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How to build your tech sales team amid the Great Resignation (Part 1)

September 30, 2021

How to build your tech sales team amid the Great Resignation (Part 1)
Some troubling reports indicate up to 50% of employees said they’ll be looking for another job as the world hits a new normal. By the time you read this, many of them will already be gone.
 
No industry seems to be immune from the Great Resignation—especially tech sales, where the shelf life of top talent was already short before the pandemic. Factor in the unique skills required to sell subscriptions and other financial solutions, and tech companies are in a panic.
 
But there’s hope. Companies that do the work are already attracting and maintaining a high-performing sales staff, despite more opportunities than ever to leave. We asked how and found these answers:
 
Don’t just hire “box pushers”
If you throw enough money at candidates, you’ll get them. That, of course, doesn’t mean you’ll get quality employees to take your sales to the next level. Although it takes extra work, it’s well worth the time to focus on talent that has these three skills, all of which overlap:
 
  • Consultative: These salespeople are willing to focus first and foremost on what the customer is trying to achieve, not just throwing a solution at the end user.
  • Business acumen: Beyond pushing boxes, this individual has the acumen to become an extension of their end users. They sell financing, solve problems and focus on outcomes, not quick fixes.
  • Able to articulate: Connecting the dots between complex concepts and simple solutions for the client.
Identify pent-up demand
In the early stages of the pandemic, most employees felt “lucky to still have a job.” Then, in the middle of it all, many were looking but reluctant to a move amid uncertainty. Now, global workforces have reassessed what they want from an employer. After getting a taste of remote capabilities, many employees are demanding better integration between work and life, including flexible work schedules and hybrid or full-time remote working. Perhaps the most difficult talent to maintain are those reassessing what’s important to them—collecting a paycheck or finding fulfillment. The savviest HR teams are currently surveying their talent to identify flight risks and unhappy employees. (Those that don’t could be in trouble.)
 
Be proactive, never passive
Being proactive sounds obvious, but that’s not how companies traditionally dealt with sales talent. If a need came up to scale, they recruited. If it didn’t, they were passive and stood pat. Today, companies need to proactively look for people before they need them. The first step is to simply look at your typical turnover and add a multiplier to that number.
 
Of course, this strategy doesn’t end with candidates out in the street. If you’re not recruiting your own best performers, you’re the only one who isn’t. It’s critical to proactively (not passively) retain your best salespeople. Ask your staff questions. Take their temperature with “stay interviews.” Don’t wait for top talent to ask for a raise—they may never do it. If you haven’t conducted stay interviews, questions may include:
 
  • What do you look forward to each day at work?
  • What do you NOT look forward to?
  • What are you learning with us, and what do you want to learn?
Read Part 2 of this blog series that takes on the Great Resignation.
 
Ready to talk tech sales help, annuities or general financing? Ingram Micro’s financial solutions team can help you win with your clients.
 

 

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