In my last blog post in this series, I discussed how a sales team must be precisely focused for the industry they are in. The sales process and all sales activities must have a precise industry-specific focus.
It goes a bit deeper than that, however—for the personality profile of the reps you are hiring must also align with your target industry and even size of business you are selling to.
Small, Medium, Large
In terms of targeting business size, I personally believe that there are a number of sellers out there today who aren’t quite being truthful. They advertise that their product works for small, medium or enterprise businesses. From a seller and even a product perspective, I think much of the time this just can’t be true, for the requirements for salespeople and, for that matter, products, are vastly different for each of these spaces.
But for now let’s stick to the subject of this blog series: salespeople. From the perspective of building a sales team, people who will be selling to small companies, or to mid-size, or to enterprise companies have vastly different personality profiles and require very different training.
Someone who has been trained in the enterprise space, generally speaking, isn’t going to sell well to a startup with 20 employees. A product targeted to small businesses will, much of the time, be sold over the web and, if needed, would be followed up by phone or web meeting. An enterprise salesperson, trained to sell products in the million-dollar price range, is trained to deal personally with people, to give on-site presentations to highly paid executives.
An enterprise salesperson has a very detailed presentation as a person. They require specific education, manners, communication, appearance and dress. It is very likely that an SMB salesperson walking into such an environment wouldn’t get to first base—they’re just not trained and experienced enough for it. For just one small example, an enterprise sale is never made and closed after a single presentation—it’s an ongoing process that will probably take months.
It’s also true that salespeople dealing with smaller businesses, since many are founded by young people, do better in many cases with an informal, looser approach which includes more casual dress and manners. Such an approach would almost never work with an enterprise, in which you’re dealing with more conservative businesspeople. Conversely, a person experienced in the more conservative world of enterprise sales may fall flat when dealing with Red-Bull-guzzling surfers in a Silicon Valley startup.
An enterprise salesperson is also nearly always part of a team that includes, for example, an analyst, a tech support person and an engineer. A salesperson selling to small or medium businesses is likely working alone or perhaps with an assistant.
The specifics go even further depending on the industry—a sales position for a specific industry may require certain attitudes, dress etc. just for that type of business.
Personality Profile Aspects
So in building your sales team, you should pay attention to these points:
- Is the person you are looking to hire experienced in the space in which you sell? Or, is it evident that the person could be trained for that space?
- Is the person you are considering experienced in the type of market—small, medium or enterprise—or could they be easily trained for it?
- Does your candidate possess the right set of manners and attitude for your industry and target company size? (This is important right from the outset as most companies aren’t willing to train new hires on manners.)
CRM Solution Matching Your Sales Team
While you’re recruiting and training salespeople and paying particular attention to personalities and presentation, you should not also have to worry about CRM efficiency. Likewise, while your new reps are striving to learn the ropes, neither should they. An efficient, intuitive CRM solution is vital as the empowering foundation for a growing sales team so that opportunities are always effectively tracked and managed.
Find out how vital Pipeliner CRM is to your success. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.
Watch for the next in our series on Building a Sales Team.