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Founder @ Avenue Talent Partners l Strategic Advisor l Keynote Speaker
Salespeople churn is almost 3x more than any other job role – making the B2B sales job hunt competitive and challenging for both hiring managers and job seekers.
With turnover at an all-time high, there has to be a better way to make hiring decisions and improve your hiring hit rate… And there is.
Enter the sales hiring scorecard for your sales team. Amy Volas breaks down why a sales-specific hiring scorecard works, what it is, what metrics to track, how to collaborate with HR, and how to use it to keep your A-team together in this episode of Closing Time.
In today’s competitive B2B sales job market, the demand for sales reps is sky-high. Sales leaders are constantly on the lookout for top talent and then battling to retain them.
The startling statistic is that salespeople churn almost three times more than any other profession.
Why? First, there’s an issue with supply and demand. There simply aren’t enough qualified individuals to fill all the available roles. Then comes the competency factor – once hired, are these candidates truly the right fit for the job? Often, there’s a disconnect. Underqualified candidates struggle to adapt to a job role they may not be comfortable in, resulting in high turnover.
For hiring managers, HR teams play a crucial role in sourcing candidates, but they’re usually generalists. They don’t have the same sales experience or knowledge to truly identify the most qualified candidates. Amy recommends sales leaders step in and play a more active role early in the hiring process.
In sales, there’s a wide array of roles – enterprise, SMB, inbound, outbound, channel, and more. Recognizing the nuances within various sales roles is vital. While they all fall under the sales umbrella, they are distinct in their requirements and responsibilities. Ensure your job description reflects these nuances and provides context into the specific role you are hiring for. Then, adapt your hiring process accordingly – an outbound SDR should be screened differently than an enterprise account executive.
Shiny Object Syndrome is when the ego takes the wheel, steering career decisions towards superficial attractions like money, titles, or an enticing vision. Amy believes that, in sales, the goal isn’t to sell someone on a role; it’s about achieving alignment. This alignment, according to her, is key to long-term career satisfaction.
Whether you’re a sales leader, a sales development representative (SDR), or somewhere in between, knowing your unique value proposition is crucial. Shiny Object Syndrome often takes hold when you’re content in your current role, but external influences make you question your choices.
One common symptom of Shiny Object Syndrome is chasing a higher salary. Why stay where you are when you can make a 20% salary jump by changing jobs? It’s all too easy to be lured away from a stable position, only to discover that the new company has a high turnover rate, unrealistic expectations, or other issues you didn’t consider.
Leaders, too, can fall victim to Shiny Object Syndrome. They might jump ship for the promise of equity, a prestigious title, or a fatter paycheck without evaluating crucial factors like product-market fit, leadership dynamics, or their ability to make a meaningful impact.
To steer clear of Shiny Object Syndrome, Amy advocates for the use of a scorecard in the hiring process. This tool helps both employers and candidates make informed decisions based on a comprehensive assessment of the role and its fit with their career goals.
The scorecard is a straightforward yet powerful tool. It begins with self-reflection, especially for experienced leaders. You’ve been around the block, learned from successes and failures, and know what excites you and what doesn’t. All of these experiences matter, and you’ll want to document them on your scorecard.
Amy suggests asking yourself key questions. When do you feel you’re doing your best work? When do you dread your tasks? What does it feel like to be in sync with your team? These answers reveal patterns and themes that become the criteria for your scorecard (see an example of Amy’s scorecard for job seekers below).
Amy emphasizes the value of journaling as part of this process. Her method involves answering five consistent questions over two to three weeks, with no peeking back at previous entries. Highlight common themes to build your scorecard’s criteria. This method helps you quantify and qualify important factors like leadership and culture.
Before embarking on a job search, Amy recommends applying your current or most recent role to the scorecard to establish a benchmark. The goal is to ensure that any potential move is at least equal to or greater than your current situation.
