How do you find the best salespeople for your business and then keep them? Our guide outlines the key factors to get and retain the sales staff you need.
Finding good salespeople is becoming increasingly difficult. Whether these stay that way often depends on how they are handled correctly. Our guide not only explains how you can get top specialists into your company, but also what you should pay attention to in order to retain your talents in the long term.
The shortage of skilled workers has been clearly noticeable. This fact has concerned companies, professional chambers and associations for a long time and is felt to be more and more increasing. The carpenter is now one of the trades with the most vacant apprenticeship positions. Many companies do not find any junior staff. And there is no remedy in sight: For trainees, trades and industrial professions tend to be lower in popularity. Sales and distribution is an area of strategic importance for any company, and there is also a lack in this field.
Factors to find the best salespeople for a business
Sales professionals have to combine two talents: On the one hand, sound technical knowledge of the features and performance of individual products. As well as communication and advisory skills for customer dialogue on the other hand. This combination is not often easily found: the hunt for the best salespeople for a business is often like the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack.
The shortage of skilled workers aggravates this situation significantly. After all, well-trained personnel in particular are in short supply today – and will probably remain so in the medium term.
The Internet and rapid technological advances mean that sales talents need to stay up to date more than ever. The task of executives with personnel responsibility is to ensure that even the best salespeople do not rest on their laurels, but rather regularly “update” their knowledge.
How does the successful search for sales talent succeed – and what do managers have to pay attention to if they want to keep top performers in the company?
Conscious search for the “specialist”
Before HR managers start to describe “what” and “who” is being sought, it is necessary to deal specifically with the position to be filled. The potential applicant should feel addressed by a job advertisement and be able to recognize them in the description. So if you are looking for an accomplished sales consultant who has strong communication skills, excellent product knowledge and technical know-how in the area of planning, it will “touch” many people – but certainly not “address” a specific group.
If, however for example, the salesperson for the kitchen area is sought, who as a planner can handle the planning program and can offer the customer comprehensive advice from planning to the complete construction of the high-quality kitchen and also with digital tools such as VR and Augmented Reality… this is a description formulated more specifically: It addresses people who move in this area, in this “world”.
It is therefore necessary to consciously deal with the search before the actual search begins. Here it is necessary that the manager to whom the future employee reports makes the relevant contribution to this job description. A technically experienced, external consultant can also offer valuable support here.
Conscious interaction during the application process
HR decision-makers and department heads who receive application documents directly from people should treat them with respect and stay “in contact” with the applicants. The “communicative strong” specialists in sales are particularly sensitive to communication issues. It is good form to write a friendly message upon receipt and thank you for receiving the documents. No waiting times or, at best, short waiting times for candidates when they come to the company for an interview, appropriate questions, enough
Time and a pleasant atmosphere during the conversation help a company differentiate itself from other companies, because the application process applies to both sides.
Keeping talent in the company: You should pay attention to this
Often the direct supervisor or another manager is the reason why even successful and well-paid sales experts meet with a headhunter and look for a new employer. A lack of support in difficult situations, disregard of values, low appreciation and the associated lack of feedback, choleric “freaking out” or the direct acting out of “power” lead to dissatisfaction, which forms the breeding ground for personnel consultants who then switch to a new employer accompany successfully.
The management of a company should be aware that the attention of the specialists (not only those in sales) is permanently focused on the people who set the course in a company for a certain area. Therefore, we can only urgently recommend every entrepreneur, owner and managing director to deal closely with the management team (the department, team or group leaders) of a company. The manager is a decisive factor for the area to be responsible. This factor often makes the difference when it comes to whether an area, department or company is doing well.
Qualities such as natural judgment, good manners, appropriate behavior even in difficult situations, the ability to interact, communicate, self-reflection and persistence in solving problems are just some of the skills (soft skills) expected of managers. This is not always easy, but it is inevitable if you want to attract and keep the best salespeople for a business.