If you could help your company increase it’s sales and profits and look like a superstar at the same time would you do it? I am amazed at how shortsighted most human resource and recruitment organizations are when it comes to helping their companies win more business. Sure these organizations help to hire and fire employees but are they part of the business strategy ? No, for the most part it’s rare to see a lot of innovation coming from these two groups as it relates to a company making more money.
So, if your one of the enlightened few, how can you help your company make more money?
First, ask to meet with the leaders of the sales teams at your company. By letting them know your there to help them increase their sales, you will most likely get some time on their busy calendar. Hopefully you have their respect and confidence already as they will need to share key account information with you. Start by asking which are the key strategic accounts that they are trying to win all or most of the business from and what is stopping them from winning that business. In many cases from my experience the key reason another company has the business is due to relationships salespeople have with the key account. So pay attention to what the sales executives and the follow up’s with their sales people tell you. If it’s about price or product selection move on but if the issue is one of relationships, pay even more attention and get ready to pull the “Switch and Sell”. If the key reason your company is not winning the account is another companies salesperson and their great relationship with that key account it’s time to pull a “Switch and Sell”.
A “Switch and Sell” is when you find that salesperson another job other than the one they currently have that’s causing your company a loss of revenue. The key here is who cares who hires them as long as the client account is open to your own salesperson.
The way to make a “Switch and Sell” work is to work hard to market this non-employee to other employers who are looking for that kind of talent. Sure your company could be the potential employer (if legally they could work for you) but look much broader than that because it’s all about giving your company a chance to increase it’s sales, so time is of the essence. So try the following:
- Develop a profile on the competitor salesperson using social media, etc and have the candidates contact information readily available.
- Make a list of all the potential employers you could approach about hiring this individual (suppliers, partners, co-petitors, etc..) as well as indirect competitors. It’s key to develop this network so that you share resources on an ongoing basis and that it can be leveraged for situations like this.
- Provide the details of the salesperson to that network, letting them know you tried to hire them but they were not interested, so that’s why your making them available to your network.
- Keep tabs on progress so you can alert your salesperson of the opportunity once the other salesperson has accepted an offer elsewhere.
Over the years, I have run this tactic many times with huge results (see: https://attackdefenddisrupt.wordpress.com/2011/09/08/how-nortel-networks-beat-cisco/). That’s why I am so amazed that no other HR practitioners are using it. With a well thought strategy and a well-developed network your company will be increasing it’s sales and your HR and recruiting team will become a valuable partner to the business executives. So start looking at using the “Switch and Sell” and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me about your progress or if you have any questions that I can help you with in executing this strategy.