Businesses have to sell. For any entrepreneur working on a new product or revolutionary technology it is important that once the product goes live, it also finds customers. Whether it’s a B2B or B2C model, the sales team is often at the core of the business production, working day in and out to ensure the product sells.
Selling is an art, a skill which can not be generated in an individual by a university degree in Marketing. We have examples of great men like Dhiru bhai Ambani and Jamshedji Tata, who with minimal education were able to do the wonders people can not even think of today. It was the way they managed the team and personal skills to sell. Some say it’s in the DNA and some that it’s a god-gift but the bottom line is that one needs to have it.
So, it’s important for entrepreneurs to hire right especially their sales team. After all, they are the ones representing your business in front of your audience.
Entrepreneur India spoke to startup founders about the importance of a sales team and how to hire right for the same.
Importance of the sales team
The sales team primarily contributes to the revenue and generates cashflows that cover expenses and helps a business to have stability of operations and opens up opportunities for growth. Rahul Agarwal, Director Wealth Discovery/EZ Wealth believes that given the importance of sales in an organization, it can safely be deduced that in any organization there are only two types of roles; if you are not a sales person then you are in sales support, all other business functionalities are meaningless and redundant if the sales force is not working optimally.
Agreeing with him, Anand Tandon, Founder, Myforexeye Fintech Pvt. Ltd, said that the heart of a business success lies in its sales team. “Every organization desperately requires a successful sales team which means more and more customer winning and revenue generation,” said Tandon.
With a good sales team in place, an organization can focus on growth and innovation. Narayanan Rajagopalan , Founder , MarcaTel said that an organisation can successfully cater its innovation if the sales team is capable enough to think outside the box and can go against any of the set norms.
Passion for Growth
All founders unanimously agree that the sales team needs to have the same passion as the founder in order for them to push for the growth of the company’s business. Dipin Kapur, Co-Founder and Director, Nutricane Beverages Pvt. Ltd, believes that the sales team is the face of an organization and has the responsibility to help in the successful running of the organization by generating revenues and earning profits. “So, confidence, passion for the product/company and a positive attitude are a must,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tandon added that it is the Never-say-die attitude which is also a must. “For successful sales people, “no” does not mean the end as they begin their journey for change by considering “no” as their starting point. They simply emerge out of the most difficult situations,” he said.
Communication is Key
The first and foremost attribute that is key to get selected is effective communication, believes Agarwal. He said that they look for candidates who possess exceptionally good communication skills, candidates who are able to communicate the attributes of our products and services most effectively are desirable to us. “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect; therefore we focus extensively on hiring candidates with the right attitude and aptitude for sales. We look for people who are smart problem solvers, independent thinkers and do not lack courage and have an insatiable hunger to succeed,” he said.
While education does play a role, Agarwal said that it is not the first criteria. “Superior analytical and reasoning skills are an important criterion for our hiring decisions. Although we do not compromise on educational requirements and most of our sales team does have professional degrees, however in special circumstances and for candidates with the right aptitude and an ambition we do make certain exceptions,” he said.
But it’s also upon the sales team to put on their thinking cap. Tandon believes that it is critical to have a creative team with the thinking ability to find unique problem solving ways for the company and customers can create wonders. “They also have to be always updated and keep on exploring new tools and technology to stay updated on market trends, products and competition. They have to pitch things innovatively with great research and knowledge base and always be well prepared with a value addition approach for customers and client,” he said.
Team Players With Great Energy
Enthusiasm for the product and business has to be what drives a sales team. Rajagopalan of MarcaTel believes that someone who always gives that extra effort in the little things and important matters, is a great fit for the sales team. “They have to be reliable and dedicated. They have to be people who can take responsibility for their actions and make decisions in the best interest of the company. Above all a good sales team is the one which is result oriented and capable of driving business and can generate revenue for the company as per the set goals,” he said.