Archive for June, 2010

Adding sales people to your IT company (Part I)

June 19, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

If  you’ve spent even one hour with me you know how maniacal I get about the necessity for sales people in your organization.  Aside from my direct clients I usually only have limited time to talk to people about their business so I try to leave them with something to go home and think about.  Invariably that topic will be the importance of getting a sales person on your team.

Now, I’ll admit I’m not the most calm and relaxed guy about your business.  You don’t want me to be.  I am going to passionately deliver my message to you about how I think you can increase your top and bottom line.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to do it.  However, if you choose to add a sales person let’s keep a few things straight:

1. Save 3 months of base salary for your sales person before you even place your ad.  You will make better decisions if you are about to draw from your cash that you’ve saved for this purpose.

2. Don’t even think about hiring a sales person until you’ve committed at least 10 hours a week of YOUR time to manage, coach, and train this individual.  YOU must be the one to get them excited about your company and work closely with them on setting the proper activity levels and expected outcomes.  Don’t cop out and say “i shouldn’t have to micro manage.”  That’s BS and you’re talking non sense.  Sales people need boundaries and guidance.  Give it to them!

3.  For the love of all things holy, please don’t give me an aneurysm by making the following mistakes; hiring at the first interview, not having a compensation plan IN WRITING TO PRESENT AT THE TIME OF OFFER,  not verifying references, not having a 90 day plan.

Sales people are tough to find, train, and hire.  We know this.  Don’t keep hiring your first sales person over and over again making the same mistakes.  Have a plan, stick to the plan, the plan works.

In Part II I’m going to give you some real world and current examples of my friends and clients going through this process right now.  I’ll protect their identity  to spare their ego, though I should make them public to shame them into doing the right thing next time!

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Job Descriptions

June 18, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

When I start working with a new client it doesn’t take long to start hearing about the “bad” employees. The ones that just won’t enter their time, complain about their pay or simply don’t perform well.

It’s now cliche and expected to have owners fall on their swords and “accept” responsibility for the poor performance of their employee. There are enough management books and gurus out there that most owners know that bad employees usually mean bad managers. The trick is what they are willing to do about this situation.

Let’s go over the basics of a job description:
1. Minimum qualifications (objective measures of suitability for the role)
2. Essential duties of the role (what percentage of your time will be spent in different aspects of the position)
3. Measurements of accountability (what specific achievements need to be met in order for your staff to know they are successful)

Very simple document to put together. Have one for every role in your company. Don’t put out another employment ad without one. Don’t hire another employee without presenting the job description.

Your employees want these documents! Your candidates crave the definition of the position they are applying for. Your managers want to create the guidelines for the positions.