Once you understand the structure of your inside sales teams, it is time to recruit the right people and develop them to be the best they can be.
It is important to give your sales development team something to work for and ensure that you have the right people in place. To create a great inside sales team, you should promote from within whenever possible and champion progression and development as your key objectives.
Businesses often split their sales teams into three key sales roles:
1) SR = Sales Representative
2) EBR = Enterprise Business Representative
3) AE = Account Executive
Ultimately the aim is to progress SRs to EBRs and EBRs to AEs. Our experience at NewVoiceMedia has shown that the most successful AEs started their careers as SRs. The knowledge they acquire about our solution as they progress through sales roles means they make immediate impact in more advances roles. This process also helps to minimise on-boarding costs, which helps maximise ROI.
SR and EBR recruitment is one of the most important activities in the sales organisation. At NewVoiceMedia, we typically expect to move our SRs into EBR roles within 12-18 months. We anticipate EBRs to climb to the AE level within a similar time frame.
Begin by cataloguing all the necessary skills and credentials that you would expect to see for each of your sales roles. Then, work with your HR department (or a sales recruitment agency) to curate attractive job descriptions, determine where you want to advertise and find the talent that you need.
Work with your marketing department to update the website careers page to make sure it showcases an attractive work environment and a strong company culture. Ideally, you should also highlight the opportunities to receive sales coaching and career development within your inside sales team.
Consider your sales recruitment process thoroughly. Each individual hire is strategically important as you must find the right balance of skills and personalities. Here is a handy step-by-step guide to follow that will help you build your own unique process:
- Start with profile screening.
- Consider using personality surveys and personality profiling to categorise candidates.
- For more strategic hires conduct behavioural panel interviews that draw from different departments and seniority levels within the business
- Look to engage with many different interviewers including execs, stakeholders, managers and even other sales reps
- Create an evaluation template to keep scoring and evaluation criteria consistent
- Assess candidates on key characteristics that you are looking for as well as things such as their preparation, cultural fit, industry experience and past sales success
- Finish your evaluation by asking each potential candidate to describe a recent selling situation, task, action and result.
Don't be afraid to be overly picky with your candidates. Knowing you have recruited the right person for the role will always outweigh taking a risk.