How to Remake Your Sales Staff for the New Normal

BY Kathy Crosett
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Are you using the current economic situation to get your business positioned for the recovery? If not, now’s an excellent time to remake your sales staff for the new normal. As Claudia St. John wrote for ACHRnews​.com, “This is the right time to make strategic staffing decisions in order to have the right team to move…forward during recovery.”

Outlook and Hiring

As a business owner, your projections for the new year may not indicate huge growth. But if you’ve been thinking about shifting focus and expanding into a new product line or service, your current sales staff may not be a good match for what you need. If you plan to target business customers and your current stuff is used to selling to consumers, you may need to hire a new sales rep.

The good news about your hiring situation is that many qualified sales reps are now looking for jobs. Prior to the pandemic, you likely found recruiting good sales reps to be a challenging task. The previously hot job market made hiring a challenge. With so many sales professionals now seeking a new opportunity, your hiring task should be easy. Right? Not exactly. You shouldn’t rush to make a decision.

Sales Talent and Fit

To attract the right sales talent to your organization, you still need to consider fit. The fit in terms of how your candidate will work with your top clients, as well as with the existing reps in your organization, is key. A few years ago, you may have selected a less than ideal candidate to fill your open sales position because of the competitive job market. Now, you have the luxury of choosing from a variety of highly skilled candidates.

To avoid making a mistake, check out the Four FitsTM of your prospective new hires. TeamTrait™ offers a comprehensive Candidate Profile that reveals how well your prospects ‘fit’ in the following ways:

  • Job Fit — Do they have the skills and natural inclination to do the work of the specific position they’re applying for?
  • Manager Fit — Will you and the candidate work well together, or will you have to significantly adjust your style to manage this person?
  • Company Fit — Does this candidate support and feel passionate about what the company does and what it sells?

Remake Your Sales Staff for the New Normal

We all know that hiring an ace sales rep can be a challenge. Once you find the candidate who will fit well in your organization, review the comprehensive profile from TeamTrait™ to understand their true motivations. In some cases, as St. John suggests, you may be able to lock them in with a ‘sign-​on bonus for a delayed start,’ if you’re not quite ready to bring them into the organization. But remember that not every sales rep is motivated solely by money. Their TeamTrait™ profile will tell you if can lure them with an offer that includes extensive training in a subject that interests them, the promise of an eventual management position, or an agreement about working on specific accounts.