EP Huddle #19
At Engaged Prospect, we spend a lot of time learning new products, services and industries. Our business works with numerous organizations in various industries, selling different products to different decision makers.
Would you rather hire a sales rep with direct experience in your industry, or someone who has direct experience working through a proven sales process?
Clearly, you'd like both. But that isn't always possible which is why it's common to see the requirements for a job listing state: "Minimum of X-Y years experience... Experience in Z industry preferred".
At Engaged Prospect, we have a proven sales process and follow (and sometimes create) best practices. We believe the most important thing to a sales campaign is the design, training and ongoing management of that campaign. If we can implement the best process and hire the right people, we know the sales team will quickly learn the industry and vocabulary.
The right person for the job will jump in head first and quickly assimilate into the role. Alternatively, the person who knows the industry, but doesn't follow best practices will find himself struggling to improve. These processes include aligning sales/marketing, consistent training, effective leadership, professional development, etc.
Too often, we find people with significant industry experience who don't desire to follow the right approach because they've developed bad habits and follow the "it's always been done this way" approach. They typically hit a plateau much sooner than those without preconceived opinions and their upside isn't anywhere close to the salesperson who wants to keep getting better, and learn the business while he goes.
As a team:
Poll your team. How many people came into your business with direct knowledge of your business? How many of them are successful? Look at your data and see if your business is something that can be learned. Then, see if your sales process is as good as it should be.
Sometimes it's better to hire the right personality and then teach him the business than to hire someone who knows the business and hope he'll adjust his personality.
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