During interviews, it’s easy to get seduced by visionary statements. The scorecard acts as your compass, helping you stay true to what’s essential to you. If an employer’s “right things” don’t align with your “right things,” it becomes clear where to focus your questions during the interview process.
In essence, the Sales Hiring Scorecard removes subjectivity from the hiring process. It quantifies and qualifies the aspects that matter most to you. This structured approach empowers job seekers to make informed decisions and ensures hiring managers find candidates who align with their company’s values and expectations.
Amy’s Sales Hiring Scorecard method has proven to be a game-changer in the hiring process. Here’s why it’s so beneficial:
Reduces Errors: The scorecard approach removes emotion from the equation, offering a pragmatic, quantitative, and qualitative perspective. This means better decision-making with reduced room for error.
Impressive Results: Amy and her clients have embraced this method, leading to a remarkable 98% offer acceptance rate. Moreover, their turnover rates are significantly lower than industry averages.
Long-Term Commitment: Amy’s clients tend to stay for the long haul, far surpassing the typical 16 to 24 months seen in leadership roles.
Universal Applicability: Amy’s scorecard methodology isn’t limited to sales roles; it’s applicable to any job position. Whether you’re a hiring manager or a job seeker aiming for a promotion or a different role, this method can benefit you.
Where to Access the Scorecard: To help you implement this powerful tool, Amy offers a hiring scorecard. Whether you’re a VP, a founder, or anyone else involved in hiring, this resource is available. Additionally, if you’re a job seeker exploring new opportunities or aspiring to climb the career ladder, this tool is equally valuable.
Learn more about the sales scorecard for hiring managers and job seekers on Avenue Talent Partners’ website.
Hey, sales leaders.. Want to improve your hit rate?
We’re going to help you out in this episode of Closing Time.
Welcome to Closing Time to show for go-to-market leaders.
I’m Val Riley, head of content marketing at Insightly.
I’m joined today by Amy Volas.
She’s a strategic advisor,
LP at Stage 2 Capital, and owner of Avenue Talent Partners.
She’s also personally closed more than $100 million in business. Wow.
Welcome to the show, Amy.
Thanks for having me back.. I’m excited to be here.
Let’s dig into it because competition for sales reps
feels like it’s at an all time high and turnover is rampant.
It used to be that a sales leader maybe had a period of hiring and then maybe not.
But now it seems like every sales leader is always hiring.
It’s something that’s deeply troubling to me, Val, it’s
this problem that is all the way around the table.
And what I mean by that is, we have a supply versus demand issue
where there aren’t enough of us to do the role.
So we have the supply side.
Then there’s the demand side.
There are more jobs than there are people to do the roles.
And then you have the competency side
of, well, now that I’ve hired you.
Are you the right person for the role?
Did I hire right?. And chances are
there is a discrepancy there, and then we have a turnover problem.
So I’m having a hard time finding you.
Once I get you, I’m having a hard time keeping you.
And then once I lose you, that’s a really big problem.
And it can be a seven figure problem.
And so the troubling stat that I’ve seen is, salespeople churn
almost three times more than any other function in the marketplace.
And that’s a really big problem.
So we have a lot to talk about. Yeah.
So obviously you have a solid HR
team and they’re helping you source candidates.
But the HR team, they tend to be generalists.
So at some point their expertise ends and then you’re the sales leader
and then you’ve got to start screening the candidates.
Yeah, I think
that’s one of the biggest points to
being a sales leader is, what are you doing from a hiring perspective?
It’s a big part of your job that doesn’t go away.
Even if you don’t have an open req, because to your point,
having support from an HR function is a big deal.
But to your other point, they’re more generalist, and the thing about sales,
there are lots of different flavors of sales folk out there.
So are we talking about enterprise or are we talking about SMB?
Are we talking about inbound?
Are we talking about outbound?. Are we talking about channel?
Are we talking… I mean, the list goes on and on and on.
