The role of the sales rep is constantly changing in line with an ever-evolving business marketplace, where the digital skills gap is prominent and political uncertainty hangs over an entire economy. Change is inevitable, and while you can’t predict the future, you can arm yourself with the best salespeople you can find in order to meet new challenges head on. So, what should you look for when hiring sales reps of the future?
A solution provider
Solution selling is a sales technique you can’t afford to ignore. The methodology has been around for decades, with a fairly straightforward premise: Customers have a problem which your salespeople are uniquely positioned to solve. The method gained traction for good reason – it positions products and services as an essential way of solving an issue, rather than simply playing on the ‘wants’ of consumers. In a dense, competitive marketplace of the future, solution-based approaches to sales will be essential in closing deals.
Look for salespeople who can get to the very core of a product or service, understanding exactly what it does and why it’s something the market needs. A sales superstar should be able to identify common pain points of customers, asking questions to probe into what makes them tick and then selling the value of your product or service. Rather than focusing on the price of what they’re selling, they should emphasise the value it can add to the customer, whether that’s in the form of time saving, ease of use or long-term financial savings.
In addition to selling solutions, smart salespeople of the future will be expected to handle a larger and more diverse customer base, which means they’ll need to wear many different functional hats and operate across various engagement channels. Look for sales candidates who are agile, flexible and prepared to adapt to new ways of working and selling.
Someone open to training and personal development
The future workplace will look very different to the environment in which we work today, particularly when it comes to the skills and experience in demand by employers. The digital skills gap alone could cost the UK £141 billion in GDP growth, with the rise of artificial intelligence also set to shake up how sales teams – and entire organisations – do business. This makes it essential for you to hire sales people who are motivated to learn and develop. It’s important to keep abreast of ongoing developments, trends and methodologies within the marketplace, so you need salespeople who are keen to learn, curious and constantly want to improve their sales techniques. External training providers can help to bridge any gaps and keep your team on top of everything from time management and presentation skills through to telephone sales.
As 68% of employees say that training and development is the most important workplace policy to have in place, it’s clear that organisations across the board will be focusing on upskilling their sales teams. Make sure you’re one of them.
Someone who fits in with the company culture
Strong cultural fit is an essential part of a robust, long-term recruitment strategy. More than 75% of employers say a good cultural fit helps to improve their staff retention rates, as team members who work in an organisation with a culture and values closely aligned to their own are less likely to look for a new role. A salesperson who is bought into your company ethos, believes in your product and works in harmony with their team members is invaluable to any organisation.
Start out by defining your culture. Look at your values, what makes your business unique and why it’s a great place to work. Ask your sales superstars what they like about the culture and why they think your sales team succeeds. Then make sure you’re communicating your culture through your website, social media pages and during the interview process. You want a salesperson who is aligned with your organisational goals and will work with you to achieve sales targets in the future.
Find the best sales candidates with BMS Performance
When hiring sales reps of the future, it’s important to know what to look for. The right candidate should be a solution provider, eager to upskill and a perfect fit for your organisational culture. It can be tricky to identify these salespeople and even trickier to recruit them, which is why it makes sense to ask the experts.
At BMS Performance, we pride ourselves on sourcing the best salespeople on the market. Work with us to future-proof your sales team and ensure future success.
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