Building a product and/or service from the ground up is a remarkable thing to achieve given the hurdles that come with getting to the point of finish. Here you are thinking that you are now land dry yet the hardest part is yet to come, selling.
As you plan to focus on constant product development and strategy, the need for an effective team in sales to actualize your business goals has to be met.
When we talk about field sales representative, a grey area may start to form as they are expected to go out in the field, meet your customers face to face and nurture business yielding relationships, all without supervision. They have a huge impact on your business since they visit customers on a recurring basis to perform maintenance, place replenishment orders, or take any other initiative necessary to keep the client happy and maximize profitability.
As a sales manager, such great responsibility should be entrusted to individuals whom characteristics will work best to deliver. Some of the characteristics to look for when hiring a field sales rep are:
Little to no supervision gives reps a lot of free time to handle personal issues which are not in line with the company’s best interest. Having personal goals like career growth that go beyond just meeting numbers is a good trait to have. The realization of putting action into purpose is essential for achievement of goals giving them the drive. This further pushes them to act with purpose and apply deep focus to their work.
In an industry with more no’s than yes’s, having a positive outlook is necessary. Rejection is part of sales but how they handle rejection says a lot more. This is a trait that contributes to the bounce back effect, the willingness to try again.
3. Passion, Passion, Passion
Passion sells. An interest in what they are selling is always noted by a client. I have bought a number of items off of salespeople, not because I had a need but the way they talked about the product made me have F.O.M.O( Fear of Missing Out). Such people are the biggest cheerleaders of your business. A person who has interest will want to communicate to your customers how you would. Both of you have the same goal, to solve a customer’s problem.
4. Decision makers
Being out on the field means being a representative of the company. Their analytical and decision making skills will be tested all through. There are different types of customers with different needs as well situations that change at the spur of the moment. A good salesman is always aware of their circumstances. Adapting to these changes and making the right call if need be, sets them apart.
Trust. Study shows best sellers are also honest. They know integrity comes first regardless. It is easy to get away with many wrongs while out on the field as there is no one to account to. Though a field management software may eradicate some of the dishonesty problems like rep location, some may still be bent on shadiness. Upholding integrity goes a long way.
Healthy competition is a breeding ground for greatness. If succeeding above the rest excites your rep then they are best fit. Aside from the lessons that come with competition, this person creates an environment that may warrant the rest to hop in the wagon. In short, this is a trait that can easily rub off on your other reps and who would not want that.
7. Digitally informed
In the face of digitization, thousands of companies are steering toward the digital era requiring them to equip their field sales reps with tools that make their work more efficient. They need to be able to maneuver their way around simple technology tools. If they can’t , be willing to learn. After all, a great sales rep is always looking to learn better ways to achieve success. They know that the landscape for selling is always changing hence adaptability.
There are many other traits that can be included in the list, but I strongly recommend that the above are on your list. What is on paper is not always the deal but the willingness and potential to grow is. Hire the most dependable, goal-oriented, coachable, intelligent, and passionate people and you are guaranteed to build a world-class field sales force.
If you have ever gone through the process of hiring field sales reps I would like to know if the above traits have a co-relation with performance at your company. Also, what other traits might you add on that you may deem essential when it comes to hiring a dream rep?