In our 12 years at ACCUR Recruiting Services, working for companies like L’Oreal, LVMH, and Remy Cointreau, we’ve gotten a lot of experience in filling critical sales roles.
In this article, we wanted to share a few tips to make sure that your sales hiring process delivers a sales star that will help you expand your business and grow revenue.
All Sales Hires Are Not Created Equal
“Selling is selling” is an adage that is often heard in the sales trenches, but in our experience, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Someone who is adept at selling software to the enterprise is not going to be especially well equipped to understand how to get your perfume brand into high-end department stores.
For that reason, at ACCUR, we focus our network on sales performers with retail distribution experience. We feel that it’s must for our luxury goods and CPG company clients.
Match the Stage of Your Business to Your Sales Needs
Different stages of business will require different skill sets. We often place sales people who are the first hire of companies making a foray into the American market for the first time. That hire naturally needs to be quite autonomous and entrepreneurial. We sometimes call this person a “mini-GM” as they balance at least three roles (sales quotas, marketing and management).
As your team grows changes, so will the qualities you need in a sales person. We place many key account manager roles in more mature companies. These folks usually have more support from their teams, and are able focus more on sales quotas.
Ask the right questions
Our interview process for sales roles are quite extensive and aimed at uncovering how the candidate will respond to a variety of different challenges.
In the past, we’ve found that asking candidates to walk through various scenarios in order to gauge whether they will be a good performer:
- In the first scenario, we play the role of a buyer who has bought from the candidate in the past year and cannot move the inventory.
- In our second scenario, we ask the candidate to talk us through a store visit.
What we are looking for:
- In the first scenario, we look for people who ask questions and probe the account to find out ways to improve the outcome for the client. Essentially, we want to know the candidate is a relationship-builder, will not only sell but make the client happy. If we are trying to place a Key Account Manager, we’ll want to know that person has a holistic understanding of the distribution network. Selling in (wholesale) is that person’s first goal, but they also need to be sure that the buyer will do well selling out.
- In the second scenario, we want to see that the candidate is seasoned enough to have developed a checklist to make sure the products are being displayed well, that the store employees are supporting the product, and the management has the resources they need.
How we can help you find a sales performer:
ACCUR Recruiting Services provides a comprehensive set of executive search solutions to the global luxury goods, travel retail, apparel, perfume, watch, food, wine, spirits and cosmetic industries.
What we offer our clients:
- The right relationships: With a strong partnership with CFR Global Executive Search, we have access to highly qualified candidates in all of the major markets worldwide, including the US and Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
- Global expertise: As your business expands into new markets and territories, we have the deep expertise and experience in multiple business cultures that will help you bridge the gap.
- Individualized attention: With processes that work to deliver the best candidates on a tight timescale, rely on us to always apply a sophisticated understanding to any hiring challenge.
Working with an extensive list of highly seasoned contacts, we work with you to fill executive positions in sales, marketing, finance and many other areas.
Contact us to set up a consultation.