6 Strategic Imperatives for your Team’s Opportunities

 


Many organisations get their sales strategies wrong, you may find this blog useful from our friends at Sandler Training. 

"Nothing happens in an organisation until someone sells something.”
It’s true, right?
So, why do so many organisations struggle to get their Sales Strategy right?
Why do so many Sales Leaders struggle with the right framework to develop their Sales Process and Salespeople?
They’re OK Supervisors. But, when it comes to Training, Coaching and Mentoring something’s missing.
It’s certainly not down to a lack of selling skills on the part of the Leaders. Most have travelled the path from Salesperson to Sales Manager to Sales Leader.
They were ‘Aces’ in their day. Perhaps they still are.
There is no lack of Selling skills. Perhaps, the skills they developed in Selling aren’t seen as transferable to the world of Sales Leadership.
Throughout my career I’ve met many Leaders who have struggled to cross the chasm from successful Salesperson to successful Sales Leader. Perhaps, it’s that there is not the same emotional thrill in completing a great coaching call as there was when winning a new deal.
In my career the most memorable moments were when I orchestrated my teams to perform together in a synchronous symphony of sales simplicity (try saying that after eating a Jacob’s Cracker).
The foundation of those successes was an obsessive focus on contextual Coaching. Opportunity and Deal Coaching. Deal Triage. Deal Dress Rehearsals.
Here are 6 steps to help you, the Sales Leader, transfer your selling skills into deal coaching skills.

1 - Who are we selling to?

Firstly, we should look at the opportunity type.
Are we hunting for New Clients?
Or are we developing fresh opportunity in Existing Clients?
‘Hunting’ and ‘Farming’ are vastly different strategies when you are positioning and propositioning products and services.
Have you taken the time to create a clear vision of your Ideal Prospect? Not every Company should qualify to be your teams ‘Prospect’.
How about your Ideal Client? Not all clients present the same development opportunity.
Decide on those ‘Prospects’ that represent the best probability of growth possibility for your people and ensure they maintain an obsessive focus on only that.

2 - What type of Sale Process is it?

Secondly, we should review our Sales Process.
Do you know whether your Sales Process more Demand Creation or Demand Fulfilment? Is it a Short Cycle (less than 3 months) or Long Cycle (more than 3 months)?
Are we Consultative Selling? Creating demand for solutions with a long, continuous, sales cycle. Probably selling to Larger, more complex, Enterprises.
Unique Value Selling? Creating demand for solutions but with a shorter, less complex, sales cycle. Perhaps selling to mid-market (or smaller), less complex, Enterprises.
Is it Account Selling? The demand is within the account, continuous relationship development is required to maintain the client’s loyalty.
Is it Commodity Selling? Fulfilling demand with a sell in the moment approach. Perhaps selling to individuals (B2B2C).
Decide, design, and document your ‘Sales Process’ as it aligns to your ‘Prospects Buying Behaviour’ for your People. Ensure they maintain an obsessive focus on running that process with only minor adaptations.

3 - Who are we up against?

As we begin our Sales Process do we know what the ‘competitive’ factors are in our target ‘Prospect’?
When we proposition our products or services are we typically trying to replace an incumbent supplier?
Is the Prospect or Client looking at more than one solution in parallel? Perhaps they want to separate out solutions across multiple suppliers?
Do we know what (or if) we have as a competitive, strategic, advantage over the oppositions proposition?
Is there any internal ‘politics’ that are going to make our provocation and proposition in this ‘Account’ a challenge?
Develop strong Value Propositions with your People to give them the competitive advantage. Ensure they are fluent in those Value Propositions and that every ‘Prospect’ knows what makes you special.

4 - What’s the problem?

It is a Sales Leaders responsibility to define the reality for their Salespeople.
We need to ensure that we, and our people, intimately understand the challenges our ‘Prospects’ and Clients are facing.
Do we understand the PAIN our ‘Prospects’ are facing?
Do we know the reasons why those PAINs our being faced?
Do we know the impact those PAINs are having on our ‘Prospects’ organisation?
Have we helped the ‘Prospect’ calculate the cost burden to their organisation of these unaddressed PAINs? Resource cost? Time burden? Financial impact? Lost opportunity?
How about the impact it is having on them, personally?
Develop strong Qualification criteria with your People to give them and their ‘Prospect’ clarity of a good fit for your business.
Ensure those Qualifiers are consistently applied, across every deal and that every ‘Prospect’ knows what makes them a good fit for your solutions.

5 - Is it a priority?

It is a Sales Leaders responsibility to help their people navigate the complexities of business.
Have we established that these PAINs are significant enough for somebody in the organisation to decide to do something about them?
Their contact may be head over heels in love with the proposition they’ve made.
But, who else in the organisation knows that there is PAIN that needs to be solved?
Who is else on the organisation is holding the ‘purse strings’ and will invest in solving the PAIN?
Who are decisions going to be made to resolve this PAIN?
Develop with your People clarity of the Organisational Structure of their ‘Prospect’ and work together to navigate the complex corridors to get to the True Buyers.

6 - What now?

Leaders need to hold their teams to a higher standard and require clear, actionable next steps to be put in place at the end of every meeting, to ensure the cycle doesn’t stall.
More Sales Cycles fail, or get delayed, because your team haven’t established clear, well understand, next actions than any other excuse (sorry reason).
Future meeting dates, times, attendee’s, and agenda for the meeting.
If you want to ensure that your teams’ sales cycles aren’t stalling, then keep them accountable to creating Firm Future Commitments.
Try implementing these 6 steps in your next deal coaching meeting with a member of your team. See the difference it can make in you and them.

If you ever feel like chatting yourself then you could always book a complimentary coaching call here: https://calendly.com/davidwdavies

Happy coaching.

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Five ways to show that you rock!

