Do you know why a lot of businesses fail? It’s not because of poor products or service or bad accounting. Most small businesses don’t survive past five years because of the lack of sales.
As your business starts to grow, you start looking for people who will push your products. Finding and hiring salespeople is critical for any company. However, finding the right applicant for the job is a complex process, especially since many employers don’t know how to recognize talented salespeople. Here’s watch you should look for:
4 Ways to Identify Talented Salespeople
1. Look for Passion, Not Just Knowledge
Sales is a dynamic job, and a salesperson who’s passionate about their product has a greater chance of closing deals. Look for someone who’s excited about meeting new prospects and who’s happy to find a solution to a client’s problem through a well-crafted sales solution. You can easily see an employee’s passion through their body language. A company should also take steps to keep their workers’ passions alive.
- Teach them everything they need to know: It’s hard to be passionate about a product you don’t fully understand. Make sure each salesperson is knowledgeable of all aspects of the product, from the technical to the aesthetic, from its history to future plans.
- Keep your team engaged: A salesperson who’s deeply invested in a product is one who’s passionate about it. Engage your sales staff by listening to their feedback and keeping them in the loop whenever there are changes in your product. Recognize their contributions and provide them with a chance for career growth.
- Share the success: Market your product to your people too. Treat employees to lunch or host a small party when the company wins an award or receives good feedback. Making an effort to inform your sales team about the company’s success and acknowledging their contribution will enhance their pride and stoke their passions.
2. Look for Real Experience, Not Just Qualifications
Qualifications still matter when hiring, especially if you’re considering tapping someone young. Candidates with a degree in marketing and sales are better choices than applicants without actual sales experience or who studied a different major.
However, there’s no substitute for experience. Candidates who have worked in sales for years or have been a part of multiple organizations have a definite edge. In this situation, employers can even overlook the applicant’s qualification as the skills accumulated by dealing with diverse clients and selling a wide range of products is invaluable.
3. Look for Adaptability, Not Just Competence
You need competent salespeople if you want your business to survive. These days, you need people who are not only competent but adaptable as well. Employers need people who can develop a new skill or who can learn how to sell a new product or service quickly, even if their background is in an entirely different niche. Rival companies roll out new products consistently, and there are always threats from startups. So your sales team has to be flexible enough to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
4. Look for One With a Strong Sales IQ
The best salespeople all share specific characteristics. They are great at developing relationships, have high EQ (emotional intelligence) and can easily understand what people want. They have tremendous empathy and are good at reading body language. And, they are good listeners. They hear what the customers are looking for and they can convince them that their product is exactly what they need. All these traits come together to make for a strong sales IQ.
However, it’s hard to find someone who embodies all these traits. Big companies have the luxury of hiring several people who can handle different sales processes. For instance, they can hire one who’s in charge of building relationships, another one who can pitch the product and someone who will close the deal. But small companies can only hire one or two people. If you’re lucky, you can find someone who has great sales IQ. If not, choose someone who has the strongest sales IQ and be ready to provide them with the training and support they’ll need to grow.
It’s a challenge to find talented salespeople today. So once you have finally hired the right person for the job, make sure you hold on to them. Show that you appreciate them. While incentives are a good way of encouraging your employees, it’s better to make them feel that their job is secure, regardless of whether they hit their sales target or not. Relevant training, good leadership, and a supportive environment also go a long way in ensuring you won’t lose good people.
[Featured image via Pixabay]