Organize your New Year Staffing Strategy
By: Dan Fisher
Every year I get asked the same questions. How do you plan a staffing strategy for the new year? How best to identify new accounts? How should I decide what market segments to pursue?
These are great questions that require time and attention, but when?
From my experience in selling staffing, I always found that a strong first quarter always set the tone for the remainder of the year. The activity and foundation you set out now will prepare you for the months ahead.
Here are a few thoughts on developing your high-level sales strategy:
- Review your annual book of business and identify trends. What worked? What efforts didn’t work that you could drop?
- Have you interviewed your current customers recently to understand what they like about you and your service offering? Do you understand how your consultants are impacting their business? Identify the type of people (skills/titles) your customers are looking to hire in the new year. This will help you move up the customer value chain.
- Build a case study library based on your client interviews. This will help you build your brand in your niche and sell more effectively.
- Chances are whatever you are thinking of doing, your competitors are too. Think out of the box. Try something new, go in a new direction. Ask yourself: What needs exist in the marketplace that are going unmet? As you look at trying something new, target your choices. Beware of trying to be all things to everyone. Recruiters often lack the discipline to “walk away” from a potential sales order. Pick a market segment or niche to pursue and commit to it. Don’t stray outside that zone -- you need to build your brand within a niche. This allows recruiting to build expertise in chosen areas, rather than recruiting anything and everything.
- Make sure sales and delivery (recruiting) are aligned. You are only as good as your delivery team. Everyone needs to buy into the strategy.
- Read business and personal finance magazines such as Kiplinger’s, Money, Fortune, and Forbes. These journals are loaded with advice from the world’s best investment and portfolio managers. They will open your eyes to industries and prospective accounts you might never thought of and provide you with insight to devise specific strategy for selling into each company they recommend.
- Cross-sell into new areas within your existing accounts. Even with your best accounts, (unless it’s a very small company) you don’t have 100% market share in that account. Work to increase your footprint within your existing customer accounts.
Dan Fisher is a fourteen year sales veteran and thought leader in the IT staffing and consulting industry. Dan provides one-on-one sales coaching and mentoring and training workshops. In September 2008, he authored the IT Staffing Sales Plan, the only proprietary methodology dedicated exclusively to selling IT staffing services. That same year Dan founded the Menemsha Group, which is dedicated to helping IT staffing and recruiting industry professionals sell more effectively, differentiate from the competition and increase gross profit margins. Dan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.