The sales recruitment process is becoming increasingly challenging.  Counter offers are prolific and good candidates are interviewing in multiple places and handling numerous job offers.  Offering a job to a candidate is not a guarantee of filling your vacancy.  In the current market you need to ensure you are organised. If you think you’ve found your perfect candidate, follow our 5 steps to show that you rock as an employer. These steps will make sure your offer is not only accepted but that your chosen candidate actually starts!

1. Create a great candidate experience

It is a competitive market and you want to ensure that you are representing your business in the best possible light.  Ensure you assess the candidate’s desires and motivations and know that they match the company’s.  Sell back to them the long term future of joining the business so they see a career not just a job.
Ensure your company has a good public profile - are your social media channels up to date? How do your Glassdoor reviews read?  Little things can turn off a prospective employee.
Over salary, most candidates prefer to understand the training they can expect. As part of the overall candidate experience ensure they meet other people and get a good feeling.  Take time to understand their personal circumstances and whether your offer will suit them.
Do you offer job security?  A candidate will be looking for this, make sure they know you do!

2. Offer the right salary

Job offers are not all about the money, but it is certainly an important factor.  Putting the first offer in at the right level can go a long way in securing a candidate and showing you are committed to hiring them.
Before choosing a figure ensure you have worked with your recruiter and know the following:
Previous salaries
Expectations
Market value of your vacancy
Counter offer risk
Salary offered on the other roles they are interviewing at

Work in partnership with your recruiter to establish an offer that allows room to grow on the salary scale whilst still being attractive.  If you are worried about them still attending other interviews you may want to make it a condition of the offer that they cancel all other interviews upon acceptance.
You can also get creative with your offers by including a bonus if they hit KPI’s, guaranteeing commission for 3-6 months whilst a new salesperson becomes established, or having a salary review at six months.
These little personal touches can be an extra pull for a candidate.

3. Move with speed

Presented the offer verbally?
Then crack on.
Get the offer out in writing by email and by post.  Show the candidate your commitment and get them off the active market.  Give them a deadline to return the contract by, or better yet, set up a time to have a coffee where they can bring it back in and discuss any questions.

4. Keep in touch

Then keep in contact, it can be a confusing time whilst working your notice when you are still being approached for new opportunities.  You want to ensure your new employee isn’t sold a new dream role whilst waiting to start with you.
Reasons to keep in touch with your new salesperson can include:
Invite to drinks with team
Invite to sales meeting/business review
Send details of training and induction
Plus, use your recruiter to keep in touch on a regular basis, they can act as a third party and ensure the candidate is still ready to start and address and feed back any concerns that pop up along the way.

5. Use your recruiter

Recruiters are meant to be your business partners when you are hiring a new employee and at this point I would ensure they are doing their job to their full potential.  The follow up with the recruiter is vital, as they will know the candidate’s desires and needs and can discuss with you.  Post first interview this will give you the tools to ensure you can sell your job appropriately at second interview and secure the candidate you want.

Post offer, they can keep in touch to make sure the contract is received and check the candidate is happy.  They should have a strong, empathetic relationship with the candidate, so regular phone calls will ensure they know if any issues arise.
Plus they can ask the questions a business can’t.  What opportunities have they been presented with since taking your role, how was the counter offer received?  What did their friends and family think of their new move?
A recruiter who builds strong relationships is invaluable at this stage, so ensure yours is working well for you.

Looking for a great recruiter to help you secure your next superstar candidate? Then get in touch!
You can also 'like' our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Linked In


Five ways to show that you rock!

The sales recruitment process is becoming increasingly challenging.  Counter offers are prolific and good candidates are interviewing in multiple places and handling numerous job offers.  Offering a job to a candidate is not a guarantee of filling your vacancy.  In the current market you need to ensure you are organised. If you think you’ve found your perfect candidate, follow our 5 steps to show that you rock as an employer. These steps will make sure your offer is not only accepted but that your chosen candidate actually starts!

1. Create a great candidate experience

It is a competitive market and you want to ensure that you are representing your business in the best possible light.  Ensure you assess the candidate’s desires and motivations and know that they match the company’s.  Sell back to them the long term future of joining the business so they see a career not just a job.
Ensure your company has a good public profile - are your social media channels up to date? How do your Glassdoor reviews read?  Little things can turn off a prospective employee.
Over salary, most candidates prefer to understand the training they can expect. As part of the overall candidate experience ensure they meet other people and get a good feeling.  Take time to understand their personal circumstances and whether your offer will suit them.
Do you offer job security?  A candidate will be looking for this, make sure they know you do!

2. Offer the right salary

Job offers are not all about the money, but it is certainly an important factor.  Putting the first offer in at the right level can go a long way in securing a candidate and showing you are committed to hiring them.
Before choosing a figure ensure you have worked with your recruiter and know the following:
Previous salaries
Expectations
Market value of your vacancy
Counter offer risk
Salary offered on the other roles they are interviewing at

Work in partnership with your recruiter to establish an offer that allows room to grow on the salary scale whilst still being attractive.  If you are worried about them still attending other interviews you may want to make it a condition of the offer that they cancel all other interviews upon acceptance.
You can also get creative with your offers by including a bonus if they hit KPI’s, guaranteeing commission for 3-6 months whilst a new salesperson becomes established, or having a salary review at six months.
These little personal touches can be an extra pull for a candidate.

3. Move with speed

Presented the offer verbally?
Then crack on.
Get the offer out in writing by email and by post.  Show the candidate your commitment and get them off the active market.  Give them a deadline to return the contract by, or better yet, set up a time to have a coffee where they can bring it back in and discuss any questions.

4. Keep in touch

Then keep in contact, it can be a confusing time whilst working your notice when you are still being approached for new opportunities.  You want to ensure your new employee isn’t sold a new dream role whilst waiting to start with you.
Reasons to keep in touch with your new salesperson can include:
Invite to drinks with team
Invite to sales meeting/business review
Send details of training and induction
Plus, use your recruiter to keep in touch on a regular basis, they can act as a third party and ensure the candidate is still ready to start and address and feed back any concerns that pop up along the way.

