In our position as leaders in Digital Media, Ad Tech, Media Tech and Marketing Technology recruitment, we receive a lot of requests for finding that “first seller.” Sometimes, the request comes from a startup, where the product has been defined, the company structure is in place, and the startup is ready to go to market. Other times, it involves an International company from India, the UK, France, Sweden, really anywhere – and they want that first person on the ground in the US.
Jonathan Whistman outlines 3 important questions to consider when making the judgement that you’re ready to have someone calling on brands, ad agencies, or other areas in the Digital community.
- Do you have a repeatable sales process in place?
- Do you have the finances to hire a salesperson?
- Do you have the experience to make a great hire?
You can read the full article here.
These questions are essential to the success of a salesperson, but I’d like to add a few very important elements that will support your salesperson directly. The goal, especially with your “first hire” should be to not only have your selling processes in place, but also make sure to establish a support structure that provides room for personal and professional growth. Some additional questions to consider:
- Is there an educational/training support structure in place?
Okay, this may not be the first thing one thinks of. But Digital sellers are always looking for ways to improve their craft, for ways that will help them close deals faster, answer more questions upfront to reduce the back and forth, become better listeners, and learn new strategies on building maintaining a strong, long-lasting client relationship. You may be hiring a seasoned digital pro, but that doesn’t mean their learning stops there.
- Is there budget for networking events and seminars?
There are a multitude of wonderful digital conferences, seminars, and networking events out there that provide top-notch education and networking opportunities. Given the fast-paced nature of the digital world, these conferences are essential to staying competitive and up-to-date on the latest digital media, technology and SaaS trends. And, they present occasions for face-time with clients.
- Is there a feedback process in place?
Often times in digital media, it seems a salesperson is only as good as their last sale. Therefore, striving to get better, and consistently improve their craft is important. Is there a process in place for your salesperson to receive feedback? Are you able to have a two-way, open dialogue with your salesperson? Perhaps the salesperson has some feedback on the selling process and areas it can improve, or maybe there are better closing techniques the salesperson could try.
Overall, there are many nuances to hiring that first Digital salesperson. The beginning of that relationship, like the beginning of any potential client engagement, is crucial for the success of both the salesperson and the organization. Though these are not the end-all-be-all questions, and I’m sure there are more, they are a great place to start in order to ensure success.