3 Steps to Creating Your B2B Channel Sales Dream Team
As sales executives or managers, you already know you’re in the business of people. Your customer — and their behavior — is the driving factor behind business.
However, it’s equally important to look inward and ask yourself: Are my people happy? Because at the end of the day, your internal team is responsible for driving business.
Hiring a B2B dream team is no simple task — but it can be done. Here are the three steps for making it happen:
The Hiring Process
Hiring can be a mixed bag. Get it right, however, and you’ll build a team of individuals who challenge each other and organically build on one another’s strengths. Sure, it’s important to define a profile of required knowledge and skill competencies. But it’s just as important to figure out your team culture, including your overall sales process.
What is your personal managerial style? What kind of individual would thrive in your business environment? Are there specific skills required to sell your product? How do your vendors prefer to be sold?
Write a concise, attractive job description, utilize your (and your colleagues’) network, and run ads in the right places.
The Interview Process
You’ve sifted through the resumes and referrals and discovered prospective reps you want to pursue. Now it’s time to bring them in for an interview. Even if you’ve interviewed candidates before, it’s important to brush up on your interview skills, because trust me — many managers do things wrong in the interview process.
I often like to quote Peter Schultz, “Hire character. Train skill.” Are you looking for the right person, or the right skills listed on a resume? I look for the first.
If you’re calling in somebody for a formal interview, it’s a given that the candidate fits your requirements on paper. Your primary goal now is not to exclusively test the candidate’s knowledge, but also his or her overall character. Look for reps whose personal and professional experiences illustrate resilience and professionalism.
Sales isn’t for everyone… a game much like baseball where you fail more often than you succeed. Intrinsic motivation is key, and understanding why reps want to be successful is just as important as understanding how they will be successful.
The interview process may take several trials. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the perfect team out of the gate. And above all, be picky. You are hiring a dream team, after all.
Congratulations! You’ve found several channel sales dream candidates.
Unfortunately, your work has just begun. Onboarding is arguably the most important process in a new employee’s career at your company, as it sets expectations and gives him or her tools to succeed. Ramp new hires up by developing a sales entry-training curriculum. Orient new hires by setting expectations and introducing them to the team.
If the role includes servicing a specific territory of clients, establish timelines and priorities — and have them sit in on product demos. Schedule consistent checkpoints to gauge their progress during this important time.
Partner sales acceleration software can onboard new hires in no time. By offering training, certifications, and quizzes, your reps will be tested and rewarded. Multi-step learning modules streamline the onboarding process and save you time — all while offering you invaluable insight into your new hire’s status.
I originally posted this on January 5, 2017 here.