Recruiting Sales Teams Consistently Win When They Adopt Racehorse Training Plans

Turn Your Sales Team into Thoroughbreds With A Training Plan and Top-Notch Tools

What happens on the first Saturday in May? America’s best three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses compete for one of the biggest crowns in horseracing: the Kentucky Derby.   When you see these magnificent animals primed for the fastest two minutes in sports, you can’t help but think of the high-tech tools and extensive training that got them there.

What do training racehorses and training sales teams have in common, you ask?

Both require a long-term comprehensive commitment and top-notch tools.

Break In Your Team For Onboarding Success

Although they won’t begin racing until late into their second year, young thoroughbreds begin their handling training at birth.  They learn their manners (hopefully) and get used to the activities around a busy barn that will prepare them for the hubbub of the backstretch.

Sales training for new team members within a recruiting firm is somewhat the same.  Managers need to get their new charges used to the corporate culture of their firm quickly and get them settled in with procedures, goals and expectations.

Drill Them on the Basics

racehorseFrom schooling in the starting gate to galloping on the track each morning, trainers cover all the skills young horses need to be successful constantly.

Take a look at these points for training techniques you can replicate for success with your recruiting sales team:

  • The Client’s Challenges Are Yours – Chris Burkhard, President of the recruiting firm CBI, gives this tip in his article for Staffing Stream: “Consider your staff and your client as being members of the same team. Know the client’s priorities as well as your own. Be able to anticipate client feedback instinctively… as fellow team members often do.”

Training your team to intimately understand the client’s needs and problems enables them to respond more quickly and cohesively with a solution.  In a popular webinar on Sales Best Practices for Bond, Leslie Prince of Roth Staffing encourages teams to assess the impact of the problems your clients face, which will help your team to craft a fine-tuned solution.


  • Focus on High Value Actions – In her article “Stop Being Scattered And Start Selling,” Dr. Janet Lapp shares this telling statistic, “Top sales performers spend between 75% and 95% of their time on high-payoff or ‘worth-it’ actions.  Low performers spend between 25% and 40% of their time on ‘worth-it’ actions without even realizing it.”

Lapp offers this advice: “Schedule the behavior you want to increase by pairing it with a habit already established. Habit strength will transfer to the new action.”  That could be as simple as to make five sales calls every time you fix yourself a cup of coffee.

This principle applies to day-to-day time management and the benefits of recruiting software.  The more familiar your sales team is with your recruiting software, the better they can manage daily tasks quickly, leaving more time for finding new candidates and networking with referral sources.

  • Get in the Habit of Positive Energy – Obviously positive energy between team members is essential, but positive energy directed at clients is crucial, too.  Sales expert Jeff Shore addressed the benefits of positive energy in his article, “Misery Loves Company,”

“Think of encounters with customers as having a finite amount of space. Your job is to FILL that space with positive energy, leaving no area for negative energy to exist.”

Give champions a chance to mentor them

jockeyThe delicate art of training thoroughbreds includes replicating the training regimen of their triumphant relatives.  Adapting training to a horse’s inherited traits means copying proven successful methods — bringing the youngsters along in much the same fashion as their winning parents and grandparents.  For example, some family lines include later-maturing horses, so training has to move at a slower pace.

Trainers also use experienced racehorses as training partners to settle younger horses—a great strategy for training your recruiting sales team, as well.

Creating a mentoring system pairing high level and extra-successful sales team members with newcomers can provide valuable insight in a supportive environment.  In addition, scheduling educational seminars and brainstorming sessions for the whole team builds relationships and fuels creative energy.

In addition to training practices, whether it’s the right bridle or the best supplements, trainers of the top equine athletes have all manners of sophisticated tools at their disposal to help their horses stay healthy and happy because that’s the foundation of a stellar performer.

Likewise, hiring companies should provide their sales team with the best recruiting software to make their jobs easier.  Add that to the platform of strong training and your sales team will end up in the winner’s circle more often.

Discover insight into more staffing sales best practices with our webinar and video, “Staffing Sales Best Practices.”

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