Covid has changed sales and the salesperson.

From a hiring perspective, good sales leaders have identified opportunities to make changes in their hiring process and we have outlined three for you.

It felt like just forever ago that the adjustments for success were going to be mere temporary scaffolding have now been cemented into our daily lives. E-commerce and video account for some of the biggest revenue channels and things are just getting dialed in.

Major companies out there have published some interesting articles on the ripple effects of this pandemic-era. The biggest trend out there is that the digital, remote and self-service options that buyers are preferring, and sellers are growing confident that these channels are here to stay.

One would also think that with this well educated buyer would create a shorter cycle for sales reps once they do reach a prospect, but the opposite is true. The additional research that buyers put into their purchases actually makes the customer’s journey longer than ever. Research shows that the average sales cycle is longer now, with an average of four months. There are also more decision-makers in every purchase from 5.4 to 6.8.

From a hiring perspective, good sales leaders have identified opportunities to make changes in their hiring process to find the right profile of a person to succeed in a more encompassing role.

Here are three areas where sales leaders have made changes to attract the right person.

  1. Job Description – This is the opportunity to tell the job market that this organization is going to appreciate a salesperson who has used social or digital platforms to prospect, educate and close deals. This is also an opportunity to brag about the amazing new tools that this current team works with and how it has been successful for them.
  2. Interviewing – Thriving sales leaders may be asking the same “good ‘old” questions but may be looking for a more evolved answer. Tell me about how you prospect is a timeless, open-ended question. The 2021 version of that answer is going to have a variation of data gathering tools, multiple communication channels and tracking of those successful campaigns. Whereas even 6 years ago prospecting stories were much simpler.
  3. Pre-Employment Screening – The in-person interview almost went extinct over the past year and with it went the interpersonal communication portion. Being able to experience a candidate’s ability to listen could be hard to judge if there is a delay in video or other technical latency. There are tests out there that can help benchmark active listening, oral comprehension and oral expression.

While making changes and shifts in sales can be challenging, it can also be rewarding. Modern sales reps who rise to the occasion will find success not only in 2021 but also in the years to come.