How to find the right sales people

Building the right sales team is critical for success but it can be difficult. In fact, many companies say this is one of the top challenges facing their business. However, there are ways to simplify the process, ensuring you have the right team to bring in new business and increase your bottom line. Here, we’ll cover the two main aspects you need for success – identifying which skills are essential for these roles and knowing how to recruit the right people into your business.

  1. What sales people need to have

    Here are the key things we think sales people need in the modern market:

    An understanding of prospective customers

    Sounds simple, right? But the world of selling is changing and small businesses increasingly want someone with whom they can partner, who understands the challenges they face and offers simple solutions that can help their business. The hard sell is out, replaced by building relationships and helping people to achieve their potential.
    That means your sales team needs to have a genuine interest in prospective customers (not just their money), an ability to build relationships and an understanding of what it’s like to run a small business.

    Knowledge about using sales and marketing to generate leads

    These days, cold-calling every small business who crosses your path is becoming less and less effective. Small businesses are used to receiving a sophisticated mix of marketing, content and sales messages from businesses who want them to advertise.
    To get a full sales funnel with warm leads, sales teams need to understand how marketing works. And if you don’t have a marketing person, they’ll need to be able to run campaigns themselves.

    An understanding of cross-channel advertising

    The days of selling a single type of advertising are long gone. With the rise of digital ads, mobile ads, native advertising and video ads, sales people need to understand both traditional and online advertising and how they can be used to get the best return for prospective customers.

    Up-to-date information about competitors

    Some small businesses are now setting their own advertising through Facebook and Google Adwords, which means you face direct competition from these channels. It’s essential that your sales teams understand these competitors and can explain to prospective customers how your service differs and offers additional value, in order to generate sales.

    Familiarity with the advertising market

    Things are changing rapidly in advertising, from the increase in ad-blocking technology to the changes in native and personalised adverts. It’s essential that your sales team has its finger on the pulse and knows about future changes that might affect the market.

    Understanding and ability to get the most from data

    In a world where software can provide a range of statistics at the click of a button, data is increasingly important for driving decisions. Your sales team needs to be able to understand and use data effectively. There are two key ways:
    1. For the business: your sales people need to be able to generate detailed reports and forecasts, as well as identifying trends that can help them to spot the best prospects.
    2. For the customer: both Google and Facebook provide detailed statistics so customers who are familiar with these are likely to want the same. While the account manager may provide these, sales people should keep an eye on them too, to spot new opportunities. They should also be familiar with the demographics of your audience, so they can explain how adverts would reach the right people.

    How to find the right sales people

    Once you know what you need, it’s time to start recruitment. Here are a few things to consider:

    Their skills and their background

    With the changes in sales roles and the move to more personal relationships, it pays to take time to consider exactly who you need. It might be that you need someone with a lot of sales experience. Alternatively, you might consider looking for someone with the right skills who hasn’t worked in sales as long.

    How to reach the right people

    Advertise the role internally, ask employees for referrals and think about anyone in your networks who may have contacts. Social media and online ads also allow you to reach out easily to prospective employees.

    The right match

    At each stage of the process, think again about the skills you need and the type of person you want in the role. Make sure it’s a good fit on both sides. Finally be sure to explain the package fully: misunderstanding the salary and commission is one of the main reasons for turnover in sales roles.

    Outsourcing: an alternative approach

    Of course, there is another option. You could outsource your acquisition to a business partner, which means that you have a specialist to target customers for you. At NRS Media, we do this by building relationships with small businesses and other prospective customers, helping to get the right fit so that they are more likely to convert and stay with you for the long-term.
    This can be a very cost-effective way of generating sales, as you only pay when you have guaranteed new business.

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