As the sales industry continues its rapid evolution, sales reps will need a higher level of technical competency to sell complex products, services, and solutions. Technology has created a demand for sales teams to stay up to speed on the wants and needs of their customers and the pulse of their respective industries at large. Not only is technology changing how teams operate and interact with their customers, but products are becoming increasingly complex. This requires a rethinking of sales knowledge and skill sets.
To account for this change, it’s important for teams to recruit and retain the right reps. Organizations must find individuals who are able and willing to augment their core sales skills with the proper product knowledge necessary to meet the demands of the modern customer. Reps must be able to answer questions and uncover customer needs right away, providing value and gaining trust. They must not only be experts in the sales process, but they must also have a mastery of the product they’re selling, including keeping up on new product launches, and the competitive landscape.
To learn how technical sales is changing the recruiting process, read on.
As products become more technical, and markets become more saturated, sales reps must be able to wear multiple hats. In addition to solid sales skills, they must also possess a level of technical knowledge. Reps can only efficiently sell a product that they know inside and out—including the functions and components that enable the product to work.
In this regard, it’s important for organizations to identify the specific skill sets and core competencies that reps need in order to sell their products and facilitate technical customer conversations before hiring any new sales team members.
While most new sales reps won’t possess thorough product knowledge prior to working for a company, there are two types of technical knowledge that you’ll want to consider when creating job requirements:
- General technical propensity, such as experience selling in a technical market similar in complexity to yours
- Specific technical knowledge, such as HPC hardware or workflow management software.
In addition, consider what can be offered to identify reps learning abilities:
- Cognitive assessments, those who do not have thorough knowledge; however, have the capabilities and passion to learn, will stand out in this exercise compared to a sales rep who views this as an independent job function.
Recruiting Sales Reps with Technical Chops
In the past, sales team recruiters have often relied on traditional recruitment processes such as advertisements, employment office postings, and temp agencies. These days, companies leverage more advanced, technological avenues such as social media and other digital networks. For example, savvy recruiting managers utilize LinkedIn to pinpoint potential sales reps by selecting groups that are relevant to their industry, product, or technical arena.
In the interview process, be sure to ask how the candidate learned the product or service at his or her last job and ask for examples of technical conversations that led to a sale. These behavioral interview questions will help you assess his or her past experience, as well as his or her aptitude for technical complexity.
Once you extend an offer to a candidate, don’t leave him or her high and dry. Make technical training on your product part of the onboarding process and schedule in-depth time with internal product experts for your new hire to learn the technology at a deep level.
The Benefits of Outsourcing to a Pro
If you’re not sure if hiring sales reps with technical chops is within your wheelhouse, consider outsourcing your sales. This provides you with a dedicated sales force with the necessary technical know-how while eliminating the work and potential risks of recruiting an in-house staff. Whether you’re in need of a full-time sales team or a part-time sales team, outsourcing your sales needs augments your organization with experienced, vetted sales professionals and provides scale into new markets, segments, and geographies.
Sales as a service is at the forefront of the evolving sales landscape. Outsourcing your sales needs enables you to deploy a dedicated workforce in a fraction of the time—but with an increase in quality. Outsourced sales provides companies with access to a full team of vetted, technical sales reps in the time it takes to hire one senior salesperson.Outsourced sales solutions enable companies to create and manage a reliable sales force without the burdens of recruiting, hiring, and training reps. As the industry becomes increasingly competitive and technical, it’s important for teams to leverage the right people to sell their products and solutions. Outsourcing your recruitment needs to a dedicated team of experts ensures you have the technical team necessary to succeed.