sales team

How OTB recruits its sales team (and how I got in here)

How did Outbound Marketing hire me for their sales team? The Sales Acceleration Formula tells the story.

The most amazing thing about working in the sales team of a reference company in outbound marketing is realizing how all processes naturally fit into what we do.

I have always been delighted with Outbound, even before joining the company. However, during my selection process, I was even more intrigued by the way I was challenged and interviewed. I can speak, I have never had a similar experience.

Inside the OTB, I went through intense training, deep reading and practical position of the activities. At that moment, it all made sense: eureka! When I read The Sales Acceleration Formula, I realized that I was living in practice the methodologies and teachings of the book.

The book is amazing and I highly recommend it, especially for managers, leaders and visionaries, as it manages to show different perspectives of what the business process is.

I was able to immerse myself in the universe of what it is to lead and, even better, lead a sales team, full of daily challenges, confrontations and tempting goals.

The Sales Acceleration Formula, the book every sales manager needs to read

The author? His name is Mark Roberge, former CRO of HubSpot, an American marketing and sales company that was founded in 2005. Mark was responsible for managing a team that substantially leveraged the company’s sales. Today, he is a professor at Harvard and a reference on the subject.

Mark makes it clear that there is no single hiring formula, as each company must develop its ideal salesperson. However, the ingenious process to reach this profile is the same for any company, just adapt it to yours.

In the book, he makes clear some main steps relevant to the process:

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  1. Step One: Establishing the Ideal Characteristics for the Seller
  2. Second step: Define the valuation strategy for each characteristic
  3. Third step: Score candidates in relation to the characteristics raised
  4. Step Four: Learn and Iterate the Model
  5. 5 characteristics of your future sales team, and how to interview them

Step One: Establishing the Ideal Characteristics for the Seller

It is necessary to list characteristics that are related to sales success. More than listing them, it is necessary to clearly define what each characteristic means and how you will measure them during the interview.

One suggestion is to devise a scoring method. Establish rules for scoring candidates and choose which parameters carry the most weight. For example, do you prefer a smarter or more curious candidate? Give the highest score for your favorite criteria.

Second step: Define the valuation strategy for each characteristic

Keeping the characteristics in mind, it is necessary to think about how to observe and evaluate them throughout the interview.

During my selection process here at Outbound, I had to sell a bottle of water to my future manager. What did he want with such activity? He gave me two chances and gave me feedback between them. The goal, I realized, was to test my coachability.

Third step: Score candidates in relation to the characteristics raised

As in any selection process, the time of the dreaded decision comes. To make this action as targeted as possible and away from “thinking”, it is necessary to raise the ratings, make comparisons and think about the current reality of the company.

Finally, choose what you think is the most interesting profile for the moment. In this way, the choice will be smoother and more assertive.

Step Four: Learn and Iterate the Model

Did you realize that, during the process, you could improve some techniques? Or that you failed to notice some feature through the dynamics? It’s time to use good old PDCA.

Also, collect feedback from participants, approved or not. After all, it was people who went through it, and they may have something to add to the process.

In this chapter of the book, Mark draws a conclusion that I consider very important:

Statistics suggest that sellers who are smart and helpful, rather than aggressive and high-pressure, are more successful in today’s market.

So, think carefully about the characteristics you want your sales team to have. Alright, I’ll help you here: what are these characteristics then?

5 characteristics of your future sales team, and how to interview them

It’s not easy to determine such characteristics, right? Here at the company, we use 5 characteristics that are also evaluated within Hubspot, in addition to others essential for our business, whether for Reev or for our consultancy.

The five characteristics designated by Mark are:

1. Coachability

Without a literal translation into Portuguese, coachability is related to the ability to absorb feedback and apply to learn. It’s realizing how much you can educate yourself from what you already master.

For B2B sellers this is an essential feature. Through SPIN Selling, you can show the lead, in a teacher/student relationship, how much you know about the subject and can help you solve problems.

2. Curiosity

Human beings are naturally curious, our social nature induces curiosity. It’s good to know when to use this ability to do good, and not to “snoop around” other people’s lives.

Curiosity is a powerful tool when we use it to understand the context of a potential client, asking the correct and well-placed questions.

How to assess this in a candidate? Come on! Did he even look for data about your company, did he want to know what you do or how long have you been in the market?

Also, note whether, during the interview, the candidate practices active listening. The curious tend to pay a lot of attention and capture the details to use them later.

3. Previous success

In the search for the ideal professional for your commercial area, we come across the achievements and experiences of the interested party.

Previous success relates to a history of superior performance, or outstanding achievement. It is not necessarily a renowned success, but something that shows that the candidate is deeply seeking a result.

Understand the results, how much the candidate has immersed in their experiences and, in fact, how the journey went. Beauty?

4. Intelligence

This is the ability to quickly learn complex concepts and easily pass that learning on to others.

During my interview, my future manager asked me to teach him something. Putz! I chose to teach him how to make homemade brigadeiro (something very complex for me). In some interviews I’ve done, I’ve been taught from triple integrals to scratching French.

5. Work ethics

Do you know that desire to make things happen and get your hands dirty? A sales team works hard daily for the organization’s results.

This is more than a skill, it is a principle that new companies have absorbed and transmitted to their leaders and subordinates.

And now?

Did you hire well and have a strong sales team ready for the market? The Sales Acceleration Formula does not stop there. He also teaches a lot about training new staff and building great sales leaders.