On this week’s episode of CEO Sales Strategies, Doug C. Brown speaks with Heenle Turner, HR expert and Vice President of Content and Consulting at The ALL IN Company, about how to do just this – and the ins and outs of hiring for success. Doug and Heenle also discuss the qualities of top employees, how to hire the right team players, outsourcing HR, and much more.
Heenle Turner is the Vice President of Content and Consulting at The ALL IN Company and a certified HR Professional with a passion for helping businesses succeed. She has provided HR consulting services to more than 200 businesses varying in size and industry. Her experience in sales, customer service and people management has uniquely positioned her to partner with entrepreneurs and business leaders to recruit and retain teams of their own five-star employees.
Visit her website: www.5staremployees.com
Heenle is offering a test to quickly identify whether your employees have the 11 Universal Qualities of a 5-Star Employee. Take this test here: www.5staremployees.com/neversettle
I’m bringing you another great guest. Her name is Heenle Turner. Heenle has a company called The ALL IN Company. They specialize in hiring five-star employees. We’re going to talk about how to hire five-star employees from the employer’s point of view and using not subjective data doing it, but objective data. Objective data, meaning that you can measure its metrics. I’ve done a lot of hiring. I can tell you that this is the right way to do it. Listen to what she has to say on the specific subject matter because the first place she starts is you got to get clear and specific about what you want when you’re going to be hiring.
There are eleven attributes to a five-star employee. The reality is the cost of turnover when you do this the right way is wonderful because it’s almost nothing. The cost of turnover, when you do this the wrong way, is expensive when you go through this process. Pay close attention to the rules. We talked a lot about doing this in sales, but you can do this with other departments and divisions because my specialty is sales. We skewed it toward that. However, you can utilize all these principles. I learned a few things during this whole process myself, but I’ve used a lot of these principles through the years. I can validate that they work. Without further ado, let’s go and talk to her.
Heenle, welcome to the show. I’m grateful that you’re here.
Thank you so much for having me.
We’re going to talk about how to build a dream team with five-star employees from an employer’s point of view. We’re going to talk about how you do it not using subjective data but using objective data. Why don’t you give people a little bit about your background? How did this all came together?
My background is in HR. I have worked in the HR field for several years. I’ve worked as an in-house HR practitioner. From there, I moved on as an HR consultant. I spent the last few years consulting with businesses, anything from any industry, any size, usually in the small to midsize, under about 50 employees. From there, I joined The ALL IN Company, where we specialize in recruiting, hiring, and retaining five-star employees.
It’s always interesting because people go, “We work with smaller companies, 50 employees,” that type of thing. Some people reading go, “Fifty employees is a pretty good-sized company.” The SBA, Small Business Association, classifies a small business as under 500 employees or something like that. I always find that crazy. It’s like, “You got a company with 499 employees. You have a pretty good-sized company.”
Two hundred is a lot. I worked with companies with 10 or 15 employees. Now we work with businesses generally that have fifteen or more employees. From an HR standpoint, the problems are still there. Every business still needs to scale profitably. They still need to make sales. They need to sell their products or services. They need to have the right people in place. The goals are similar.
A business finds themselves in a position that they need people when they're really looking to scale and grow their business because one person cannot do it all. Click To Tweet
Let’s talk about process versus people. Sometimes people come in and talk about the process. They’re like, “If I can get a process in to replace all my people, I would be happy.” I keep saying to them, “Process is only as good as the people trained to work the process.” Could you elaborate or expand upon that? Why are people needed?
A business finds itself in a position where they need people when they’re looking to scale and grow its business because one person cannot do it all. You may have a core group of people. This is what I find especially true in a business with under ten people, maybe. They’ve got that group who has been with them forever and hustled along with them. As they start to gain more sales, get more clients, or increase their product line, they find that they need more people to manage the different avenues that come along with that because the group of 5 or 6 can’t do it all.
The goal is, “I wish I had someone like me who understood it all and had the passion that I do.” You need to have a process in place to make sure you’re finding those right people. We don’t want you to settle for anybody but with a pulse. You need to find the right people to fill the shoes. In that way, you can focus as a business owner or even someone in a particular department to grow your area.
Let’s take a manager because people are like, “I want to get a manager.” I’ll speak for sales because that’s my expertise area. Traditionally, what they do is they go and find their best salesperson and go, “You could be a manager. You should be a manager.” They go in, and traditionally, they don’t do well as a manager. Right people, right fit. What I hear you saying is let’s not get a pulse in there, but let’s get a right person right fit. Not to say that the top performing rep is just somebody with a pulse, but there are two fundamentally different profiles for a sales manager and a sales knock-it-out-of-the-park type salesperson.