5. Use your recruiter

Recruiters are meant to be your business partners when you are hiring a new employee and at this point I would ensure they are doing their job to their full potential.  The follow up with the recruiter is vital, as they will know the candidate’s desires and needs and can discuss with you.  Post first interview this will give you the tools to ensure you can sell your job appropriately at second interview and secure the candidate you want.

Post offer, they can keep in touch to make sure the contract is received and check the candidate is happy.  They should have a strong, empathetic relationship with the candidate, so regular phone calls will ensure they know if any issues arise.
Plus they can ask the questions a business can’t.  What opportunities have they been presented with since taking your role, how was the counter offer received?  What did their friends and family think of their new move?
A recruiter who builds strong relationships is invaluable at this stage, so ensure yours is working well for you.

Looking for a great recruiter to help you secure your next superstar candidate? Then get in touch!
You can also 'like' our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Linked In
Read More »

The Challenges Sales Teams Face When Returning To Work




The COVID-19 pandemic came out of the blue and disrupted everything. Almost every sector of the economy was upended, and most businesses had to lay off or furlough some employees. Even with businesses gradually resuming operations with the eased lock-down, there's no denying some things may never go back to how they used to be. As organisations adjust to this new norm in the business landscape, salespeople will be amongst the most critical employees in getting businesses moving again. However, this won't be without challenges. Here, we will analyse the challenges salespeople are likely to face as they return to work.

What changes are salespeople expected to endure and get used to as they return to work?


With corona virus forcing lots of businesses to cut back on travel and in-person meetings, salespeople returning to work will have to carry on with as minimal contact as possible with clients and prospects. This means that phone calls or video conferencing calls will have to replace what could have been face to face meetings. Be prepared to make your sales pitch over web-based presentations instead of on-site meetings. Altogether, physical meetings may not be an option, as your client may be working exclusively from home, or just not meeting physically with anyone until the pandemic subsides. This is a change that might prove difficult for the sales team as physical interactions oftentimes provides an advantage for salespeople. Without this advantage, the sales team has their work cut out for them as they'll need to go the extra mile to communicate their value and ultimately make the sale.

How will people cope with going back to work after furlough?


After being on furlough for weeks, it is sensible to expect that some employees may struggle with the transition back into working full time again. It is important to understand that your sales team will not just pick up from where they left off. It won't be business as usual, and without proper training to slowly ease them back into this new work culture, it may not be business at all for a while. The company can start by training the salespeople on how to engage with customers online using technology as in-person meetings and face to face conversations may not be possible for a while. Focusing on training and managing expectations around what can and will be achieved upon their return to work is important and will give everyone the time they need to settle into this new normal, and back to contacting and engaging clients.

How can business owners deal with uncertainties about returning to work?


One of the key qualities of an excellent salesperson is confidence. Low levels of confidence in your sales team will definitely have a negative effect on performance and considering the importance of the sales team to cash inflow, the last thing your business needs is poor performance from that department. With so much uncertainty in the air, companies should prepare to handle staff who may feel anxious about returning to work. Like earlier mentioned, proper training will help the salespeople navigate and get comfortable quickly as they return to work after being furloughed. It’s also worth noting that experiences of lock-down are varied; while some may have enjoyed it, others may have found it extremely difficult. Having support in place for those that need it is a worthwhile step to take to ensure a happy and productive workplace.

How will the pandemic change the landscape of sales going forward?


Owing to the pandemic, most, if not every, customer's situation has changed. Salespeople would need to build sales interaction around understanding the customer’s new perception of the world and how they can add value to customers. Businesses might need to re engineer their solutions to help customers with their corona virus concerns. Essentially, the sales team will need to rethink what the key benefits of their products and services are and how they can angle those benefits to help their clients ease those corona virus concerns.

For the foreseeable future, your sales pitch must explain to clients how your solutions can help them stabilize or improve operations, adapt to corona virus and get through the crisis. As earlier mentioned, technology will now become a core component of the business landscape and people in sales need to get comfortable using technology and managing online sales conversations. Basically, sales and managing directors need to get more creative with collaboration tools, communication apps and other technologies to keep sales advancing in the market.

The landscape of sales may never be the same again, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As salespeople adjust to working in the current climate, they will need to adapt to the (temporary) changes in consumer behaviour and embrace digital opportunities to stay in contact with clients. Your ability to understand your client's situation and work through the change will be key to delivering value.


Many sales leaders have been forced to evaluate their current sales and support teams, and make changes where necessary to ensure they are in the strongest position to meet the company goals moving forward. If you would like a confidential discussion about how we can help you build and retain a winning sales team ready for the new normal, we’d be delighted to arrange an appointment for you to speak with Louisa.


And please do join our Sales Leadership Q and A group on Facebook, where we have sales leaders and experts sharing best practice, resources and collaborating. Perfect if you're leading or building a sales team. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/643702969807741/

Get in touch with one of the team today:










The COVID-19 pandemic came out of the blue and disrupted everything. Almost every sector of the economy was upended, and most businesses had to lay off or furlough some employees. Even with businesses gradually resuming operations with the eased lock-down, there's no denying some things may never go back to how they used to be. As organisations adjust to this new norm in the business landscape, salespeople will be amongst the most critical employees in getting businesses moving again. However, this won't be without challenges. Here, we will analyse the challenges salespeople are likely to face as they return to work.

What changes are salespeople expected to endure and get used to as they return to work?


With corona virus forcing lots of businesses to cut back on travel and in-person meetings, salespeople returning to work will have to carry on with as minimal contact as possible with clients and prospects. This means that phone calls or video conferencing calls will have to replace what could have been face to face meetings. Be prepared to make your sales pitch over web-based presentations instead of on-site meetings. Altogether, physical meetings may not be an option, as your client may be working exclusively from home, or just not meeting physically with anyone until the pandemic subsides. This is a change that might prove difficult for the sales team as physical interactions oftentimes provides an advantage for salespeople. Without this advantage, the sales team has their work cut out for them as they'll need to go the extra mile to communicate their value and ultimately make the sale.

