An article last Spring in WhatTheyThink.com by author Wayne Peterson (Recruiting Salespeople: Stop Hiring Retreads, 3/11/15) points out in great detail how many B2B businesses have failed to evolve in their hiring practices to take advantage of the growing importance of changing selling techniques when selecting future salespersons.

Companies that don’t understand how significantly business-to-business selling has changed over the last decade, or who deny that anything is different, tend to recruit and select salespeople much as they always have. In far too many cases, industry selling experience trumps everything else as a selection criterion. And that perpetuates the ugly and expensive cycle.
– Wayne Peterson

One example Mr. Peterson uses is the importance of finding salespeople proficient in how they currently use “social selling,” like LinkedIn and Google, to build relationships with potential prospects based on a more complete understanding of what each customer’s organization is trying to achieve. He also concludes the days of “saleperson equals animated brochure” are no longer necessary, as most potential customers use the internet extensively to gather product and service information prior to any salesperson contact.

Mr. Peterson continues in his article to provide tips on how to recruit for the future, including specific recommendations regarding the following topics:

  • Stop Blaming the Recruiters – After all, they’re relying on you to provide the job description.
  • Bad Hires are Expensive – Details how a single bad hire can exceed $250,000 in direct expenses.
  • Reframe the Position – Provides the importance of framing the position based on the results you expect in a given timeframe.
  • Test and Vet Candidates – Gives new ideas to checkout potential candidates before the interview.
  • Rethink Your Interviews – Introduces an effective new process to consider.

Other areas discussed in this informative article include how to on-board new hires more effectively, ways for potential hires to demonstrate their capabilities as part of the interview process and more.

When making any shift in your business, it is critical to educate your sales team to ensure that these shifts can be communicated effectively. If you’ve made major changes in your technological offerings, but these new offerings are being sold the same old way, you could be missing out on sales and new customers. With new technologies must come new sales techniques!
– Rebecca McConnell, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Fujifilm