When we look at like, “I am a company. I want to hire another 2, 3, 4 people,” how am I supposed to start looking at this from the employer’s point of view? I know I need to feel a seed or two, but what’s the right way for me to start thinking where I should be asking some questions upfront or something like that that I’m not even thinking of?
The first thing to do when you’re recruiting, hiring, or looking to grow your team is to be clear and specific on what it is that you’re looking for. What you’re looking for is somebody who has the right skillset and somebody who has the right mindset as well. From a skillset standpoint, in your example, for a manager role, what skills does a manager needs? They need to understand how to do the job. A manager’s success is displayed through the success of the team that they lead. The skill they need is more related to managing people as opposed to managing the sales of a product and understanding how that sales fit into its role and the rest of the organization.
You’ve got to have the skillset to manage others. From a mindset standpoint, as a manager, that’s going to be somebody who is a manager in your organization. Like every other five-star employee, a manager should share their core values with you as a business owner. The core values should align. You also need to be a five-star candidate for a manager in the sense that you’re supportive, produce results, achieve goals, can be limber, or listen. I’m listing off the eleven universal qualities of five-star employees. You certainly need a five-star manager.
What I find fascinating about what you said is that it is not well understood or embraced by people. I’ll stay with sales again. They think a sales manager’s job is to manage the team but also sell. What I see a lot of times is when they have a team manager that sells, the salespeople become setters, and the manager becomes a closer, which is why in some capacity, when they bring somebody up from, “They were the best closer,” that they can continue that process.
As the departments expand, they can’t do it all. A sales manager’s job is to grow the revenue within that team. That’s exactly what I heard you say, that a manager’s job is to manage that team, not to be the person out there swinging the bat, but the person coaching people on how to swing the bat to connect and get on base every single time if we use a baseball analogy, for example.
From the perspective of trying to profitably scale the sales team, it would be rare that you’d be in a situation where you can have the manager go out there and close every sale. Yes, if it’s like a high revenue situation, or in some cases, you can bring on other partners to help close the deal, but surely, the team needs to be trained and keep closing sales without the manager there all the time.
I also found managers don’t coach well. That’s part of their job classification.
In a lot of organizations, I see that big pitfall. They find the most successful person on the team and promote them. You can identify a great skillset, but you still have to identify the gaps and take the time to train the people so that they can become great managers, or you need to find somebody who can manage people.
A manager's success is displayed through the success of the team that they lead. Click To Tweet
That makes a lot of sense. I love the fact about the identification of gaps. How do you do that?
Typically, start by identifying what the role in the organization is and assessing what results you need from each particular role. In a sales organization or per salesperson, the results are probably going to be driven by the number of bookings, like the percentage of bookings and closing. I don’t know if there’s a business development area there, too. Those are three key elements. You’re then going to look at the person’s actual numbers and the overall metrics that you need.
If you book 100 and close 50%, it generates maybe X other prospect calls. Once you identify what you need as a business, then you can look and see, “How successful is Joe at these metrics? How successful is Susie at these metrics?” From there, you’ll be able to clearly see, “Susie can book everything, but she’s not closing anything. She’s not meeting with any new prospects.” There’s a gap there that needs to be filled.
That makes a lot of sense. It goes back to starting with the specifics and then driving it with the metrics.
The specifics in terms of what the organization needs are going to go beyond the department. How many sales do we need to close in order to remain profitable as a business? You complete a reverse engineering exercise to understand how that gets spread amongst your team and for each person.
We are speaking with Heenle Turner. She has The ALL IN Company. That’s TheAllInCompany.com. We’re speaking about growing five-star employees for the company, how to do it, what to do, and more importantly, what not to do or equally as important, and using data, like metrics, objectively to measure these things versus, “This person is likable. They will be good for this position,” which is the old step of how people generally hire. You said there were eleven points to be in a five-star. Did I get there right?
There are five stars. The first star is that the core values are aligned with that of the business owner. The second is that they are achieving at least 7 out of 11 on the 11 qualities of a five-star employee. Thirdly, they’re meeting and exceeding the role-specific metrics you’ve created for the position. If you need to speak with 100 prospects, you’re speaking to that number. The fourth star is that they do have the role-specific skillset that you need. If someone needs to be good with people and numbers, whatever the aptitude and skill set is required, that person possesses those. Lastly, they’re producing a return for you. In terms of the revenue they’re generating, they’re bringing you at least three times what you’re paying them on payroll, 3x at a minimum.
