New Hire Traits to Consider During Sales Expansion

Media Image

Well done! Your startup is thriving, and you have built up a loyal customer base who are loving your business.

But recently, you’ve noticed some international interest, and prospective customers from across the globe want your products or services to be accessible to them overseas. Or maybe you've now recognised that your startup is indeed built for international greatness.

Whatever the reason for international expansion may be, you won’t be able to do much until you activate your secret weapon - a winning sales team.

When a sales team knows what they’re doing, a business can thrive, which is why it’s crucial to get the hiring process right. Fortunately for you, we’re armed with key advice that’ll ensure you’re equipped to do so.

Make sure you build a team that caters to your business’s needs

To do this, you need to know what the goals of your sales team need to be and have a clear idea of what type of salesperson will help your business to achieve its goals.

When designing your sales structure, take into account the number of people you need, what skills they should possess and what type of products or services your business offers.

If you have a smaller business, get an office sales team as they are a more affordable option. Office sales teams are teams who operate from the office or their home desk.

If you have a bigger business, then a field sales team  - who can provide clients with in-person support demonstrations - would be a better option for you.

Hire the right people

Once you have decided whether you need an office sales team or a field sales team, you can start to hire for the various positions needed - from sales reps, to account managers and more.

Hire based on the tasks that the team will be expected to perform in order to expand the business and allow this to also inform how many people you will need in the team.

Traits and skills to look for when hiring sales leaders

In order to take your business from local startup to international success story, you’ve got to ensure you hire sales leaders with the right skills to lead your sales team(s) well.

Here are a few traits you should be looking out for when candidates step into the interview room:

  • Whether it be someone who can develop a strong sales team; someone who can motivate a team that hasn’t been hitting their targets; or someone who knows how to make an impact in new markets against intense competition, consider what your business needs are and hire someone who has had to deal with similar or the same obstacles your business faces. Sales leaders should not simply be people with leadership skills, but rather people with unique experiences of leading a sales team in business environments that mimic yours.
  • You need someone who doesn’t just have leadership skills, but knows how to manage people well. By this we mean someone whose door is open to the team, gives good feedback, keeps the team motivated, shows them trust and respect, doesn’t micromanage, and equips their team to succeed. What you don’t need is a manager who is desperate for recognition and scared of failure - this often affects the way they treat their team, which has an overall impact on the sales outcomes.
  • A dynamic portfolio of skills; a must for any sales leader, as they have many hats to wear in their job. They should be effective at recruiting candidates; onboarding new hires; managing the team; providing mentoring and training to the team; and collaborating with other departments on the business.
  • Your sales leader should also be someone who has the unique ability to remain motivated, while also ensuring others stay motivated. They need to be able to understand the individual ways in which the sales team members are motivated (whether it be through money, time off, praise etc.) and then make the effort to do that for those individuals.
  • Naturally, your sales leader should have a myriad of experiences in sales and strong sales skills, but because they are in a leadership position, they should not seek the spotlight. After all, they will not be having direct experience in selling. If they are someone who wants to get involved in that way, they will likely end up micromanaging. Instead, their focus should be on coaching, guiding and inspiring the team to be able to do their jobs effectively.

Attributes sales employees must possess when expanding business into new markets

Now that you know the general traits and skills sales leaders should have, let’s dive into what you should consider when hiring for business expansion.

  1. They need a valuable network. Consider the sales relationships new hires are bringing with them when you hire them. If they already have a portfolio bursting with loyal clients, the rest of the team will feel really motivated, and the initial introduction into new markets will be a breeze.
  2. They need insight into the markets. This is an obvious one - you want to hire sales people who can give you the inside scoop on potential new markets because they have experience working in these spaces already.
  3. They should have good intuition. There are lots of decisions that need to be made during the international expansion process.You need leaders on your teams who can make smart decisions in high pressure moments.

Questions to ask yourself before expanding your sales team

Before you begin your journey of hiring a sales team ready for international expansion, do a quick check in to ensure your business is ready and that you have the correct processes and structures in place to make good hiring decisions. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you implemented an effective training system?
  • Are you finding candidates with the right experience for what you need?
  • What incentives have you got in place to motivate your teams?
  • Do the candidate's values and ethos align with your business mission and values?
  • How smoothly are your operations running?
  • Do you have enough manpower and resources to ensure that delivery happens after the sale has gone through?
  • Do you have enough budget to expand?
  • Have you developed a thorough marketing plan to support the sales function?
  • Are the marketing and sales teams aligned? 
  • How successful have your sales reps been up until this point?
  • Is the market accessible or highly competitive?
  • What plans do you have in place to compensate your employees?

We hope this has offered some insight into scaling hiring for international expansion that will hopefully help you make the right decision for hiring the sales team that’s going to take your business to new markets. Next step - take on the world!

Connect with experts on this topic