Are you trying to recruit a salesperson for your distributorship in order to even out the workload? Did your top salesperson just leave and you have no idea how to replace him or her? Or, do you simply want to expand your sales force, but are unsure where to begin?
If the idea of finding a salesperson stresses you out, you are not alone. To help you relax, Print+Promo reached out to the experts for tips on how to best approach the process. Here, Billy Booe, MAS, vice president of business development at Activate! Promotions + Marketing, Charlotte, N.C., and Lisa Watkins, senior talent acquisition manager at Chicago-based InnerWorkings Inc., share their hiring practices and discuss the traits they look for in their prospective salespeople.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Industry experience is a must for Activate! A salesperson with pre-existing client relationships also is required. "Because what we don't have is an incubator, so what I can't do is take newbies and bring them in and train them," Booe said. "We're looking for people who have already spent five, six, seven, eight, 10 years in the business. They've established a book of business, a vast amount of relationships."
InnerWorkings, on the other hand, has found success with hires who were previously consultants outside of the industry. "They're able to utilize their consulting experience to understand a client's business problem. They can drill down into the data, and then see the bigger picture to apply different solutions," Watkins said.
While some industry know-how is helpful, it isn't necessarily the most important aspect of the job. According to InnerWorkings, a potential candidate's problem-solving skills are what will set him or her apart. "Anyone can learn about this industry, but you can't really teach someone how to understand a business problem or a client's need and then be able to provide added value," Watkins said. "The intangibles make someone successful here, and we're more than willing to provide technical training."