Women in Sales Blog

The Criteria Your Recruiting Team Should Use to Hire for Today's Great Sales Rep- Always Be Helping

Posted by Sep 17, 2014 10:16:20 AM Ali Powell

"Ali, you were a lot of the reason that I got into sales." 

Someone last night at our annual marketing  conference  told me that I had an impact on them moving from a marketing job into a sales role. I was shocked, humbled and curious when this person said this to me. Moved was also a feeling that came to me. How could I have had an impact on their choice to move into sales. I asked this person to explain this to me. work-hard-stay-humble-typography-vector-830923

That is probably one of the nicest things I have ever had someone say to me. I also really liked this because this person was a woman. I really care about exposing sales to more women. Men will always be in sales so I am not worried about that. What I do care about is getting more women into sales and helping more women to understand why sales is a good fit for some women. This comment got me thinking back to my co-founders keynote speech at our inbound conference. 

Brian Halligan, my CEO was talking about what makes today's great sales rep. HubSpot really tries hard to find the best talent. Best talent in sales, marketing, engineering, etc. Finding good talent is hard. But, there seems to be a shift in what makes today's great sales rep. 

I noticed this shift myself over the past 4 years being in sales at HubSpot. I never thought that I would be a sales person. I didn't go to college to become a sales person. I didn't even know I would be good at it. I think a lot of people get into sales for all the typical (old school) reasons that people think of when they think of the typical sales rep. That "typical sales rep" is no longer what makes today's great sales rep. Today's great sales rep is naturally just a different person than yesterday's ideal sales rep. 

The sales rep of yesterday looks like this. 

  • Rude. Oh no we don't want rude sales people today. 

  • Cared about theirselves and helping theirsleves over helping the end client. 

  • Sales reps had the power and not the buyer so they were the ones in control. So that would usually mean a cocky person. Someone super confident in theirselves in general. 

  • ABC- always be closing. We would look for people who always closed a deal, closed a deal just to close a deal. These sales reps didn't qualify people in the sales process. They just closed deals because hey, that's what sales people do. Right?

  • Extroverts- people who were loud, talkative, extreme. You know them right?

  • Opaque- not clear on things. They didn't necessarily know everything about the product but they knew how to sell and would do anything and everything to sell the darn thing. Even if selling the product meant a bad fit customer. No thanks...



Today's great sales rep looks more like this. 

  • They are caring and kind. They care about the person on the other end of the phone. Their goal is to help people and they aren't in it for theirself. They are in sales because they are a helpful person and want to help the customer make the right choice for their business needs and goals. 

  • Our CEO called  these people ABHers' - always be helping. I agree with this completely. We have had internal meetings here at HubSpot where the recruiting team will pick my brain and try to come up with ideas on how to hire more people like me. I have always said to hire more people who want to help. Hire people who care about other people, hire people who have an innate feeling of wanting to help people in general. Are they the kind of person who would help someone on the street? Are they the person who holds the door open for an old person or gives their seat to the pregnant woman on the train? You want people who naturally feel a want to help others. This will also happen when they start to sell your product or services. Pick your sales team by picking those who naturally care and naturally want to help people. 

  • Sharp minds. We want sales people who are SMART. People who understand your company's vision and can really talk and show your product. You want sales people who actually are intelligent. Selling products today is harder than it used to be. You need to know how to answer questions because the buyer is in control. The buyer will be qualified and educated when they start the sales process so make sure you arm your sales team with smart people who are intelligent enough to think outside the box. You want them to be naturally innovative, naturally curious and naturally want to solve problems. This will come off in the sales process too because the way they think will help them to come up with the right answers and to lead custom sales processes and not scripted sales processes. im-a-big-helper-1

  • Ambiverted people. We used to want the extroverts. The loud people and the ones who love social gatherings. I think today's great sales rep is one that is more in the middle. More grounded than an extrovert. They are someone who can go between being an introvert and extrovert. 

  • Transparent people. You want to hire people who are transparent and want to answer the questions the right way. You don't want opaque sales reps who give answers just to give answers. We want sales reps who are going to be honest and open about everything. We want people who will always tell the truth and find out the correct answers to a problem. 

  • Motivation. That will never change. Your sales reps need to be naturally motivated. This is never going to change. Sales people must to be naturally motivated on their own. Whatever their reasons for their motivation honestly doesn't matter to much but they need to be motivated on their own without pressure from say their boss. You want sales people who naturally care about hitting their number and will work hard to get there, no matter what. That type of motivation to do well should shine through on their own without external pressures.

These things all seem natural to me. I don't try to be these things. I just am these things just being me. You want to find those kinds of people when you are recruiting for sales people. You want these qualities and criteria to come naturally. That is the most important part. Find ways to find people who are naturally like this and you will create and build today's great sales team. 

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Topics: smart prospecting, smart sales, today's sales rep, smart selling, smart startup marketing, smarter marketing

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