In a follow on from my last three articles, “Why can’t B2B sales people sell?” I have developed a short eBook on How to Hire the Best People for B2B Sales.
The eBook is broken into two main sections;
1. The characteristics of excellent sales people, and
2. The skills of excellent sales people.
Some of the topics include.
Identifying Top Performers – The Don’ts
How do you identify top performers? How can you stop the bleeding at your company brought on by sales people that do not perform?
The biggest mistake most companies make is hiring people with “experience”. And yet the majority of companies hiring salespeople emphasize the experience of the salesperson in their recruiting and screening efforts, as if this were the biggest indicator of future success.
My Important Key Research
So, I did my own research, with people I know that have been successful for many years in technology sales and services. I surveyed 10 people, and they ranged from entrepreneurs to people who were senior executives in companies like HP, Unisys, IBM and Adecco.
All of them started out as sales people, and then ended up running large sales teams, and eventually were senior executives in these firms, and some of them with their own companies. They are people who “have been there and done that”, and been very successful, as far as selling in the B2B marketplace.
Key Characteristics of Top Performers
My survey participants named these ten characteristics for the best sales people you can hire. These are inborn traits that you should be looking for. Following each trait is a definition of that trait, and then an explanation of why my survey participants say this characteristic is important.
2. Sense of Urgency
4. Have integrity
6. Plus five more Characteristics
Key Skills of Top Performers
Depending on the level of sales person you are hiring, you should also look for certain skills that these sales people should have learned over their selling years. If you are hiring entry level sales performers, then you should concentrate on the first group of characteristics, as these people will not have had time to learn even the basic skills.
However, as you move up the ladder to more experienced sales people, you also want to know what skills they have learned over the years. If they do not have these skills, as senior sales reps, then I suggest that they will not be top performers for your company. If they have not spent time improving their own skills and abilities, then you should not spend your time working with them.
How to Hire the Best B2B Sales People
The skills that can be learned, and ones that top performers should have, include the following;
1. Systematic sales process skills
2. Ability to think strategically
3. Excellent communication skills
4. Plus three other important skills that need to be learned.