How will people cope with going back to work after furlough?


After being on furlough for weeks, it is sensible to expect that some employees may struggle with the transition back into working full time again. It is important to understand that your sales team will not just pick up from where they left off. It won't be business as usual, and without proper training to slowly ease them back into this new work culture, it may not be business at all for a while. The company can start by training the salespeople on how to engage with customers online using technology as in-person meetings and face to face conversations may not be possible for a while. Focusing on training and managing expectations around what can and will be achieved upon their return to work is important and will give everyone the time they need to settle into this new normal, and back to contacting and engaging clients.

How can business owners deal with uncertainties about returning to work?


One of the key qualities of an excellent salesperson is confidence. Low levels of confidence in your sales team will definitely have a negative effect on performance and considering the importance of the sales team to cash inflow, the last thing your business needs is poor performance from that department. With so much uncertainty in the air, companies should prepare to handle staff who may feel anxious about returning to work. Like earlier mentioned, proper training will help the salespeople navigate and get comfortable quickly as they return to work after being furloughed. It’s also worth noting that experiences of lock-down are varied; while some may have enjoyed it, others may have found it extremely difficult. Having support in place for those that need it is a worthwhile step to take to ensure a happy and productive workplace.

How will the pandemic change the landscape of sales going forward?


Owing to the pandemic, most, if not every, customer's situation has changed. Salespeople would need to build sales interaction around understanding the customer’s new perception of the world and how they can add value to customers. Businesses might need to re engineer their solutions to help customers with their corona virus concerns. Essentially, the sales team will need to rethink what the key benefits of their products and services are and how they can angle those benefits to help their clients ease those corona virus concerns.

For the foreseeable future, your sales pitch must explain to clients how your solutions can help them stabilize or improve operations, adapt to corona virus and get through the crisis. As earlier mentioned, technology will now become a core component of the business landscape and people in sales need to get comfortable using technology and managing online sales conversations. Basically, sales and managing directors need to get more creative with collaboration tools, communication apps and other technologies to keep sales advancing in the market.

The landscape of sales may never be the same again, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As salespeople adjust to working in the current climate, they will need to adapt to the (temporary) changes in consumer behaviour and embrace digital opportunities to stay in contact with clients. Your ability to understand your client's situation and work through the change will be key to delivering value.


Many sales leaders have been forced to evaluate their current sales and support teams, and make changes where necessary to ensure they are in the strongest position to meet the company goals moving forward. If you would like a confidential discussion about how we can help you build and retain a winning sales team ready for the new normal, we’d be delighted to arrange an appointment for you to speak with Louisa.


And please do join our Sales Leadership Q and A group on Facebook, where we have sales leaders and experts sharing best practice, resources and collaborating. Perfect if you're leading or building a sales team. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/643702969807741/

Get in touch with one of the team today:







Read More »

Getting Ready To Restructure Your Business




If like many organisations you are in a position where you may need to look at restructuring your business, you may find this blog useful from our friends at Organic P&O Solutions.


Getting Ready To Restructure Your Business? 6 Steps You Must Follow.

To be successful, your business will have to evolve continually. As it grows, you’re likely to have to reorganise at various points on your journey. Sometimes you might want to make changes to take advantage of new opportunities. At other times, you may need to adapt your business model to respond to challenges.


In our experience, a company that has grown to employ 20 – 25 employees and beyond can anticipate having to restructure every 12 to 18 months on average.


As businesses adjust to trading in the current climate, many will likely need to look at how they are structured. This might involve reviewing and redefining the roles of some employees, and without suitable alternative positions available within a new set up, it might mean having to make some redundancies.


Understandably for employees, an organisational restructure can be an unsettling time, which means it’s important to manage it well. The consequences of not doing so can include added disruption to business, a damaged reputation – and where redundancies are involved, time and expense in defending employment tribunal claims.


In planning any restructure likely to result in changes to job roles or redundancies, it’s essential for an employer to consult with their employees before they make any final decisions.


Here at Organic P&O Solutions, we help business owners and management teams make the (sometimes tough) decisions required to change the shape of their organisations – and to do so in a way that is compliant and fair for all parties.

When a restructure goes wrong, it’s often because the business involved has not fulfilled its obligation to consult with affected staff, or because somewhere in the process, it has failed to follow the correct procedures.


If you’re planning a restructure in your organisation, having the support of a professional HR advisor is highly recommended. Because every restructure is different and has its own unique dynamics, there’s much more to consider than the linear process. This said, there are some fundamental points to keep in mind when you’re preparing to implement a change like this:


1. Review all your business options


Based on the information you have available, and what you are reasonably able to anticipate, you will need to consider all the business options open to you.

If for example, your business has experienced a significant drop in revenue, you’ll need to review – and where possible, reduce overheads in the short term. Looking further ahead and using data extracted from your management accounts, you’ll need to calculate how long your business will be able to trade on the reduced income – and consider what options are open to you longer term should the situation persist.

2. Review staffing against your business options


When you have listed your business options, you will be in a position to review your staffing structure in relation to each potential scenario. It’s important to show you’ve considered your options in this order.

You’ll need to consider each option against the key criteria, making sure you’re being fair and reasonable at each juncture – being extremely mindful at this point to set aside the personal situations or personalities of individual employees.

3. Recognise your obligation to consult with staff


Don’t make the mistake of thinking that restructuring your organisation is purely a business decision, and you don’t need to consult with your employees.


If you’re planning a restructure that’s going to require staff to have to change roles or result in redundancies, you’re statutorily bound to engage in a meaningful consultation process with those staff who will be affected.


