As we talk to companies still reeling and dealing with the changes in their commercial efforts required by the pandemic, they often ask who we should be hiring, not just today, but for the future of sales. There is no doubt, the skills required to be successful in remote selling are a bit different, yet most can be developed. And while there is a current move toward specialization in selling along certain portions of the sales pipeline (ie, presells, revenue optimization and client retention), there will be a time where many return to a full cycle sales agent.
In our podcast, Talent+Talks, we always ask our guests how they are recruiting for their teams. IN this week’s episode, Stop Leading with Your Pitch, James Carbary, the man behind Sweet FISH Media, gives us a great deal to think about when he shares how he hires.
Get Clear on Your Values
For about a decade before the crush of COVID, most major life sciences companies were once again getting serious about their mission, vision and value statements, amplifying them in their work. Just before the pandemic hit, however, we saw many letting those fade back into being mere plaques archived on a wall in the hall, without much relevance. Some were even proud of the fact that weren’t spending much time on these. Business was GOOD!
Interestingly, as we have talked with thought leaders over this season, almost everyone who shares with us their thoughts on hiring has begun with some form of the statement, “They must share our values.”
Being aligned in this way just means a team will be most efficient, as, at their core, there will not be a certain discord that creates unnecessary tension. We all have to be careful here, as it is clear, we also do not want to hire clones. Diversity, in both life experience and thinking, is essential in helping a company always grow and expand its capabilities, and in doing so, expand the base of clients it serves.
Still, great hiring requires clarity around the non-negotiable intangibles of core values. Host a day or half-day workshop with your team to decide these essential elements, and then routinely model and celebrate them.
For James, his team hires to these three things:
Loving People Well
A constant and caring concern for others has served many we know quite well over the years. Still, companies often rail at using this word “LOVE” at work. Interestingly enough, a previous podcast was with Sam Parker, a man who built a company and prominent career around the idea of Loving Your People, focuses on doing that very thing. Even the military, famous for being quite tough on its “employees”, has embraced his teaching.
Those who know how to focus on the goals others hope to achieve, aspirations they hold and can find solutions to problems others face are the key drivers of an attention economy – the kind of economy we now operate in….Search for team members who, at their core, want to elevate the work and performance of others, helping clients and teammates alike become better, faster and stronger each day.
We might add, find those who are incredible passionate about, or love, what they do. Work, especially preeminent work, is all about putting your whole heart and soul into everything; it is about having a passionate obsession with excellence and mastery; it is about loving your customers, making them happy, and keeping their very best interest at the forefront of your mind.
The kind of employee who clearly loves their work and the team they operate with will manifest that passion for performance in high intentions, uncompromising devotion, sincere effort, intelligent planning and design, attention to detail, and skillful execution.
Put simply, hiring those who love what they do, expressing your company’s core strengths, is the calling card of greatness and the one certain way to ensure your company makes a tremendous mark on the world.
Never Stop Learning
A passion for learning and constant and continuous improvement is essential to ongoing customer preference for your services.
What we know can be built on every day. When not actively doing work, you must devise ways to apply what you have gleaned from success or failure, study new ways to do better work, or simply renew your knowledge of the basics. Put in that extra 3% that wins championships. That means finding new ways to bring solutions to more clients more quickly and more efficiently while helping your teammates do the same.
For this to happen, we all must rise to the challenge of continuously improving by seeking the wisdom necessary to win (product knowledge, competitive knowledge, etc.), continuously practice and prepare ourselves to be successful, then take the action necessary to dominate the marketplace.
In our current economies, the pace is fast and the landscape continuously changes. To keep up, we must refresh our skills and even, sometimes, reinvent our abilities. Accepting responsibility and accountability (next in his list) also means to accept the need for ongoing improvement to ensure disciplined thought and action become easy. Ultimate professionals, no matter the field, do this every day.
Think of the quarterback who is hired to throw TD’s on Sunday and lead his team to the Super Bowl. He is not only working on Sunday. Instead, for six of the seven days of the week, he is running drills for new plays and rehearsing the old; studying the films showing the weaknesses and strengths of his own team and those of his competitors; lifting weights to become stronger; running laps to be able to keep the pace and go into overtime if need be; spending time in his mind visualizing success and memorizing playbooks; all to ensure that when Sunday comes, he can deliver everything he has been hired to give.
Find those who continuously “sharpen the saw” — preparing to take action based on the attainment and correct use of knowledge – knowledge you must, as professionals, grow every day. Hire those who suck up ideas and latch onto the successes of others, then incorporate these things into the company’s wisdom.
Seek out those who have learned to stay vibrant, flexible, relevant, trend-forward and mentally alive throughout our work and in life, especially in these challenging and uncertain times. Identify those who have developed structures to discover how and why to change versus simply always operating in a response mode. Measure when they do, how well they have done it.
We are operating in a time of immense change, so seek those that are constantly learning and adapting throughout their lives, not just when forced into it.
Own the Result
The common core of all great teams is a profound awareness of the goals and an intense ownership of meeting and exceeding them. Hiring people that always take action to advance those goals, follow through on commitments and act as prudent stewards of corporate resources, to include time, is essential to sustained success.
Building a great future demands we hire those who are proactively managing themselves and their work effort. Seek out those who can make the greatest contribution to the team with the minimal amount of dire management. Then, while we expect they will develop themselves and embrace both self-reliance and initiative, spend time further enhancing their strengths to ensure they reach their Peak Potential.
To dominate current events and experience greater level of performance in our markets, we must first learn to hire well for the conditions. This is an elemental truth, and it depends on you becoming a clear on your corporate values, like it or not. This requires contemplative thought, a routine and hefty dose of humility, and the commitment to just get better every day.
To be a better company, hire better. To be a better leader, seek people who compliment and will grow the team. If you aspire to greater spheres of influence, there is only one way – become better at hiring than you were yesterday!
Pay special attention to the hiring patterns you that have led to success in the past and modify them for the above characteristics. Judicious, intentional hiring and a commitment to being better today than you were yesterday means you no longer draw the blinds on what the future holds, assuming we will return to normal – we will not.
Concentrate your energies on what needs developing in hiring and build a better company every in every recruiting effort. Take charge and design a better future. Do this one day, one disciplined thought and one disciplined hire at a time.
Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Oncology, Genetics and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Equipment and Device, Genomics and BioInformatics. His team manages recruitment for businesses focused on these areas in all roles.
As a leader who has worked at every level of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who partners with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside.
Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results.
We Provide Top Talent to create Peak Performance. That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Top Talent guaranteed to help you set records.