Entrepreneurs

How To Hire Digital Marketing Salespeople

By Kristopher Brian Jones, a serial entrepreneur and investor. Kris is the Founder of 2020 SEO Agency of the Year Finalist LSEO.com.

Digital marketing agencies know that building their SEO teams isn’t always easy. Even the top agencies in the world may have struggled at one point to find the talent that was just right for how they operate. After all, SEO and all other outlets of digital marketing are technical subjects that just aren’t on a lot of people’s radars.

What could present an even greater challenge to such agencies is growing out the sales divisions that are responsible for connecting new leads with the online marketing services the organization provides.

It’s like a balancing act: When you hire for digital marketing sales, you need to find individuals who not only have significant skills and experience in closing deals but who can also wrap their heads around the core concepts of digital marketing.

Here are three steps to help digital marketing agencies bring the right salespeople into the fold.

Look at Sales Skills First

Imagine you were a university hiring a new marketing writer. You wouldn’t expect every candidate who came through the door to possess intimate knowledge of the school already, but you would expect the candidates to have mastered the essential elements of strong research and writing. You can teach the new hire how you do things, but you can’t and shouldn’t teach the basics of grammar.

In the same way, when you hire for digital marketing sales, you should look first and foremost for strong acumen in closing sales. Can this sales candidate empathize with a lead? Can the candidate establish credibility and earn the lead’s trust? Does the candidate know how to reconnect with a lead who has been a bit on the fence?

You want your sales team to sell digital marketing services, so make sure they can sell! Your salespeople do not necessarily have to be as knowledgeable in SEO as the head of the SEO department, nor should you expect them to be.

Ensure Candidates Can Marry Sales to Digital Marketing

At the same time, any salesperson you hire still must be savvy enough to know how to link everything together and how to find a digital marketing service or product that can meet the lead’s needs.

Here is something you can look for in a strong digital marketing salesperson. See if the candidate displays an ability to deliver with three basic types of leads: those who know what they need, those who need a salesperson to tell them more about the options they are considering and those who don’t really know what kind of product or service they need.

Each real-life scenario would present the sales candidate with a different set of challenges. Although each situation requires serious sales skills, it would also necessitate the salesperson knowing enough about your agency’s digital marketing products to guide the lead to a sale.

You can present these what-ifs to the candidate in the interview to gauge what the person’s response would be or if the candidate has actually been in these situations previously.

Examine a Candidate’s Research Skills

Research comes in handy for just about every step of the sales process. From using tools to find the right leads to presenting hard evidence of an organization’s previous successes, the right digital marketing salesperson knows how to gather the appropriate information that will be needed to lead ultimately to a sale.

Here’s another aspect of research you may want to encourage in your agency: Have the sales team that you eventually hire work with the employees who perform the digital marketing so they can learn a bit more about the products and how the teams do things. For instance, the SEO experts should inform the salespeople how they usually structure a contract, what deliverables are involved and over what period results can be expected.

Your agency finding a decent flow between sales and digital marketing should ideally allow your salespeople to arm themselves with the knowledge they need to answer a lead’s every question, appear as an authority and get the sale in the end.

For all these reasons, the subject of sales research should definitely arise in your interviews with sales candidates.

Over to You

If you want your digital marketing agency to grow, you’re going to need a strong sales team. Anyone you hire obviously needs to have a proven record of growth through sales, but you will also want your team to be conversant enough in digital marketing to be able to handle any lead request.

It may take time to lock in the right team members for you, but once you do, run with them toward the growth your digital marketing agency needs to succeed.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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