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In the hot seat this week, we’ve got Emily Butler, Director of Sales Recruitment for Betts Recruiting

Betts — an Ambition customer — is a top recruiting agency for sales, marketing, customer success, and people ops. In recent weeks, they’ve made some quick, savvy shifts to their sales coaching and management strategy in order to meet the changing needs of their market and their team.

Below are the top 3 things Emily says her team is doing right now to keep motivation, energy and productivity up. (Scroll down to watch the full interview!)

1. Staying flexible: readjusting teams, sales KPIs, and comp plans

Some industries have been more affected by the pandemic than others. As you can imagine, staffing and recruiting has seen a major impact: many companies have gone on hiring freezes given the current market.

But Emily says at Betts, while things may have slowed down for their transactional teams, other teams focused on strategic hiring are staying busy. That’s required major flexibility for both managers and reps. Some employees are making the jump to new teams and positions, so there’s an all-hands-on-deck approach to efficient, effective onboarding and ramping. 

Even for reps who are staying in their current positions, things are changing. Betts has always been a metric-driven sales org, but given the current market, they’ve shifted both KPI targets as well as the actual KPIs they’re tracking:

  • Quality over quantity: Instead of placing a heavy focus on volume of activities — outbound calls, emails, new candidate meetings, (NCMs), etc. — Betts is giving greater weight to the quality and effectiveness of those activities. (This is where efficiency metrics come into play!) For example, instead of number of calls, Emily said managers care more about connected calls and meaningful conversations.

  • Lower quotas: Betts has adjusted quotas down by 10% so that goals are realistic and attainable in this new selling climate.

Comp plans have also changed:

  • Instead of team-based comp plans, Emily says Betts has moved to coast-based comp plans, which just makes more sense given how clients are being affected by the pandemic. 

  • They’re also giving every employee equity in their new SaaS platform, so that everyone has skin in the game and a reason to further growth of that particular revenue stream.

2. Investing in people: ramping up sales coaching 

Sales coaching has always been a key performance lever at Betts, but now they’re doubling down. A silver lining of this slightly slower sales pace is that managers have more time to shore up their coaching and development strategy. It may be a tough time to do business, but it’s a great time to invest in people. If you'd like to speak more about what sales coaching could look like in your org, shoot us a quick note.

A few of their new tactics:

  • Coaching as a motivator: Given new constraints and new attitudes, the normal ways of motivating people have changed, Emily said. As a result, they’re looking at sales coaching and development not only to build skills, but also to increase engagement. 

  • “Game Film:” Every week, reps bring a call recording to their team meeting. Emily picks one or two people to share their recording, and every other rep has an opportunity to share positive feedback, offer ideas for improvement, discuss listening skills, etc.

  • Lunch-and-learns: Leadership at Betts is leveraging their wide network of contacts to bring in frequent guest speakers who share new insights and strategies that the whole company can leverage.

  • Real-time coaching: Emily said she’s joining calls more frequently and making an effort to debrief with reps immediately after, while the experience is still fresh.

3. Emphasizing culture: now more than ever

Sales is a grind in general, but it’s insanely stressful for reps right now — both professionally and personally. Almost everyone is simultaneously adjusting to new internal processes and workflows; a new selling climate; and a (relatively) new work-from-home situation, where they may feel cut off from coworkers and overwhelmed by family or roommate circumstances.

Betts is leading with empathy, not just with buyers, but also with their own people. Emily says they’re making an effort to acknowledge that things are hard and to maintain team morale and collaboration.

On Emily’s team specifically, they start each day with a “pump up:” a different rep may lead and exercise or share a motivational video to keep energy and morale high. 

Company-wide, Betts is running  trivia nights, peer-led learning and coaching, and more frequent 1:1s. The goal is to keep people connected, check in often, and most importantly, listen to what reps are saying (and what they may not be saying).

 Want to hear more from Emily? Watch the full interview below!


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