The Modern Selling Podcast
4 Ways to Improve Your Sales Leadership and Encourage Better Hiring, with Steve Benson, Episode 69
May 3, 2018 · 39 min
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I love stories about sales professionals stretching their sales leadership legs by leaving the corporate world and carving out their own path. That’s why this interview with Steve Benson, founder and CEO of Badger Maps, is so great. Steve had years of experience in sales that allowed him to create an app that saves field salespeople time, energy, and resources. On this episode of #SellingWithSocial, he shares ways to improve your skills as a sales leader and craft a better hiring process. Get to know Steve and the secrets behind Badger Maps’ success on this insightful and entertaining podcast.

#1: Outline Your Sales Leadership Best Practices in a Playbook

Steve knew he needed a way to increase his sales team’s performance and efficiency. Each one of his employees had stellar talent, but there were gaps in communication between team members. That’s when he came up with the idea to create a sales leadership best practices playbook. At weekly meetings Steve had a team member share their best skill, talent, or method of doing great work. These skills were documented in a physical playbook that assisted Steve in training new members by being able to map training a skill to a resource. He explained it best by saying, “Everyone can be better at their specialty within field sales. Leaders should be a coach and help their team accomplish greater success within their areas of expertise”. Make sure you listen to this conversation, your team will thank you.

#2: Dig Into Metrics to Identify Holes in Your Sales Funnel

Metrics analysis at Badger Maps goes beyond weekly cadence discussions. Steve uses metrics to pinpoint exactly where team members are struggling within their sales funnel. His goal from a sales leadership position is this: encourage success by identifying weaknesses and assisting team members in strengthening those areas. However, Steve warns sales leaders to not pick apart metrics too often, because they are not the only way to measure success. This method of improving your sales leadership skills is best understood by hearing this episode, so don’t miss it.

#3: Look For These Characteristics When Searching for New Top Talent

There are 4 main characteristics to consider when hiring for new team members: stellar communication, likable personalities, strong wills, and an eye for detail. After measuring these characteristics, Steve suggests that sales leaders ask themselves, “Would I buy from this person?” The answer to that question will give you the answer as to whether or not you should hire the applicant. Steve and I also discuss why having a strong social media presence (both for individual employees and companies) is so critical. Just as interviewers examine an applicant’s online profiles, an applicant does the same for the company. They’re looking to see if the culture will be a good fit, what type of leaders exist within the company, etc. For all the best tips on hiring be sure to give this episode your full attention.

#4: Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Hiring Biases

The sales industry is unfortunately known for (falsely) believing that an applicant’s educational background, prior sales knowledge, and previous industry experience are factors that indicate future success. Steve and I don’t subscribe to that mindset. Some of the best talent each of us have hired have come from outside the industry entirely. Not only do these biases squash employee diversity, they also prevent you from even considering people who may be great salespeople if given the chance. Avoid educational, experience and industry biases in order to expand your hiring horizons and recruit the very best talent for your company. All of this and more is explained in full detail on this episode - don’t miss it.

Outline of This Episode
  • [1:14] Steve Bense, CEO of Badger Maps, is my guest for this episode of Selling With Social
  • [6:05] Why Steve created a sales leadership best practices playbook
  • [15:40] Key metrics used at Badger Maps to identify sales funnel gaps
  • [21:52] Look for these characteristics when searching for new top talent
  • [33:00] Don’t fall into the trap of hiring biases
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