And most times folks will go out to LinkedIn.
They’ll do a simple keyword search or they’ll post up a job
that will all be driven by keywords.
And what are the words: sales,. Presidents Club,
B2B, SaaS, and then you look for the growth numbers, right?
So what did you do?
And there isn’t really a good ability
to understand the context behind those statements.
And that’s where there’s alignment or not.
And I find that the alignment piece is the thing around
whether you get it right or you don’t get it right.
Those different roles that you talked about are so nuanced
and they come under this giant
sales umbrella, but really they are extremely different.
You talk about something called shiny object syndrome.
What does that mean and how does it apply here?
Well, I’m a recovering shinyaholic.
So what it means is, when you let your ego start driving the bus
and you discount or discard all of the other elements
that are really important to making a good career decision.
And so what I mean by that is
some of the shiniest objects are money
or title or the vision that you’re sold on.
And this is a big conversation that I have with my clients.
There’s a lot of rhetoric for them.
Your job is to sell somebody on the role.. I’m like, no, it’s not.
Your job is not to sell somebody on anything.
Your job is to achieve alignment.
People do not expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you
to be honest so that they know what they’re walking into.
Same rules apply for somebody that is interviewing,
whether you’re a sales leader, or you are an SDR or somewhere
in the middle of those two big statements or anything else.
It could be marketing, it could be product.
I don’t care.
When you are clear about what you bring to the table,
what you’re good at, what your superpowers are, et cetera, et cetera,
then achieve that alignment.. But the shiny object syndrome is,
I am OK at my job,
I’m humming along in my role
and all of a sudden I’m reading all this content on LinkedIn about
it’s the great resignation and all of these companies are horrible.
I’m going to stick it to the man and you’re fine
where you are, but you’re your
your colleagues or your friends are talking about their experience,
and that starts rubbing off on you and then that starts getting in your head.
And then they start telling you, guess what?
I went and I got $40,000 more in my base and you’re like, Wait,
I should be able to get that too.
I’m doing good at my job.. What do you mean?
What is this?
And then you start interviewing when all along the way you’ve been doing
fine in your role.
And then because you’re grabbing on to their story
and it’s not your story, you’re now chasing more money.
did you know or realize that this company has a revolving door of turnover
because the more money you get, the bigger the expectation there is on you.
And so you didn’t quantify or qualify the work.
The expectation. What’s really happening behind the scenes, the leadership, product
market fit all these other things that it takes to be really good in your role.
And you left something good that you worked your tail feather off
to establish for $40,000 more of a big headache
where you are not going to make your OTE because it didn’t go well.
And the same rules apply for leadership, right?
So depending on whose study
that you read, leaders stick around anywhere between 16 to 24 months.
That’s a problem, especially in enterprise sales.
So if you’re just going for more equity
the money but those other things
and what I mean by the other things, product-market fit, leadership.
Do you have a seat at the table?
Do you have the ability to be enabled to do your job
or are you dealing with a founder that doesn’t let you do your job. Right?
These are things that you’ve really got to confirm.
And so for me personally, the shiny object was money
I went, I got seduced by a big, big bump.
And I remember on day one
I called my husband crying being like,. What did I get into?
And as a result of that, when I knew that I had gotten myself
into a really bad situation and left a really good one as a result,
and the only person that I had to blame was me for it, I vowed to myself
that I would never do it again, and I never did do it again.
But I had to figure out a way to not have that happen.
And that’s why I’m so outspoken about the power of a scorecard,
both on the hiring side and both on the interview candidate side.
Let’s dig into the scorecard, because I really feel like
this is a tactical thing that our sales leaders
that are watching can learn a lot from.. What’s the format and how does it work?
So the scorecard comes from taking a hard
look in your own mirror, meaning, you know yourself, and especially leaders,
this isn’t your first rodeo.
You’ve learned a thing or two, you’ve mastered a thing or two.