Crucially, this doesn’t mean sharing a restructuring plan that’s set in stone and just expecting staff to adopt it.  All too often, we hear of business owners who work on a restructuring plan in isolation, before presenting it to their workforce as a fait acompli: an action more likely to lead to conflict and arbitration than collaboration.


Ideally, it’s best to communicate with staff openly and honestly from the outset. This way, there will be complete transparency before the consultation process begins. You’ll have to allow time for affected employees to respond with alternative solutions, and no definitive decisions can be made until the consultation process has been completed.


4. Pause recruitment activity


If you’re planning any redundancies as part of your restructure, you’ll need to consider whether those employees affected might be offered any other suitable alternative employment within your organisation. To this end, you should pause any recruitment activity during the process.


5. Advise affected staff


When you have identified your preferred restructure route, your next step must be to notify any employees who will potentially be affected, formally advising them that you intend to enter a consultation process.


6. Consult with affected staff


Having taken the appropriate steps up to this point, you’re now ready to consult with affected employees. You will be able to share your proposed restructure plan together with your reasons and rationale for putting it forward.


At the same time, you’ll need to make it clear that no decisions have yet been taken, and you are open to any alternative solutions those affected might want to propose.


You must leave space for plans to evolve and change, and time for other parties to put forward alternative solutions and have them fully considered – so that by the time a final decision is reached, all options have been explored.


I often liken the process of going into a restructure to kicking a rugby ball into the air. In the same way you can’t know which way the ball will bounce on landing, it’s virtually impossible to predict how a restructure proposal will be received when you’re dealing with people and emotions.


Employers will frequently go in one of two directions. They’ll either procrastinate and go around in circles as they attempt to get inside their employees’ heads – trying to anticipate and address questions they can’t possibly know. Or they’ll simply impose their preferred restructure option without consultation, believing they’ve explored all avenues and no other solution is available.

The first of these routes wastes time and energy and is ultimately ineffective as the clarity of any original objective is lost. The second is clearly unlawful.

Going back to my rugby ball analogy, a restructure can have a clearly defined process, but it won’t be linear, and along the way, it will bob and weave. To ensure it runs smoothly and results in a successful outcome, the support of an HR professional who can help you manage the human aspects involved with implementing change – as well as guiding you in respect of compliance, is essential.

Focusing exclusively on compliance when making decisions is not necessarily the best way forward. In some situations, taking human considerations into account might cost you a little more time and/or money – but save you a lot in terms of how your business is perceived by others. This may be a particularly important consideration for owners of small and mid-size companies who have a high profile in their local community.

Can We Help Your Business Restructure?

Do you need to change the shape of your business? Organic P&O Solutions can advise and support you through every step of the process.  We’ll help you balance compliance with fairness so that your team transitions smoothly and painlessly, and we’ll make sure that when your restructure is complete, the reputation of your business – and your conscience – remain fully intact!

Call us today to arrange an initial conversation on 01344 441 043.




If like many organisations you are in a position where you may need to look at restructuring your business, you may find this blog useful from our friends at Organic P&O Solutions.


Getting Ready To Restructure Your Business? 6 Steps You Must Follow.

To be successful, your business will have to evolve continually. As it grows, you’re likely to have to reorganise at various points on your journey. Sometimes you might want to make changes to take advantage of new opportunities. At other times, you may need to adapt your business model to respond to challenges.


In our experience, a company that has grown to employ 20 – 25 employees and beyond can anticipate having to restructure every 12 to 18 months on average.


As businesses adjust to trading in the current climate, many will likely need to look at how they are structured. This might involve reviewing and redefining the roles of some employees, and without suitable alternative positions available within a new set up, it might mean having to make some redundancies.


Understandably for employees, an organisational restructure can be an unsettling time, which means it’s important to manage it well. The consequences of not doing so can include added disruption to business, a damaged reputation – and where redundancies are involved, time and expense in defending employment tribunal claims.


In planning any restructure likely to result in changes to job roles or redundancies, it’s essential for an employer to consult with their employees before they make any final decisions.


Here at Organic P&O Solutions, we help business owners and management teams make the (sometimes tough) decisions required to change the shape of their organisations – and to do so in a way that is compliant and fair for all parties.

When a restructure goes wrong, it’s often because the business involved has not fulfilled its obligation to consult with affected staff, or because somewhere in the process, it has failed to follow the correct procedures.


If you’re planning a restructure in your organisation, having the support of a professional HR advisor is highly recommended. Because every restructure is different and has its own unique dynamics, there’s much more to consider than the linear process. This said, there are some fundamental points to keep in mind when you’re preparing to implement a change like this:


1. Review all your business options


Based on the information you have available, and what you are reasonably able to anticipate, you will need to consider all the business options open to you.

If for example, your business has experienced a significant drop in revenue, you’ll need to review – and where possible, reduce overheads in the short term. Looking further ahead and using data extracted from your management accounts, you’ll need to calculate how long your business will be able to trade on the reduced income – and consider what options are open to you longer term should the situation persist.

2. Review staffing against your business options


When you have listed your business options, you will be in a position to review your staffing structure in relation to each potential scenario. It’s important to show you’ve considered your options in this order.

You’ll need to consider each option against the key criteria, making sure you’re being fair and reasonable at each juncture – being extremely mindful at this point to set aside the personal situations or personalities of individual employees.

3. Recognise your obligation to consult with staff


Don’t make the mistake of thinking that restructuring your organisation is purely a business decision, and you don’t need to consult with your employees.


If you’re planning a restructure that’s going to require staff to have to change roles or result in redundancies, you’re statutorily bound to engage in a meaningful consultation process with those staff who will be affected.


Crucially, this doesn’t mean sharing a restructuring plan that’s set in stone and just expecting staff to adopt it.  All too often, we hear of business owners who work on a restructuring plan in isolation, before presenting it to their workforce as a fait acompli: an action more likely to lead to conflict and arbitration than collaboration.


