What Should I Look for When Recruiting Sales Reps?

May 17, 2018 Matthew Cook

The heart of your business is your product or service—but all the other pieces come down to your staff. They’re the ones who think strategically, market, and sell that product or service. They work the front lines, the assembly lines, and even the mail room. Without your staff, your entire business would fall apart.

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When it comes to recruiting sales reps for this team, you want to make sure you get high-quality people. These are the individuals who will bring in the revenue that allows you to pay everyone else, so you want to make sure they’re great at what they do. So what should you look for when hiring?

Here are a few things you should look for when recruiting new sales reps.


Understanding the Modern Buyer

The world of selling has changed drastically over the last fifteen years. The internet, social media, smartphones, and a host of other digital technologies have made modern-day buyers a whole lot savvier than before. It’s changed the very way people can purchase (and thus do!), and it’s transformed buyers from passive participants into engaged know-it-alls.

When recruiting a new sales rep, you want to ensure that this person is well-versed in understanding the modern buyer. All other skills you want will be hampered if they misunderstand the way buyers purchase today.


Relationship Building

Sales come down to two things: problem solving and relationship building. On the one side, you have a buyer with a problem that needs to be solved. He or she is going to use access to the internet and technology to try to find a solution, come armed with knowledge, and get more detailed information to finally make a purchase. Your sales reps should know how to provide the information buyers can’t find online, but more importantly, how to build that relationship.

Since people can find a wealth of information on anything these days, to close the deal, your rep will need to develop a quality, trusting relationship with a potential client. Especially when it’s so easy to find a competitor, a buyer is more likely to stick with the team that makes them feel good.


Social Selling

Social media is not a fad. For the foreseeable future, it will continue to play a large part in how selling works. In fact, 78 percent of salespeople using social media perform better than their peers. Any new recruits to your sales team must understand their social media presence and how to use it effectively to sell.

More than three billion people have social media accounts of one kind or another. Sales reps these days must know the best practices to leverage their contacts, join communities, and engage in social selling. At the very least, it’s a great way to build relationships!


Digital Knowledge

Beyond social media, there’s also a need for sales reps to have knowledge about all the other digital platforms and digital tools available to them, such as how to use customer relationship management tools, automated email responses, and data analytics, just to name a few.

Sales reps are no longer able to squeak by with a winning smile and a firm handshake. With the modern buyer, you may never actually meet them in person! Knowing how to build relationships in the digital realm, then leverage those relationships by providing quality content and being there with advanced knowledge is the difference between closed deals and non-existent ones. If you’re recruiting, your first question to a potential sales rep should be, “How do you sell to the modern buyer?”


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