Role-specific skillsets, can that be trained? Is that something they have to possess right out of the gate?
I normally would test the skillset before they even enter the organization. I would like them to come with the skillset. We have a list of about 30 different attributes. For the attributes, it could be something like passion. For an acceptable rating on that, it would be 4 out of 5. For something else, an acceptable rating is a 1 out of 5. There are different levels of the skillset that would be required at a minimum. You have to understand what your minimum requirement is and understand other areas you can develop over time. You’ve got to understand what your minimum acceptable rating is for these different attributes and skills, including your skillset.
If you could train somebody on a skill, then it is probably going to be low in terms of what you’re looking for, like if somebody is telling you, “I know how to overcome a challenging customer,” or if someone is pushing back when I’m trying to generate a sale. You can test that skill by giving them a scenario-based question or asking them to send you an email, convincing you to do something. Now you’re testing that skill, as opposed to believing somebody when they say they can do it
It’s going back to objective data again. Let’s say that the company needed them to cold call. They put, “I was a cold calling genius,” and they’d walk in, and I’d be like, “You can cold call?” “Yes.” “Great. Cold call me. Here’s my phone number. You call from your phone number. Go on the other room, cold call me.” The reason that we want to test these specific skills is because resumes are full of bravado and embellishments upon the truth. I remember there was some guy who made $40 million in sales with the team in one year. I started questioning him.
“What was the total revenue for the organization?”
You've got to understand what your minimum acceptable rating is for these different attributes and skills. Click To Tweet
I asked him. I said, “How many people you got on the team?” He said, “I got 40.” I said, “They’re doing $ 1 million on average.” He said, “Yeah.” I said, “You did $40 million.” “Yeah.” I said, “What’s the quota per year?” He goes, “I did $40 million.” I said, “No, I get it. What are they supposed to sell per rep?” “$2 million.” “What you’re saying in this resume is you’re $40 million per se, but your team was 50% off quota.” This goes back to the objective side.
I love what you’re talking about because I can tell from personal experience working with people that most people don’t test the scenario before they go into it. My personal bias is if people tested getting married before they got married, the divorce rate would probably drop because they wouldn’t get married. It sounds silly, but if they tested what it was like to have children before they had children, they probably would think a little differently.
In our business, we follow the same thing. We get married. We don’t vet the person the way we’re supposed to in business. We have children because now we got them in there. We’ve got HR and headaches and all this stuff that comes along. Why do people don’t do what you do for them? I know you do it better because you have a system down for this whole thing. In your experience in working with HR, why don’t they think like this versus short-term just getting a body in there and putting a pulse in?
Honestly, I don’t think they realize the cost. This is my guess. Maybe a business owner or a manager is looking at their top performers and be like, “They’re turning these out. We’re getting the sales quotas that we need from each person. I need to multiply that. I’m going to hire five people. Five more people are going to double my sales.” They don’t realize that’s not necessarily the case because now you’ve got to pay for these people. Unless they are performing at this high level, then they’re not going to generate that much revenue for you, and they’re not going to do it immediately.
If you’re looking for someone to do that immediately, you still have to figure out how they’re going to do that. Maybe they have the skillset, but do they know your product? They say, “Another body, that’s the answer.” It isn’t, because it ends up costing them so much money in the rehire and the person who leaves and you have to replace them. They probably look at that number and be like, “More bodies are going to produce me more sales.”
That makes a lot of sense, but there’s something called selling out a loss, too.
A new business owner would understand that as well. There’s a ramp-up. You have to take into account the ramp-up process, training, or whatever it is. If you’re going to have a 2-month or 1-month training program, that better be a great training program where you’re super clear on what you are expecting from people so you can get them to the point where they need to go.
What I’m hearing is, “Train these people and get them to where they want, but then let’s go back to objective measurement.” You could hire five new people and double your revenue, but two of them are not getting it out of the park. They’re 300% over quota, and three of them are 50% off. They’re still selling at a loss on those three people, but when they look at the overall number, they go, “I’m doing okay.” What I’m hearing is, let’s optimize the hire to make sure that all five people are performing because when you have to let those three go, it’s expensive. Divorce is costly. If you’re divorcing your employees, it’s going to cost you 150%, 200%, or whatever the number is per position.