Ideally, it’s best to communicate with staff openly and honestly from the outset. This way, there will be complete transparency before the consultation process begins. You’ll have to allow time for affected employees to respond with alternative solutions, and no definitive decisions can be made until the consultation process has been completed.


4. Pause recruitment activity


If you’re planning any redundancies as part of your restructure, you’ll need to consider whether those employees affected might be offered any other suitable alternative employment within your organisation. To this end, you should pause any recruitment activity during the process.


5. Advise affected staff


When you have identified your preferred restructure route, your next step must be to notify any employees who will potentially be affected, formally advising them that you intend to enter a consultation process.


6. Consult with affected staff


Having taken the appropriate steps up to this point, you’re now ready to consult with affected employees. You will be able to share your proposed restructure plan together with your reasons and rationale for putting it forward.


At the same time, you’ll need to make it clear that no decisions have yet been taken, and you are open to any alternative solutions those affected might want to propose.


You must leave space for plans to evolve and change, and time for other parties to put forward alternative solutions and have them fully considered – so that by the time a final decision is reached, all options have been explored.


I often liken the process of going into a restructure to kicking a rugby ball into the air. In the same way you can’t know which way the ball will bounce on landing, it’s virtually impossible to predict how a restructure proposal will be received when you’re dealing with people and emotions.


Employers will frequently go in one of two directions. They’ll either procrastinate and go around in circles as they attempt to get inside their employees’ heads – trying to anticipate and address questions they can’t possibly know. Or they’ll simply impose their preferred restructure option without consultation, believing they’ve explored all avenues and no other solution is available.

The first of these routes wastes time and energy and is ultimately ineffective as the clarity of any original objective is lost. The second is clearly unlawful.

Going back to my rugby ball analogy, a restructure can have a clearly defined process, but it won’t be linear, and along the way, it will bob and weave. To ensure it runs smoothly and results in a successful outcome, the support of an HR professional who can help you manage the human aspects involved with implementing change – as well as guiding you in respect of compliance, is essential.

Focusing exclusively on compliance when making decisions is not necessarily the best way forward. In some situations, taking human considerations into account might cost you a little more time and/or money – but save you a lot in terms of how your business is perceived by others. This may be a particularly important consideration for owners of small and mid-size companies who have a high profile in their local community.

Can We Help Your Business Restructure?

Do you need to change the shape of your business? Organic P&O Solutions can advise and support you through every step of the process.  We’ll help you balance compliance with fairness so that your team transitions smoothly and painlessly, and we’ll make sure that when your restructure is complete, the reputation of your business – and your conscience – remain fully intact!

Call us today to arrange an initial conversation on 01344 441 043.

Read More »

Video Interview Tips







Do you have an online interview coming up? Yes, we are in lock-down but these mistakes are unnecessary!

We have been astonished by how candidates are not treating online video interviews as seriously as face to face.

Stories from our clients about candidates include:

Fixing the camera position whilst the interviewer waits.
Putting their hair up as they are being interviewed.
Being interviewed in their gym gear.
Expecting to be “told about the job” as opposed to having the information to hand with the job they applied for.
Sat in a place with the radio on, the dog barking, and a cat walking in front of the screen.
Shouting at family members to be quiet as they are on the phone.
Not being ready on time.
Not being able to log on to the link that was sent in advance.

EASY TO DO'S THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

1. Be in a tidy area in a well lit room
2. Put the camera in the head and shoulder view
3. Dress smart - it is an interview!
4. Prepare, the same as you would if you were attending a company site
5. Test the link when you get it - not at the time of the interview
6. Be ready 15 minutes early. Log on to the link 5 minutes before
7. CV and job details to hand
8. Finally - Have some questions ready and don't forget to smile


If you need any more advice, please get in touch with one of the team today:

Email: info@louisafleet.co.uk







Do you have an online interview coming up? Yes, we are in lock-down but these mistakes are unnecessary!

We have been astonished by how candidates are not treating online video interviews as seriously as face to face.

Stories from our clients about candidates include:

Fixing the camera position whilst the interviewer waits.
Putting their hair up as they are being interviewed.
Being interviewed in their gym gear.
Expecting to be “told about the job” as opposed to having the information to hand with the job they applied for.
Sat in a place with the radio on, the dog barking, and a cat walking in front of the screen.
Shouting at family members to be quiet as they are on the phone.
Not being ready on time.
Not being able to log on to the link that was sent in advance.

EASY TO DO'S THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE:

1. Be in a tidy area in a well lit room
2. Put the camera in the head and shoulder view
3. Dress smart - it is an interview!
4. Prepare, the same as you would if you were attending a company site
5. Test the link when you get it - not at the time of the interview
6. Be ready 15 minutes early. Log on to the link 5 minutes before
7. CV and job details to hand
8. Finally - Have some questions ready and don't forget to smile


If you need any more advice, please get in touch with one of the team today:

Email: info@louisafleet.co.uk

Read More »

Open for Business



Like everyone I’ve been doing a lot of thinking so I thought I’d share some of my learning and experiences that have helped me make it through the last few weeks.


One day at a time

I’m just taking each day as it comes to stop myself feeling overwhelmed! I’ve been leaving space in my diary for the unexpected, events are changing daily and I need to have the capacity to react when necessary. I’m prioritising activities I can control and accept those that I can’t. This is really helping to lift my energy and mood and give me some sense of accomplishment on a daily basis.
We need to see people, face to face
The importance of face to face communication with my team even though we are remote is really showing. I’ve been scheduling regular video meetings to update and keep track of goals and individual personal situations. We are all fighting our own battles and it is helpful to share so we can support and advise each other as a team. These video meetings might even be a habit I keep up when social distancing is lifted!


