“I’m having a tough time recruiting. If you know anyone good, send them my way.”
I hear this consistently across the hundreds of radio and TV stations I work with. Why are we having such a hard time retaining and recruiting talent?
Anyone who has been in the profession for more than a few years knows the business has changed. As an industry, what have we done to help sales professionals adapt?
In an immediate-gratification society, how have we helped sales professionals accept a sales process that doesn’t always result in an immediate sale? Or what tools have we provided to shorten the duration of that sales cycle?
With so many focuses – digital, mobile, events, features, podcasts, sponsorships, short duration units, playoff games, Olympics, endorsements, podcasts, advertorials, video pre-roll – how have we helped our sales teams manage and prioritize those targets?
Making the most of our time for positive results
When, as an industry, we get frustrated that our teams haven’t fully embraced digital, what training have we provided to help them sort through the various assets and applications? Did we roll out a new package or a new concept, train the team, and assume everyone “got it” on the first try? Or did we follow up with ongoing training and share successes and best practices?
When our sales professionals don’t set enough new appointments, do we assume they’re just not working? Have we acknowledged that business owners have more pressure and less time than ever before? Have we equipped our sales professionals with ideas, articles, research, and resources that give them enough material to break through to prospects?
What about our own time? Do we make coaching a priority? Do we focus our efforts on maximizing our best talent or do we fall into the trap of spending most of our time managing our C players up or out? Do we attend client calls so we can see what’s working and where our sales professionals need help? The best athletes have coaches that maximize their talent. Are we providing constructive and specific feedback for our sales professionals?
Smart investments are winning investments
Without question, sales professionals can – and SHOULD – invest in their own careers. And by the way, sales professionals: If your company is providing you with tools and you’re not using them, time to step up. You don’t know how lucky you are – don’t waste those gifts! But when we lament that we can’t find good people, perhaps we should also ask “what systems and support are we providing to attract and retain good people?”
We must find the courage to invest in technology, systems, and resources to support our sales talent. Yes, I said courage. Because we often have to fight for investments in our people. But I would submit that when we invest in great sales resources, we’ll have an easier time attracting and retaining great sales talent. And I would also submit that we can’t afford to wait another day. Our future success depends on our current investments in talent.
Erin Callaghan is the Director – Enterprise Partnerships at Futuri Media.