B2B sales people are the heart of your company. They bring in clients, and without a client, you don’t have a company.
If you don’t hire the right B2B sales people for your company, then it could cost you hundreds of thousands, possibly even millions, of dollars for a wrong hire. This number is obviously dependent on the dollar size of your deals.
And yet there are probably very few people in your company who have been in B2B sales, or even any selling position.
You cannot hire B2B sales people without walking a mile in their shoes. This is true for senior roles as well as entry level sales.
There are certain questions you need to ask that will give you a good idea if this candidate is a good fit for your particular sales situations. And only seasoned B2B sales people can really determine whether this person will fit into that role, or whether they are BS’ing their way into the job.
In today’s world, very few B2B sales people have had any formal training. It takes a good length of time to learn how to sell in the B2B world, and hardly any companies that I am aware of give the training needed.
DOES EXPERIENCE MATTER WHEN HIRING B2B SALES PEOPLE?
Almost all B2B companies expect their sales people to already know how to sell. And yet the selling environment from one B2B company to the next, may be like night and day.
So, although experience may be a factor, the experience in one company, even in the same industry, probably won’t carry over to the next company.
A classic example is how leads are generated from one B2B company to the next. If one company has a marketing department helping generate leads, and the next company doesn’t have a marketing department, then the way the sales people get and generate leads is very different.
And two marketing departments from two different companies will not work the same way. The classic example here is how well sales and marketing departments are integrated in the two companies. This will vary widely.
Two sales managers will also vary differently in how they believe B2B sales people should sell. One may still believe cold calling works, (which it doesn’t) and another sales manager will believe that there is a completely different and more effective method for generating new business.
These are just a few of the differences B2B companies have in how they sell to their target market.
Also, you may get a sales person who is very convincing at selling you how wonderful he/she is at selling. But if you haven’t been in B2B sales, they may be more of a con artist than a good sales fit for your company.
FOUR MAJOR COMPONENTS FOR HIRING B2B SALES PEOPLE
There are four major components for hiring the right sales person for your company.
1. Understanding your selling environment, and what KPI’s you want for your company to succeed.
2. Asking the right questions. Only a seasoned B2B sales executive can tell if this person is giving the right answers, and is the right fit for your company.
3. Hiring sales people who have the traits described in my eBook How to Hire the Best People for B2B Sales. Get your free copy by clicking the link. The book also describes the real costs of a bad hire.
4. Once you have your short list of three to four people, run them through a simulator or role play scenarios. Again only seasoned B2B sales executives, who have trained other sales people, and done role plays properly, can run them through this exercise.
Once you’ve finished all of these components, only then should you hire the best person for your B2B sales position.
WHY HIRE ME TO HELP YOU?
I have hired over fifty sales people for my own companies, and helped other companies hire hundreds of B2B sales people and executives in my search firm. I have also trained and coached thousands of B2B sales people, business owners, and sales executives in how to sell in the B2B environment.
I have also owned, grown and sold two successful B2B companies.
I know what it takes to hire the best B2B sales people for your company, by interviewing you properly, and the other people in your company that will work with the sales person you hire.