Priit Suitslepp – Recruitment in the field of sales

Priit Suitslepp

"We'd like a salesperson who climbs back in through the window when they're thrown out the door.

- This is a very typical answer to the question, what kind of salesperson does the company need?

Although it is a very nice criterion, there are all kinds of sales. Salespeople who sell pensions in shopping malls and salespeople who sell new CRM systems to large corporations cannot be lumped together. If you dig into the details, there are a lot of nuances to follow when recruiting salespeople.

Having been involved in the recruitment of salespeople for the last 40 years, we share with you the five main criteria we follow when recruiting sales talent:

Length of sales cycle

There are salespeople for whom a shorter sales cycle is suitable and for whom a longer sales cycle is suitable. If we use the previous examples, the sales cycle of corporations can last from a few months to a few years. But you can handle active sales in a shopping centre in 10 minutes

Who is the decision-maker?

In B2C sales, your decision-makers are mostly "ordinary people from the street", but in B2B sales, the decision makers are company managers. In turn, there is a difference in B2B sales whether you are used to selling to, for example, CEOs or marketing managers. It also depends on the size of the company, because the bigger the company, the more decisionmakers there are.

Inbound or cold sales?

There are many salespeople who have only been involved in sales when the customer comes to them (warm leads). You need communication and sales skills there too, but sales where you must talk to or generate cold contacts yourself, are much more difficult.

Has the salesperson sold a well-known brand/product?

It's easier to sell an Apple computer than a Chuwi computer that no one knows. Similarly, it is more difficult to sell a product that the customer didn't even know they needed or that they don't currently use, but which would save time/money if used. In this case, both the company and the product must be ‘’sold’’.

Has the salesperson sold price or quality?

Car models are a good comparison here. Selling a BMW is different than selling Dacia cars. Of course, the clientele is also different, but in one you sell quality and comfort, and in the other you promote a good price.

Of course, there are still small nuances to be observed when recruiting salespeople. For example, the best salespeople should be motivated by money, but it must not be the main source of motivation to change jobs. If this is their main motivator, they will keep selling until they find a more profitable sales job.

The fact that they also know how to sell themselves very well makes it difficult to recruit salespeople, but it is important to understand whether they have enough consistency and ability to sell the company's product/service.

As with any recruitment, when finding salespeople, you must not forget the cultural component and compatibility with the manager. A person usually still comes to work because of the company and leaves because of the manager.

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