Let’s be real, you’ve messed up more than a thing or two.
And you know what you’re good at.
You know when you’re excited, you know when you’re operating on all cylinders
and you know when you don’t want to be doing it.
And that’s OK.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
All of that stuff carries weight.
So when you feel like you’re doing your best work, how do you describe that?
When you are doing a deep eye roll because you’d rather be anywhere else
than in that moment,
how do you describe that?
When you feel like you’re simpatico with your executive team,
with your comrades that you have to do this thing with,
you’re not on your own island,
what does that look like?
How do you describe those things?
And then you look for the patterns and the themes. And those patterns and themes
equal the criteria that then get baked into the scorecard.
So I’m a huge fan of the power of a journal.
I have a very specific methodology that I use to journal,
and we can drop that as a link, Val, for anybody that’s joining us
and basically it’s listening to yourself over the course of two to three weeks.
You can’t look back.
You ask yourself the same five questions, you take a highlighter,
you start looking for the common themes, and that’s what
you start dumping into your scorecard.
And each one of those things carries weight
so that you can quantify and qualify.
So if I say leadership, because now. I’ve seen the patterns, I can quantify
and qualify what that big broad brush stroke of leadership means to me.
If I say culture, I can now quantify and quantify what that big,
broad brush stroke of culture means to me.
So all of those things go into the scorecard so that then
the very first thing that I do in the scorecard,
I put my existing gig or my most recent
gig through the scorecard so that I have a benchmark, right?
Because I’m a big fan of, if you’re going to go somewhere, it has to be equal.
That’s the very least, equal or greater to where you are.
So that you can continue to grow and thrive
and accelerate your career in whatever way, shape or form you wish to.
You know, some people say. I’m a VP of Sales now I want to be CRO.
Some people say, I’m VP of Sales now I want to be SVP of Sales later.
Some people say I’m VP of Sales now, I want to be a CEO one day.
All of those different paths mean something,
but you have got to anchor yourself on what’s important to you
and have weight to that so that when you’re interviewing
you don’t get seduced by the big visionary statements
that somebody can make you to say,
If you do all the right things, we’ll take care of you.
Well, what exactly does that mean?
And what is the work that it takes to do the right things?
And then listen for, here are my eight things on my scorecard.
They’re talking about the right things.
Their right things are none of my right things.
And you can use that as your guide of what to drill into
through the interview process.
And if something’s missing,
before you ever accept anything, you can double back and say White Flag.
Before I make a decision,. I really need to understand this.
If it’s not you that I need to understand this with, who might that be?
So it sounds like we’re maybe removing some of the subjectivity
in hiring, making it more quantifiable.
So in your experience, how has this scorecard method
maybe improved your process?
It reduces the margin for error because you’re taking the emotion out
and you’re taking a very pragmatic
and qualitative and quantitative view to it.
So I get to see it from my lens.
It’s what I use in my business.
Our candidates use it, our clients use it, and as a result,
we have a 98% offer acceptance ratio.
We also do not see the same turnover rates with our clients.
In the last seven years that I’ve had my company,
we’ve had less than five people turnover
within the statistics that we see.
What is that, the 16 to 24 months?. They’re staying for the longer haul.
I’m proud of that.
Those statistics really speak for themselves
Amy, thank you so much for sharing the scorecard exercise with us.
Is there something we can link out to our
to our listeners so that they can learn how to do it?
There is, we have a hiring scorecard.
So for any of our VPs that are listening
or if there are founders that are listening or anybody else.
So my scorecard methodology is applicable to any kind of role.
It’ll just say VP of Sales.
So if you’re hiring, we have that.
And if you are a candidate and you’re looking or you’re even thinking
about looking or you’re considering or you’re going for a promotion
or a different kind of job, this applies to you as well.
And we’ll have both of those links that we can support you with.
This has been great. Amy, thank you so much for joining us.
You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.
That’s it for this episode of Closing Time.
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