Organizations across the globe are eyeing fast yet sustainable growth and more visibility and stability amidst the constant churn and change in the global markets. The need to stay relevant despite heightening customer expectations and buyer’s demands, automatically turns the spotlight on the sales teams.
Sales teams across the globe need to constantly refine and align their sales processes with evolving buyer personas and complex products and processes. The need to build world-class and ruthlessly competitive sales teams is greater than ever before. A surefire way to build such a team is to hire right. Sales skills assessment tests are your go to hiring tools for hiring the best salespeople for your organization.
Importance of Sales Personnel
Just how important are sales personnel in an organization? The sales team can make or break a business. The sales function has evolved from simple word-of-mouth sales to virtual selling environments. The main driver behind the evolution of the sales function is changing buyer personas. Modern-day buyers expect bespoke sales pitches and customized solutions, which makes selling more trickier and challenging. The demand for custom-made, niche products/services from today’s buyer stems from the access to plethora of information and technological empowerment. What organizations need today is a watertight sales strategy that ensures fast and sustainable business growth.
The key ways in which the sales function impacts business success are listed below.
Sales lead conversions – sales personnel bridge the gap between customer requirements and product/service that fulfills it. The sales team usually interacts with prospects that are aware of the company and its products/services through marketing and advertising channels. Their job is to bring the deal to closure and convert prospective leads to customers. The sales personnel leverage their personal knowledge and skills to build a watertight sales pitch that is convincing enough to win customers and build credibility of the brand.
Support business growth – sales personnel have an important role to play in building loyalty and trust between the customer and the business. Customer relationships that are built on trust and loyalty are key to attracting more business. A customer that is completely satisfied with the product or service is sure to recommend your company within his business and personal network. Not just before sales, after sales interaction with the customer to gather feedback is an equally important part of the sales process.
Customer retention – sales involves one-to-one interaction with customers. An impactful interaction between the salesperson and the prospect has the potential to convert a lead into a customer. Skilled and talented sales people not only make the sale, but make a lasting impact on the customer. Long-term customer relationships translate into referrals, repeat orders, and word-of-mouth advertising for the brand. Sales follow ups is another great way to cement strong customer relationships.
Right from business inception to success and expansion – sales plays pivotal roles in every stage of business growth. With such an important role to play in business success, it becomes all the more important to build a skilled and competent sales team. From business development executive to sales manager to sales executives, the right talent needs to be hired for each of these roles. Pre-employment skill assessments like the sales manager online test or the business development manager mock test help evaluate important sales skills and soft skills required for the role.
Roles in Sales Function
There are several roles that make up the sales department in an organization. Understanding each role and its responsibilities helps the hiring team make informed decisions in finding the right candidate for the role.
Inside sales – managing existing client relationships is also an important sales function. An inside sales representative is incharge of managing existing client relationships. They are the main point of contact for retaining and building strong business relationships. Inside sales is considered more effective and efficient, especially when used in tandem with inbound marketing strategies.
Outside sales – the traditional sales methods are considered as outside sales. Outside sales are usually done face-to-face outside of the office by directly interacting with customers. Typically, outside sales representatives spend their time at customer’s offices, so they need to be self-motivated and confident individuals.
Sales support – sales support work focuses on supporting sales reps. This work is usually done in the background to support sales reps in their duties such as investigating leads, creating customer profiles, analyzing data, and performing research. Theirs is a dynamic role capable of cutting costs and time for the company.
Client services – working in client services is similar to working in inside sales. Client service representatives work with customers to ensure that their requirements are met and a strong business relationship is established. Going beyond what is asked for, creating real relationships, and always asking the right questions are some of the expectations from those working in client services.
Lead Generation – the lead generation team is responsible for carrying out research and networking for making new business contacts. Following up on the right lead helps discover untapped sales potential. With advanced technology, there are several ways in which leads can be generated.
Business development managers – the business development team and managers are in charge of bringing new business for your company. Business development leads use a number of methods to attract sles like cold calling or door to door sales.
Account managers – account managers are focussed on existing customer accounts. They need to ensure that client’s needs are met and find creative solutions and innovative techniques for selling their company’s services. Client retention is the main aim of account managers.
How to Hire Skilled Sales Personnel?
Building a robust and competitive sales team is important for attracting new customers and building a sustainable business. Pre-hire assessment for sales manager or business development manager mock tests can be used to hire the right talent for open positions. Pre-employment skill assessments are much more than just short listing candidates. These tools help find candidates with the right mix of job related skills and behavioral traits to perform well in the role.
