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People remember how you make them feel….

Posted on: November 11th, 2020 by Monika No Comments

This is a new business environment and we all had to learn to engage with people using technology. Most of us work remote and we will have to do so for a lot longer than we anticipated. While most people I have encountered have become more engaging and helpful, there are some who don’t embrace a professional approach. In essence, we had to learn to build trust by using technology instead of meeting in-person. Not an easy task, but doable. So, what is at the heart of a good business relationship?

Is it people who are agile and smooth in their communication and outreach who have an advantage, or is it people who are steady and reliable? Later in this article I will refer to an article that was published about Ghosting, a new term used in business where people just ignore you.

The big question is, what are the characteristics of a business person that we can trust? By the way, vendors, suppliers and job candidates are business people as well.

One thing I know for sure is that people remember how you made them feel. Whether you meet somebody in-person or on-line, that sentiment doesn’t change. What’s alarming though is how many people think that they can be unresponsive in this new, virtual world.

I get it, it’s easier to disregard or even snub via email but there are still people on the other side of that screen. In that spirit, I believe that there are some traits that will help us become better business people so we can build a better business environment and a stronger society.


Always a trait that I embraced and appreciated, but now the gloves are off. We sit in our kitchens, sometimes have children crying in the background, our clothes are more casual and it’s all fine, because we are all in the same boat. That’s why it’s important to bare our soul and bring our core to succeed.


While being authentic is really important, honesty will prevail. There are no distractions, such as golf games, dinners or drinks. People will figure out whether you are fake a lot faster. If you commit to something, stick with it. If you can’t commit, don’t promise.

True to Your Word

And finally, and that’s my favorite. Being true to your word! There are so many companies who think that they get away by “ghosting” candidates and vendors. Ghosting is a term that is used in dating, but has now become a reference when people don’t get back to you and just wait until you “get” it. It’s not only unprofessional and cruel, it’s something that everybody who has been ghosted will remember.

Ghosting is not just for Lovers

And just like I mentioned before, people will remember how you made them feel. What goes around, comes around and a prospect or candidate could be your boss next year. Keep that in mind as we enter into 2021.

How do we measure Remote Success?

Posted on: May 13th, 2020 by Monika No Comments

The business world doesn’t stop, even if it feels like it at times, but you know who really doesn’t stop? Your competition and they will gain new clients, clients that could have acquired.

I feel bad for companies who freeze their business development hiring efforts because those very companies will feel the effects later in the year.

This pandemic has forced us to embrace a remote work environment. Personally, I have preached the concept for years, especially in the industry that I operate in where companies are selling technology enabled solutions. Why would people have to come to an office, other than socializing, gathering and being able to see each other? Yes, it’s good for morale (at times) but you can build a healthy company culture even when employees are not physically together.

And before you feel that I am opposed to being with people, let me explain. I am probably one of the most sociable people you will meet and not many folks I know enjoy company as much as I do. But when it comes to work though, I am most effective by myself. It’s not that I’m not a team player, I am but I don’t need to see people in-person to ask for advice, get or give guidance. And, I also don’t have to see my prospects and clients in order to successfully sell. As a matter of fact, I have been working remote for 17 years and have been able to acquire clients all around the US and internationally without a problem. I had a client for 5 years and didn’t meet here until year 3 and it was perfectly fine. And what do we have all the systems for (CRM, Workflow management) if we still feel we all have to be in one room?

Hiring during this crisis

The other day a recruiter told me that they were not hiring until they can see people again. That’s just crazy talk to me during times where we really don’t know when that will be the case. He said that it would be hard to determine if that person can sell without meeting them. To me the question is, how can you determine if a person can sell when you actually meet them in-person?

The May 7th Revenue Collective Benchmarking Report observed that “Most companies using Revenue or Bookings as the KPI for returning to normal business operations but a healthy chunk (33%) have not defined “normal” at all which puts the team at risk.”

Use Assessment Tools!

I believe what people are afraid of is that they feel that the invisible (or what seems to be invisible) cannot be measured. In fact, there are many sales assessment tools out there to measure whether a sales person will be good at what they are doing.

Unless, you are a business where you only sell to people in-person, most of the transactions will take place over the phone or via Zoom/Skype, etc. So, what better way to measure whether a sales person will be successful than observing how they conduct themselves during the interview process.

