The new demands on sales personnel

Photo used for representational purpose  

Bengaluru-based SaaS company LeadSquared recently hired entry-level sales personnel by putting them to what it called “Rainmaker Challenge”, which was about evaluating them on the basis of how they presented their video resume.

Rahul Mitra, vice-president, Talent Acquisition at LeadSquared, spells out the objective of this exercise: Testing the applicant's online savviness. The pandemic has punctuated the necessity for sales personnel to be able to connect with clients online.

The recent LinkedIn’s ‘State of Sales APAC 2021 report’ underlines this need. Nine out of 10 top sellers in India use sales technology to close deals in the hybrid world. Seven in 10 sellers in India agree that sales tech helps them build trust and stronger relationships with buyers, says the report.

“When the pandemic arrived, it moved the needle for sellers who had previously kept virtual selling at arm’s length. Today, nearly 90% of top sales professionals use sales technology to close deals, a strong indicator of how sales intelligence tools such as Sales Navigator are helping buyers build relationships in the remote world. For sales organisations, data is more crucial than ever, and sales leaders are increasingly using real-time data and insights to inform their planning and sales strategy,” says Abhai Singh, Head, LinkedIn Sales Solutions, India.

While in-sales or online sales may have covered more ground due to the pandemic, the traditional in-person client calls will remain as sacrosanct as Test cricket notwithstanding the convenience and popularity of the shorter formats of the game.

Jacob Jesuroon, vice president and head of human resources at Access Healthcare, feels both on-field and virtual sales will continue and the decision on which to opt for will depend on the client and the size of the deal.

“The market is opening up fast and while we are seeing a lot of in-person discussions when compared to last year, these discussions are largely related to large enterprises where it is important to build strong connections,” says Jesuroon, adding that it is finally down to what the client wants, with success depending on being able to tailor one's sales strategy — online or in-person — to what the client requires.

Smitha Hemmigae, head of marketing at ANSR, points out that the corporate world will see more of a hybrid model of selling.

“You can never go fully remote when you are working with Fortune 500 companies,” says Smitha.

As the online route having opened up considerably due to the pandemic experience, clients would require sales and customer care professionals to be more connected than ever before.

Jesuroon says companies have no option but to adopt a digital-first strategy, particularly where sales, marketing and customer care professionals are involved.

“Domain knowledge, ability to market what you have and an ability to build on a relationship are going to be the game changers,” says Jesuroon.

Smitha says companies are investing big in analytics, looking further into marketing automation and bringing greater predictability to the equation. She adds: “Earlier we were doing these in pockets or taking longer time; now it’s fundamental.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 5:55:57 PM |

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