You know that number better than I would across all positions, but it’s expensive. The other thing that happens is when you have a couple of superstar performers who know they’re the superstar performers, and there’s no competition for them, they will start playing superstar games. They’ll start making demands and things that are not as reasonable, especially in sales. When I have a couple of superstar players, the first thing I do is I go out and find three more because we bring up the competitive nature, and these demands that they’re making are like, “Why would I give them to you? You’re not earning them.” “I’m over quota.” “Everybody’s over quota.”
“Everyone’s performing at 99% accuracy.”
One of the tricks that I always teach companies to do, especially around sales, and I’d love your feedback on this on other positions, is to take your top performer every year and make that your lowest acceptable standard, and then start hiring from there. Tom Brady, like him, love him, or whatever. He’s a football guy. The reality is if you had Tom Brady as your lowest acceptable standard and hired people like Tom Brady and up, you’re going to do better no matter what.
You have to understand what makes up Tom Brady. Who are the Tom Bradys? There are assessments and things that we use with our clients. We assess their current talent and ask candidates to take the same assessment. Now you created a benchmark, and you’re measuring up your candidates against the Tom Bradys of the world. How wonderful would it be for you to be like, “I’m not even going to consider,” I won’t name any quarterback’s name.
Albert Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. If it's not working for you now, buy something new. Give it a shot. Click To Tweet
That’s the person you want on your team. What we want to do is we want to build a process where when you’re assessing the candidates that you have, you already know that they meet the benchmark that you’ve set. You’re then talking about, “We’re now going to look at other things in terms of how their mindset fits into your organization.” You issue skills testing. You ask them, “Call this number and complete a cold call. Send me three emails. I’m going to evaluate them from a 1 to 10 standpoint on whether or not I’m going to open it.”
I’m sure there are people reading this going, “She’s pretty smart.” The question that I know is going through people’s minds is that you seem like you’ve got this dialed in. You’ve got it down. How do they get ahold of you? What would be the steps if they’re interested in speaking with you or whatever?
Send me an email. You can also check out our site. I put together a quick litmus test for you to make an assessment quickly on two people on your team. Compare your best and worst employees against the eleven qualities we talked about. You can check that out at 5StarEmployees.com/NeverSettle.
I can talk to you all afternoon. I appreciate you being here. I ‘m enjoying our conversation. I know a lot of people are getting amazing value out of this conversation. I have a question because I suspect somebody is thinking this, which is, “Can I do this myself? Do I need somebody like you and your company? What’s the better play? Why?”
Albert Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. If it’s not working for you now, try something new. Give it a shot. With our system, we have it perfected down. When we recruit and hire people, we do have over a 90% success rate in that. We have proven systems here. We want to support businesses and help them successfully profitably scale. Give us a try. We would love to help you. We can even chat over the phone and probably still learn much without going through our whole program.
Can I get my feedback on that?
You, as a business owner, should be working on the strategic growth of your company and stay out of the tactical play as much as possible in your business if you want to grow and scale a company. If you want to make your company also more palatable for an exit, whether you stay in the exit or get out of the exit or look down the line, the more systems you build in, the better you will be. Hiring somebody to do a specific skillset that they already have is the ultimate leverage in the process. It’s one of those things you’ve got to vet your own and make sure that Heenle and her company know what they’re talking about, but she wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel they did. I can vouch for that.
I’ll leave it at this. I bought a house to do as a real estate flip. I used to do a bunch of flips. I’m pretty experienced at it, but I hadn’t done a flip in several years. I buy this house. We’re doing great. We’re getting people in that we need in the right timeframe. I’m like, “This place needs to drop all these trees, and we need to put a new lawn in.” I used to own a landscaping company, so I got the skillsets. Here’s the rub. I put the lawn in. It looks okay. It took me three times longer than I figured it was going to and cost me twice what I figured it was going to, then I started getting some bids in on other people who had the experience. They were going to cut my timeframe.
It was about 30% higher than I’m doing it myself. When I added up the amount of money I lost not going after clients and building the company, I lost tens of thousands of dollars putting on a lawn. I should know better. The reality is we, as human beings, always try to go back and say, “What’s the most cost-effective? How do I get this done?” Let’s look long-term, the cost of turnover, the cost of your time, your value, your energy, and lost client cost. Any time somebody reading this can do something tactically and outsource it, and they spend their time generating more revenue and better things for the company, they’re far better off. That’s my two cents on that one.
It’s an excellent point because the business owners we work with don’t want to spend. They’re better off working on their next project or growing their current business. They can’t do that if they’re in the weeds of their own organization. You’ve got to think, “I can spend a couple of hours, maybe 10 or 15 hours each week overseeing the operations,” but when you have a team of five-star employees, your team will do the work for you.