Sales assessments are used to assess sales competencies of candidates. Sales skills assessment tests are a combination of aptitude, domain, and personality tests. For determining whether a candidate possesses the qualities to succeed in a sales role. Sales assessments include roleplays, situational judgment tests, written evaluations, and case studies. Here are 5 steps to hire skilled and competent sales personnel.
Building the ideal assessment – using pre-employment skill assessment software like SkillRobo the hiring team can create role-based assessments. SkillRobo is a pre-employment skill assessment software that provides a wide variety of tests across industries for key roles. Hiring teams can either choose questions from the skill library as per the requirements of the role or use the pre-built test templates available in the test library. The skill assessment must include domain related evaluations and personality-based assessments that shed light on how well the candidate will fit into the work culture. Role-based assessments include sales manager online test, sales representative aptitude test, and business development executive skills assessment.
Invite candidates for the test – Online sales skills assessments can be shared with the prospective candidate via email links. The candidate has to click on the online sales assessment test link to take the test. The test performance results are available to the hiring team instantly so that they can make data-driven hiring decisions.
Screen the right fit – based on the results of the skill assessment, the hiring team shortlists the candidates that are the right fit. These candidates move up to the next level in the hiring process, which is the personal interview. In some cases, the candidate may be subjected to further rounds of skill evaluation before the personal interview.
Interview – the candidates shortlisted in the skill assessment are scheduled for personal interview with the management. The candidate’s career aspirations and expectations from the organization are discussed during the interview.
Recruitment – the candidate that goes through all these stages of interview is chosen by the hiring team for the respective role. Once the candidate is finalized, the offer letter is sent to the candidate. If the candidate accepts the offer, the hiring team initiates the onboarding process for the new hire.
The above steps are similar to the normal recruitment process followed by the recruitment team, the only difference is in the pre-employment skill assessment. Organizations can choose the relevant skill assessment according to the role for which the candidate is being hired. Pre-hire assessment for business development executives can be used for hiring skilled and competent business development executives and business development managers. The sales manager online test can be used for hiring skilled and talented sales managers. For hiring sales representatives for outbound sales, the sales representative aptitude test can be used by the hiring team.
Must-Have Skills of Sales Personnel
There are several types of tests available for various sales roles in an organization. Before we choose the test, we also need to know the skills that sales personnel need to have. We will discuss the skills required for business development executives and sales managers.
Skills required for Business Development Executives
Communication skills – excellent communication skills are required for convincing the customers about the product and services that the company offers. From cold-calling the prospects to maintaining long-term relationships, communication skills are required.
Negotiation skills – an important part of business development is convincing other people to do certain things or offering assistance or lowering prices or making investments. Business development executives need to master the art of finding common cause and earning the trust of prospects.
Strategic skills – strategy plays a crucial role in business development. Executives need to be able to plan ahead with a vision in mind.
Computer skills – in this digital age, sales personnel need to have the basic computer skills required for their roles. Knowledge of Microsoft office suite, email management, search engine research are some of the computer skills that they need to have.
Business intelligence – business development requires a good understanding of one’s own business and that of competitors. Researching and listening with an open mind to identify which market segments respond to which type of campaigns is a must have skill of business development executives.
The business development assessment test must cover all of these skills in addition to sales related assessments.
Skills required for sales managers
Hiring and recruiting – ability to identify talented sales representatives via recruitment is a must have skill of sales managers.
Performance management – sales managers need to manage a team of sales representatives. They need to support their team through coaching and goal implementation.
Mentoring – good coaching or mentoring skills are a must for sales managers. They should be in a position to equip the team with the right tools and resources to perform well in their jobs.
Communication skills – majority of the sales manager’s work involves communication with team members and customers. They should be able to put across their ideas clearly and convince the opposite party.
Leadership skills – to manage a sales team you not only need to have strong leadership skills but also need to know your role as a leader.
Customer relationship management – customer relationship management is a technology that helps manage a team’s relationships and interactions with existing and prospective customers.
Sales planning – planning and forecasting the sales plan for the organization is an important responsibility of the sales manager.
The best online sales manager assessment must cover all of these skill assessments in addition to the role-based assessments for a sales manager.
The definition of success varies in every organization. Irrespective of the definition of success, the sales team plays a pivotal role in delivering that success. Having a robust and talented sales team is a must for surviving in the competitive business landscape. The best way to build such a team is to hunt and hire the best talent available in the job market. Using pre-employment skill assessment software like SkillRobo eases out the hiring process and makes it efficient too. There are several role-based skill assessments available in SkillRobo, including, online aptitude test for sales managers, business development executive test, and sales representative aptitude test.
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