For years, I have been telling my clients to not only invite candidates to on-site interviews, but to extensively spend time with them on the phone, to see how they follow up after interviews (because how they do it during the interview process will be how they conduct themselves following up with prospects & clients).

Establish KPIs!

Let’s face it. We have all been a bit lazy and complacent and many companies have been flying by the seat of their pants. They used measures such as “how many times the sales person was on the phone when the manager walked by”. Yes, you know who you are and now is the time to change it. Once we establish Key Performance Indicators, such as…..

·        How many prospects have you researched this week?

·        How many touchpoints with prospects took place?

·        How many actual conversations have you had?

·        How many times did you agree on a next step?

…we will have a much clearer picture of productivity and success.

Now, we are forced to operate in an environment where productivity will matter more than anything else. Sales is measured by numbers like no other profession, it shouldn’t matter where you are in the world as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.

Hiring Sales People has its Costs – Interview with Marc Levine

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by Monika No Comments

In our efforts as a consultative sales training and coaching organization to comprehensively assist our clients to achieve their business goals, we cooperate with professionals and organizations that provide services aligned with our philosophy and outlook. I’ve been fortunate to work together with Marc Levine of Retensa, who has been helping organizations like Citibank, Prudential, and Kinko’s achieve results by developing business and developing people for over fifteen years.

Marc has been a regional sales rep and sales director in technology and consulting services always producing superior results. Marc’s also been an executive coach and communications trainer helping companies engage people and reduce costs.

Currently he is the Senior Engagement Manager at Retensa focusing on helping companies improve the employee experience and retain top talent.

 Marc Levine

Monika D’Agostino: Hi Marc, and thank you so much for talking to us today. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about on-boarding and the high cost of employee turnover. Let’s dive into it.

Monika: Why do clients work with you?

Marc Levine: Our clients come to us understand why people join their company, why they stay, and why they leave. Next we help them build and execute retention strategies which may include mentorship programs, manager development and leadership coaching. 

Monika: People often speak about the costs of turnover? What is the real cost of turnover?

Marc: Turnover costs can range from 20% to 150% of an employee’s salary in direct and indirect costs. An employee making $100,000 would cost $20,000 -150,000 to replace. Think of the costs of recruiting a sales rep from external costs of recruiting to internal costs of the time for each person involved in the process. Training costs are high and time consuming. New sales reps may take 2-6 months to reach productivity. Finally there is the opportunity costs of lost revenue in the territory. We help clients determine their true cost of turnover.

Monika: What are our clients struggling with the most?

Marc: Our clients struggle in a few areas. The overall theme is helping them make data driven decisions instead of guessing as to what their employees think and feel about the organization.

For some morale is down and they don’t know why. They’ve tried different things to improve morale and nothing has changed. We talk to their employees and capture an honest understanding of what is happening and present this information to the client. Studies show that the executive team can receive less than 10% of the true frontline employee experience.

Other clients want more efficiency in capturing their exit interview data and need help to automate their reporting. Exit interviews are one of the best sources of capturing the employee experience. Unfortunately, people can be reluctant to be honest with HR. We help clients separate the noise of the vocal minority from how people truly feel about leadership, benefits, individual managers, the company brand, and their coworkers.

Of course others are losing their talent and don’t know what will resonate with them to keep them. We may provide retention skills training that allows managers to see the signs that an employee is about to leave.

Monika: What’s the most overlooked factor in turnover?

Marc: The manager. People leave managers, not companies. Your relationship with your direct manager is the biggest factor. Money is usually third to sixth on the list of why people leave companies. However, with sales reps “messing” with their compensation, which causes them to lose trust in the organization, will also be very high on their list of why they leave. 

Monika: Tell us a bit about Retensa:

Marc: For 15 years we’ve been helping organizations attract, motivate, and retain their best people. Through our extensive research we created a lens to view the employee experience. Our “Employee Life Cycle” model is taught in colleges and Fortune 500 companies. Currently we work with clients in 40 countries and in 13 languages, from Nestle to high growth companies with 30 employees. Our vision is that “everyone works in a job where they feel engaged and inspired.”

We’re here to help companies keep the talent that they want to keep. Your readers should feel free to email me with questions, or anyone would like to receive a white paper on the cost of turnover please contact me at

Monika: Thank you for your time, Marc. I hope that our readers now have a better understanding of why on-boarding and retention is so important to their success.