How to Effectively Recruit for Tech Sales Roles
Technical sales recruitment has seen a vast spike in growth in recent years due to the ever-expanding digital sector. An increasing number of businesses are looking to hire sales people with the technical know-how and expertise to effectively explain and sell their products to clients. Whether this is a candidate who already possesses this technical knowledge or someone who has the drive to learn quickly and the ability to absorb technical information quickly, these candidates are in high demand.
There are several specialised sectors where technical sales recruitment is especially important, including IT, FinTech and software as a service (SaaS). Strong salespeople within these industries need excellent product and sector knowledge, along with a range of further specialist skills. For this reason, recruiters need to adopt a different approach to make sure hiring is impactful, rather than just relying on standard sales recruitment practices.
If your business is looking to recruit for tech sales jobs, there are a number of steps you need to put in place to make sure you can both attract and then secure the right hire.
Write an accurate job description
When recruiting for a technical role, it’s essential that the job description is both clear and accurate. You should include the specific responsibilities a candidate will have, incorporating any specialised areas – such as mobile technology or FinTech – as well as the level of experience required for the role.
Using key terms will make sure that candidates with requisite knowledge and experience are finding your technical job adverts. Ensure the job title is clearly defined, and make your opening understandable with specific details on the industry - this will be what your potential hires will be seeking out first. Getting your job description right means you will largely receive applications from candidates with your desired skillset, rather than having to waste time leafing through unsuitable ones.
Find the best tech sales candidates
When it comes to finding the best tech sales candidate, there are three main routes to take. These are:
- Technical salesperson. These candidates will have both the technical expertise and previous sales experience, meaning they will be able to handle the job intuitively. However, because of their varied skillset, they are more than likely looking for senior positions and you’ll probably find there is greater competition for these candidates.
- Regular salesperson. With strong sales skills and an interest to move into a more specialist field, existing salespeople can transfer their skills across very well to technical sales roles. This candidate could be someone already within your sales team or an external hire with real sales experience who is willing to increase their technical knowledge on the job.
- Technical specialist. Candidates with a technical background may be looking to improve their skillset by applying for a tech sales job. Although their specialist knowledge will prove useful in offering their expertise and advice, additional sales training may be needed to help nurture them as new sales stars.
It isn’t always clear which candidate will work best for your business, which is why at Pareto, our expert recruiters can help you find the right person for your technical sales role and offer the training to upskill your candidates in sales.
Search for the right skills
As with any sales role, the right candidate must have confidence, ambition and the ability to recognise the needs of the consumer. However, with technical sales roles, there are some specific skills to look out for, including:
- In-depth product knowledge. To sell a product you need to understand it, which is perhaps most challenging when it comes to technical services. Potential customers will challenge a tech salesperson’s expertise, so it’s essential they have the in-depth knowledge from the offset to help them close deals.
- Critical thinking. Clients rely on salespeople to provide advice and offer solutions to any queries or concerns they may have. A good tech salesperson needs to be able to analyse individual situations and offer a suitable solution – explaining the value the product will add to the client.
- Clear communication. It is one thing having the knowledge to talk about specialised subjects, but if tech salespeople are unable to communicate this in clear, simple language that your clients can easily understand, it’ll be useless. When dealing with complex topics, products and services, an ability to communicate is particularly vital.
Test their product knowledge
With these essential skills in mind, before you agree to hire an individual, you should test their product knowledge. This can be done by setting a task to the candidates best suited to the job and assessing their performance.
The task you choose could be something simple, such as asking them to explain a specialised product to you or another employee in a timed environment. Or, you could set the task in advance and get your candidates to provide a solution to a specific problem outside their current expertise. This should give you a good indication of their existing knowledge, as well as how well they cope at understanding, retaining and presenting new knowledge. Along with your interview, performance on these tasks could be the deciding factor on whether or not to hire them.
Looking for more information on the different specialised areas in technical sales recruitment?
Check out our guide on the ins and outs of FinTech sales recruitment.