Thinking of a victorious outcome

Overall, I’m visualising coming out of the other side of this – with continual reminders to myself that it is temporary. I’m convinced this experience will show us how resilient we are as a team and how much stronger our business will be as a result. We are celebrating each milestone and victory, however small.  I think if we create positive energies this encourages us to keep persisting and moving forward with confidence that good things can still happen.
I think the virus is an opportunity for the world to refocus on what matters. We are so busy we forget to appreciate what really gives our lives meaning. The people in our lives – family, colleagues, friends, neighbours and loved ones cannot be replaced.


Helping others makes you feel great 

I’m trying to make time to offer to help others in this crisis – asking where I can personally help a client which has been welcomed so far. I’ve set up a free CV Clinic to help Reading based hospitality staff promote their transferable skills into different sectors. These people need all the help they can get right now. You can get in touch via cvclinic@louisafleet.co.uk
Making a positive contribution and assisting others in the business community helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Compassion is so important at this time – that may mean offering to help that man screaming in the toilet roll aisle rather than shouting at him. Like I said earlier, we are all fighting our own battles.


You can’t beat a bit of fresh air and gratitude 

It’s easy to neglect yourself in these situations but there is no sick pay when you run your own business and no basic salary to fall back on if the business grinds to a halt so I’ve been really paying attention to healthy eating, exercise, and sleep.
Getting out in the fresh air is really important for me and thankfully our wonderful office dog Billy makes sure I take him out twice a day!
I highly recommend a daily gratitude journal. It's a bit like counting your blessings morning and evening and it really lifts my spirits. I reflect on things that I am grateful for; things that make me smile; people who I am thankful for, something that made me laugh. There is always good in every day and it’s great to reflect and record this.


Open for business

Seeing our clients push on with hiring as usual where possible gives us hope for some business continuity and we are doing the same. It’s not surprising that companies involved in on-line supply and the domestic and health services sector are reporting a hike in recruitment requirements. They’ve got increasing demands that they can’t cope with. Our clients are looking to the future and are conscious of needing to maintain capacity for when the crisis is over. They are planning their recruitment carefully and nearby start dates are still going ahead. We are all adapting to the government advice and behaving responsibly around social distancing. Telephone and video interviews are the perfect solution for hiring managers who are adapting their processes so they can still move quickly to secure their ideal candidates. (I wrote a blog post about video interviews here)
So, in summary, we are standing strong, open for business and ready to serve!

If you are recruiting or looking for a job please do get in touch sales@louisafleet.co.uk

Like everyone I’ve been doing a lot of thinking so I thought I’d share some of my learning and experiences that have helped me make it through the last few weeks.


One day at a time

I’m just taking each day as it comes to stop myself feeling overwhelmed! I’ve been leaving space in my diary for the unexpected, events are changing daily and I need to have the capacity to react when necessary. I’m prioritising activities I can control and accept those that I can’t. This is really helping to lift my energy and mood and give me some sense of accomplishment on a daily basis.
We need to see people, face to face
The importance of face to face communication with my team even though we are remote is really showing. I’ve been scheduling regular video meetings to update and keep track of goals and individual personal situations. We are all fighting our own battles and it is helpful to share so we can support and advise each other as a team. These video meetings might even be a habit I keep up when social distancing is lifted!


Thinking of a victorious outcome

Overall, I’m visualising coming out of the other side of this – with continual reminders to myself that it is temporary. I’m convinced this experience will show us how resilient we are as a team and how much stronger our business will be as a result. We are celebrating each milestone and victory, however small.  I think if we create positive energies this encourages us to keep persisting and moving forward with confidence that good things can still happen.
I think the virus is an opportunity for the world to refocus on what matters. We are so busy we forget to appreciate what really gives our lives meaning. The people in our lives – family, colleagues, friends, neighbours and loved ones cannot be replaced.


Helping others makes you feel great 

I’m trying to make time to offer to help others in this crisis – asking where I can personally help a client which has been welcomed so far. I’ve set up a free CV Clinic to help Reading based hospitality staff promote their transferable skills into different sectors. These people need all the help they can get right now. You can get in touch via cvclinic@louisafleet.co.uk
Making a positive contribution and assisting others in the business community helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
Compassion is so important at this time – that may mean offering to help that man screaming in the toilet roll aisle rather than shouting at him. Like I said earlier, we are all fighting our own battles.


You can’t beat a bit of fresh air and gratitude 

It’s easy to neglect yourself in these situations but there is no sick pay when you run your own business and no basic salary to fall back on if the business grinds to a halt so I’ve been really paying attention to healthy eating, exercise, and sleep.
Getting out in the fresh air is really important for me and thankfully our wonderful office dog Billy makes sure I take him out twice a day!
I highly recommend a daily gratitude journal. It's a bit like counting your blessings morning and evening and it really lifts my spirits. I reflect on things that I am grateful for; things that make me smile; people who I am thankful for, something that made me laugh. There is always good in every day and it’s great to reflect and record this.


Open for business

Seeing our clients push on with hiring as usual where possible gives us hope for some business continuity and we are doing the same. It’s not surprising that companies involved in on-line supply and the domestic and health services sector are reporting a hike in recruitment requirements. They’ve got increasing demands that they can’t cope with. Our clients are looking to the future and are conscious of needing to maintain capacity for when the crisis is over. They are planning their recruitment carefully and nearby start dates are still going ahead. We are all adapting to the government advice and behaving responsibly around social distancing. Telephone and video interviews are the perfect solution for hiring managers who are adapting their processes so they can still move quickly to secure their ideal candidates. (I wrote a blog post about video interviews here)
So, in summary, we are standing strong, open for business and ready to serve!

If you are recruiting or looking for a job please do get in touch sales@louisafleet.co.uk
Read More »

Video Interviewing





1. What questions are asked in a video interview?


Like in all kinds of interviews, questions are relevant to the job, the function and the seniority level. They also have to do with the hiring stage. For example, first-round interviews usually cover basic topics such as availability and salary expectations, while interviews at later stages might address career goals and projects that candidates will manage if hired.

