practical skills, and this results in dull sessions that lack interactivity. This could lead to a lack of engagement with training. Although it's more difficult to implement practical projects when learning online, it's important to take the time to do this rather than relying solely on theoretical lectures in order to keep learners motivated and engaged.
# 2 - Poor communication
With traditional face-to-face training, it's quite easy to communicate effectively, but without this physical contact it can be difficult to stay in touch with learners. No in-person communication with participants can lead to inhibited learner feedback, while learners themselves can feel socially isolated. Finding alternative communication methods is, therefore, vital, and this can be done by implementing video chats, messaging chat rooms and discussion boards to mitigate the negative impact of limited face-to-face communication.
# 3 - Low motivation
When learners are required to train online without being physically present, low motivation can be a problem. Traditional learning environments push learners to achieve their goals, with in-person contact with others working to keep them on track while they learn. In the online training environment, learners have less pressure to stay on the ball, and while this reduced pressure can be a good thing, it can lead to poor focus and a lack of knowledge retention. Online training courses must, therefore, involve engaging and interactive activities that involve collaboration between learners so that everyone can stay onboard despite not being physically in the same room.
# 4 - Technical problems
Unfortunately, the online training environment can be fraught with technical issues that can impact negatively on the quality of training that learners receive. Network problems, bandwidth glitches and signal issues can all lead to learners dropping out of training from time to time and missing valuable content. If learners have poor-quality equipment — for example, an older mobile device or an outdated laptop — they may find it hard to access all elements of the training effectively. If using a microphone or webcam is required, learners who lack the necessary equipment will be at a major disadvantage. Furthermore, those with slower devices may struggle to keep up the pace of online learning. It's important for training courses to be designed with these potential issues in mind so that they can be mitigated and prepared for in advance.
Although there are a few problems that are associated with online training, it's clear that the advantages can outweigh the disadvantages when these issues are planned for in advance and mitigated effectively.
THE SALES RECRUITING EYE
Do you have the eye for hiring the right sales professionals?
If you ask many sales managers or recruiting managers how they go about finding the right sales talent, they will tell you that salespersons are different, they must have the drive, they must be hungry to make money, and they must have good interpersonal skills. To confirm these qualities exist, sales and recruiting managers conduct the typical interview with a couple sales leaning questions or roleplays, and from that choose their candidate. Sounds like they know exactly what they are looking for, right?
Six months down the road and the new sales hire is underperforming, consideration is being made to extend the probation period again! It becomes painfully clear to the sales manager that we do not have the right fit. This is what happens for about 50 per cent of the sales hires that are made. It's a recruiting strategy that is built on hope, and it is ineffective as well as immensely costly.
So, let us go back to the beginning and start with the same question. What are you looking for in a sales professional? How do you find the right sales talent?
The answer is: You are looking for people who have the right attitude/will to sell, the right sales DNA strengths, and core technical and tactical selling competencies that are aligned to your specific sales role. To find these attributes, qualities, skills, and competencies, you need to have the right screening tool. Too often we use generic, adopted, one-size-fits-all processes and assessments such as psychometric, aptitude or behavioural tests to screen for all the varying sales requirements that we have. They simply don't do the job.
GETTING IT RIGHT
There is a scientific approach to hiring sales professionals that can simplify the recruiting process. It begins with clarifying/defining the specification for the sales role. We then compare each applicant to the requirements of that role to determine their compatibility in your organisation. The final step is to scientifically assess the candidate's core sales DNA, technical and tactical competencies, strengths and skills.
The reality is that it is difficult if not impossible to look at any salesperson and rank or rate their ability. This is so because there are critical non-technical skills that are just as vital as the technical ones, that we can't see or unearth in interviews. Fortunately, by using a little science, we can measure them.
The TGL Sales Candidate Assessment is the eye-opener to all that sales and recruiting managers have been overlooking, when it comes to hiring sales professionals. It measures the 21 main selling competencies for sales success, including the 10 “silent killers”. We refer to them as silent killers, because unlike technical skills like hunting, which can be visually seen and assessed, these competencies are hidden.
We can end the frustration and stop the endless cycle of guessing, hoping and hiring the wrong people. Learn how today.
Anissea Bremmer is the Head of Recruiting at TGL sales Recruiting, and the leading sales recruiter in the region. She employs the world's # 1 sales candidate assessment framework and recruiting process to identify and onboard strong sales reps for companies across diverse industries. Contact her a email@example.com
KEEPING EMPLOYEES ENGAGED IN A LOCKDOWN
The pandemic has brought significant changes to the working environment for both managers and employees. Now more than ever supporting your people is important. They need your help to adapt to the ever-changing environment as well as to find and maintain their energy, purpose and resilience in the face of challenges.
Stress, anxiety, sadness, social isolation, concern for family and friends, distractions at home, concerns for learning to use new technologies are but some of the challenges faced by our team members working remotely.
Some strategies to assist our team to deal with these challenges are outlined in this article.
Lead by example
As leaders, how you maintain your own well being affects your ability to lead and manage your team. As such it is vital that you take care of your mental and physical health – exercise, meditate, rest, eat healthy and drink plenty of water daily. Have a support system that you can talk with on a regular basis. Take a two-pronged approach to the crisis by acknowledging any stress and anxiety faced by employees, but also being a beacon of hope and positivity. Affirm confidence in your team daily, use phrases such as “we got this” or “lets focus on winning the day”. With this mindset, employees are more likely to take up the challenge with a sense of purpose and focus.
Create a team plan
Create and share a plan for your team prior to the lock down. This plan will help to prevent any misunderstandings that may arise when people no longer see each other in the workplace. The plan should clearly outline communication requirements and responsibilities. Your plan should also encourage employees to maintain daily routines and habits, for example consider wearing work clothes and make-up while still at home. Start working at the same time as normal. Arranging a pack lunch as normal.
Incorporate remote employee training programme
Learning must never cease because of remote work. Incorporate virtual sessions, webinars, digital conferences to engage and develop your employees. Learning through these remote programs can be interactive and just as exciting as face-to-face.
Recently the TGL School of Sales and Sales Management was able to add value to over 200 Sales Professional Island wide through a series of training webinars. We were able to utilize the no-movement days to engage and challenge sales professionals to be their best.
Finally, we are all navigating this lockdown and trying to find new ways to work. As we pivot to stay successful in business, let us always remember to take care of our team.
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel – Maya Angelou