They’ll do the follow-up. They’ll check in on your processes. They’ll look at and manage your systems. They’ll do the work and make sure your stuff gets done while you focus on growing your business or maybe even starting another one. That’s one of our clients who went through our program. She had a doggy daycare business. Now she has the doggy daycare business, two training facilities, and another online training module program available. We’re happy for her.
The reality is if you’re going to grow and scale your company, you can’t do it alone. Eventually, you’re going to need people to do it one way or another. Look at your time, measure out an hour each day over the next seven days, look at what percentage you’re spending on tactical, what percentage you’re spending on strategic building the business, and what percentage you’re taking for yourself as downtime, relaxation time. Most business owners are going to have a high percentage on the tactical side of it if they are stuck or in a position where their business isn’t growing. That’s usually what I find.
If we can shift those ratios from tactical to strategic, all of a sudden, now the business is growing. It’s a little scary to do that because it’s like with the lawn, “I know how to do this. I could do it. I’m not feeling safe that anybody else was doing it.” The reality is the lawn looks okay, but if I had to find the right professional, which I did after I installed the lawn, the lawn would look better, most likely because they’re doing it every single day. I hadn’t done it in several years. It’s one of those deals. I appreciate you being here. Thanks for being on the show. I’d love to have you back on a future episode if you’re up for it. We bid you a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing everything you have with the audience here. Folks, go check it out at?
5StarEmployees.com/NeverSettle. We’ll get you that quick resource for you.
Thank you so much for having me.
That was a lot to unpack there. When we talk about five-star employees, she’s got eleven attributes that she has meticulously put together. I’ve used a lot of these over the years, so I can validate that these are actual valid points of view because we utilize them in hiring. I’ve hired hundreds of salespeople. What she’s talking about is close to what we used to do, but she’s added on more than what we did.
I learned a few things. Look at those eleven attributes, see where your current people match up to those eleven attributes, and then ask yourself that one question, “What specifically do I want in this role?” If you’re going to hire new people, get clear and specific on that upfront because I can tell you with high certainty that if you don’t do that part, you make a bad hire. Why? You don’t know specifically what you’re going for. Like if you went to an auto dealer and said, “I want a new car,” and you looked and said, “I want a sedan. I want this. I want that,” you can find that easily. If you walk there and you’re like, “I want to buy something,” you might go out there and buy something that’s a truck or a motorcycle or something like that.
It gives you different outcomes. Getting clear and specific is the top rule number one reason that people make bad hires. Number two is they do not measure the metrics and objectively look at what they’re looking for and how that benchmarks out. Number three is they’re impatient when it comes to this because sometimes you’ve got to go through a bunch of people in order to find those few people that fit that profile. Are you better off doing this yourself? You better be off outsourcing it. If you’re better off outsourcing it, give them a try. If you better out doing this to yourself, give that a try. The reality is this, ask yourself the question, are you working tactically or strategically? At your level of business, what should you be doing?
If you’re supposed to be doing it strategically but doing it tactically, you’re holding yourself back. If you’re supposed to be doing this tactically because you’re at a place where the business isn’t strategically growing at this moment because it’s in that smaller startup phase and got to do this due to budgets, great, take it on. Anytime you can outsource something tactical and put a process around it, you will grow for the long-term. It might seem like you’re stepping back a couple of steps, but you will grow in the long-term if you keep with the process.
If you like the subject matter, let us know. If you have a new subject matter that you’re looking for, as always, send an email to YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com. Let us know what you want for content. We’ll find that, source it out, and bring in experts in order to achieve that end goal. If you love this show, please subscribe to it. Tell your friends. Please give great reviews. If you find yourself thinking, “I’d be a great guest on this show,” and you know you can deliver great value on and around CEO-type sales strategies, message us at YouMatter@CEOSalesStrategies.com.
Let us know what you can do. Maybe we’ll have you on the show. If you’re looking for people to get yourself, solo entrepreneurs, or sales teams in general for any size company all the way up to billion-plus dollar corporations, if you want to get to people better and get them all selling at the top 1% of what they should be selling, reach out to me at Doug@CEOSalesStrategies.com or hit me up on LinkedIn @DougBrown123. With that in mind, I’m going to bid you a wonderful day. Thanks for reading. Come on back. Tell your friends. I appreciate that. I would be grateful. Go out, sell something. Sell something highly profitable if possible. Sell a lot of it, play win-win, and help people in their lives. You’ll win, too. To your success.