Sales Selection in an Age of Debt and Bailouts

Posted by Chris Mott on Mon, Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:08 AM

We have seen a seismic shift in the business landscape in twenty-four months. Bailouts, debt, unemployment, and tight capital markets are the norm. Businesses are spending but very carefully. 

All of the companies we are helping to recruit great salespeople (yes, companies are hiring salespeople) have one question and one question only: “Can they find new business in our marketplace?”  Great account managers, while skilled at what they do, without hunting and closing skills may become the next horse and buggy.

So what’s important and how do you find it? 

  • Can they sell in a fiercely competitive marketplace?
  • Can they sell consultatively instead of presenting features, benefits and capabilities?
  • Can they sell value?
  • Can they hunt for new opportunities?
  • Can they really work independently?
  • Do they have closing urgency?

In the new sales landscape the answers to these questions are more critical then ever.

On a separate note can you or your sales managers truly mentor your existing sales force to do this? Do you really have the skills, desire, willingness and expertise needed? I save this topic for another posting.

The Express Screening peels back the onion and gives you answers. The first milestone is do they have the necessary motivation factors; second how many weaknesses do they have, third how severe are the weaknesses and then we answer the questions above.

This means it’s crucial you have an accurate, up to date client profile. If your criteria isn’t air tight, some candidates, that aren’t a great fit, may be recommended. A candidate who can sell but needs to be supervised may fail when expected to work independently. How you answered the questions two years ago doesn't matter. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects and be honest, how would you react to a salesperson selling your products or services to you. The road has changed. It’s harder, rougher, more twisted and full of blind hairpin turns. The Express Screening when used properly will help you navigate better.

Topics: sales hiring, hiring experienced salespeople, Great salespeople, Sales Candidate

Salespeople Need an Opening Line

Posted by Chris Mott on Wed, Apr 07, 2010 @ 14:04 PM

What’s the purpose of exhibiting at a show? Do you attend so your clients will see you? Do you go because your competition is there? Whatever your reason is, the primary value of any show is to acquire leads.

In the film The Pursuit of Happiness Will Smith's stock-broker manager talks about “well qualified prospects”. Finding out if someone is well qualified includes: are they a decision maker, do they have a problem which they need to fix and are they willing to invest money to fix it.

Trade shows allow you about 5 seconds to get someone's attention. Do you have an opening line? Does it fit the audience? Does it force people to speak? Does it make them think? Have you practiced it? If not you aren’t ready for the show!

Topics: Expectations, close more sales, Great salespeople

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