The same guidelines apply in video interviews. Since it’s common to have a video call early in the hiring process, as a screening method, here are some common video interview questions you can ask:


⦁  What attracted you to sales? Why did you decide to apply for this sales role?
⦁  Tell me about a sale you are most proud of and why?
⦁  What inspired you to pursue this type of sales career?
⦁  Describe briefly a sales objection you faced and how you overcame it.
⦁  What does a good week look like to you, sales activity wise?
⦁  What do you want from your next employer and line manager, tell me your “must haves” and “nice to haves”?

For more video interview tips, have a look at these online interview questions and Skype interview questions. Here are also some sample video interview questions and answers specifically for remote employees.

2. How do I prepare myself for a video interview?


Besides having the proper video equipment (camera, mic, software, etc.), interviewers need to ensure that video calls go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to prepare yourself before a video interview with candidates:

For live video interviews:

⦁  Be ready 20 minutes before each call to test your equipment.  We recommend Zoom or Skype (https://zoom.us/ https://www.skype.com/en/) Even if you’ve used them before, unexpected issues could arise at any moment. It’s useful to have the candidate’s contact details handy in case you need to inform them about a delay
⦁  Make sure they have clear instructions on how to receive the call their end.
⦁  Pick a room that’s free of distractions. Good lighting, privacy and a de-cluttered background are also essential. Make sure to mute any notifications you have on your computer (e.g. email, Slack) so that you stay focused on your interview.
⦁  Keep in mind that video interviews can be stressful for candidates considering they’re basically talking to a screen. Help them feel more comfortable by maintaining eye contact and showing that they have your full attention. For example, if you’re making video calls with your phone, it might seem you’re in a rush. Plus, the fact that when you’re holding your phone, the screen is not stable and could distract candidates.

3. What are some disadvantages of video interviews – and what can I do about them?


While video interviews can benefit your hiring process, you should also consider the following potential risks:

Poor evaluation due to technical difficulties

No matter how well-prepared you and the candidate are, something could always go wrong (e.g. poor connection or a temporary malfunction of the camera.) These technical issues can hinder the flow of conversation and may be stressful for candidates.
Tip: if you face technical difficulties during an interview, don’t be too harsh on candidates. Also, consider having a quick follow-up if you didn’t have the chance to discuss everything during your call.


Personality bias
While video interviews help you structure your hiring process, and therefore be more objective, they can also introduce new biases. Think of how interviewers can be influenced by a nice-sounding voice or a confident attitude. These characteristics may be job-related if we’re talking about a sales role or customer-facing position, but they could subconsciously (and wrongfully) be used as criteria for other roles, too.

Source- resources.workable.com



Get in touch with one of the team today:


Email: info@louisafleet.co.uk
Social Media: LinkedIn Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |






1. What questions are asked in a video interview?


Like in all kinds of interviews, questions are relevant to the job, the function and the seniority level. They also have to do with the hiring stage. For example, first-round interviews usually cover basic topics such as availability and salary expectations, while interviews at later stages might address career goals and projects that candidates will manage if hired.

The same guidelines apply in video interviews. Since it’s common to have a video call early in the hiring process, as a screening method, here are some common video interview questions you can ask:


⦁  What attracted you to sales? Why did you decide to apply for this sales role?
⦁  Tell me about a sale you are most proud of and why?
⦁  What inspired you to pursue this type of sales career?
⦁  Describe briefly a sales objection you faced and how you overcame it.
⦁  What does a good week look like to you, sales activity wise?
⦁  What do you want from your next employer and line manager, tell me your “must haves” and “nice to haves”?

For more video interview tips, have a look at these online interview questions and Skype interview questions. Here are also some sample video interview questions and answers specifically for remote employees.

2. How do I prepare myself for a video interview?


Besides having the proper video equipment (camera, mic, software, etc.), interviewers need to ensure that video calls go as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips to prepare yourself before a video interview with candidates:

For live video interviews:

⦁  Be ready 20 minutes before each call to test your equipment.  We recommend Zoom or Skype (https://zoom.us/ https://www.skype.com/en/) Even if you’ve used them before, unexpected issues could arise at any moment. It’s useful to have the candidate’s contact details handy in case you need to inform them about a delay
⦁  Make sure they have clear instructions on how to receive the call their end.
⦁  Pick a room that’s free of distractions. Good lighting, privacy and a de-cluttered background are also essential. Make sure to mute any notifications you have on your computer (e.g. email, Slack) so that you stay focused on your interview.
⦁  Keep in mind that video interviews can be stressful for candidates considering they’re basically talking to a screen. Help them feel more comfortable by maintaining eye contact and showing that they have your full attention. For example, if you’re making video calls with your phone, it might seem you’re in a rush. Plus, the fact that when you’re holding your phone, the screen is not stable and could distract candidates.

3. What are some disadvantages of video interviews – and what can I do about them?


While video interviews can benefit your hiring process, you should also consider the following potential risks:

Poor evaluation due to technical difficulties

No matter how well-prepared you and the candidate are, something could always go wrong (e.g. poor connection or a temporary malfunction of the camera.) These technical issues can hinder the flow of conversation and may be stressful for candidates.
Tip: if you face technical difficulties during an interview, don’t be too harsh on candidates. Also, consider having a quick follow-up if you didn’t have the chance to discuss everything during your call.


Personality bias
While video interviews help you structure your hiring process, and therefore be more objective, they can also introduce new biases. Think of how interviewers can be influenced by a nice-sounding voice or a confident attitude. These characteristics may be job-related if we’re talking about a sales role or customer-facing position, but they could subconsciously (and wrongfully) be used as criteria for other roles, too.

Source- resources.workable.com



Get in touch with one of the team today:


Email: info@louisafleet.co.uk
Social Media: LinkedIn Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |


Read More »