The shortage of salespeople is increasing with the economic recovery and companies are under a lot of pressure to attract the best talent. And this deficit is compounded because: “ the profiles arriving in the field often come from business or management schools. They learn a lot of things there, but not salesregrets Romain Zaccai, commercial director of Page Personnel, during a conference at the recent BtoB summit. They prefer a marketer, consultant, entrepreneur… so the pool is less important “.
He also regrets that the sale is not always valued. “We are trying to restore sales to its former glory, it is a job where you can become a director “, he assures. Romain Franczia, VP Southern Europe Seismic goes even better: “ Commercial is often a dead end, there is no specialization in university or schools so it is one of the first challenges [pour rendre le métier attractif]Guillaume Legendre, manager of Touch & Sell, also explains that a bad image of salespeople hurts the company as they are the ones the customers face.
Remuneration, working conditions, skills…
In all cases, ” I have to seduce them. And the key word is reward. We sometimes have salespeople who are very interested in the position, but who end up choosing an offer where the salary is better”assures Michel Granseigne, responsible for the local management of Petit Futé.
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However, this aspect alone is not sufficient. You really have to show the candidates what the company can bring to the conditions and way of working. The salesperson is a professional, you have to show him what technical skills he is going to develop, how we are going to help him show interest in his prospect to discover or create the need explains Michel Granseigne.
In addition, Emphasizing the growing specialization of sales can help restore image. ” Commercial profiles have been developed”, explains Stéphane Baranzelli, Managing Director of Spendesk. “Bfactory development representative, sales development representative, account manager for negotiations, customer success manager for long-term management.. before we had a full-stack seller”he continues.
However, specialization makes it possible to meet buyers with a much higher level of education and skill: a necessity in light of BtoB buyers who have changed and now have the same sales requirements as in BtoC.
Hence the importance of develop skills, according to Romain Zaccai. ” It has become an essential concept: situational intelligence, knowing how to convey emotions to customers. Because they know where to buy, sometimes better than the seller, so you have to give them a slightly differentiating experience.”
So salespeople need to have a sense of pitch, drive, assertiveness, active listening to bring the right elements at the right time, which is sometimes a problem. For Stéphane Baranzelli, the skills that should be prioritized in recruitment and training are: “ passion, mastery of the sales cycle and the ability to adapt the sales pitch depending on the outlook and resilience, as we don’t win all the deals “.
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Education is also one of the keys to upgrading the profession, thereby ultimately attracting more profiles. ” HASmove towards more professionalism, increase skills, whether they want to, Michel Granseigne list. The role of management is important. This human side is important and vital: managers are not just people who pay attention to turnover. They should be able to say it’s okay if your sales are low now, we’re going to make sure you feel good here and get better. Many of us have been here for a long time. You have to keep them, be demanding, but make them want to stay, train them, support them “.
Process and meaning
Romain Franczia also emphasizes the importance of providing the right processes and the right tools, such as a platform to automatically push actions based on the right signals. “Today you have to deliver tools that are meaningful, easy and immediately usable with the ergonomics of BtoC “, he believes.
Sales representatives, like other employees, are also: looking for meaning. ” The meaning we want to give to sellers is that they do the best job in the world because they spoil customers every day, assures Guillaume Legendre. USAthat ensures the company’s sustainability and growth “.
And Stéphane Baranzelli advises to plan for the long term. “Onboarding is also very important. But we cannot have a good execution if the profile elements are not qualified upstream “, he underlines. Romain Zaccai also notes “that is it difficult to move certain lines, to give a chance to someone who does not have the right business card. Today, however, there are wonderful reconversions. When we take this kind of risk it pays off because these profiles give us back fivefold, do things that weren’t possible before, they are passionate about selling he concludes.