How to Define Your Company's Sales Job - Part 2

March 11, 2018

In How to Define Your Company's Sales Job - Part 1 we explored 8 factors to consider as you define the parameters that produce success in your company's sales job. Here are 7 additional factors to consider:

9. Administration

  • Which job-related activities require attention to detail? Examples include submitting accurate forecasts, updating records in your company's CRM system in a timely fashion, analyzing customer records to determine sales strategies, and ensuring regulatory compliance.

  • Does your company have support personnel that can perform administrative tasks on your salespeople's behalf?

It is usually more cost effective to provide salespeople with administrative support to minimize the amount of administration they have to perform themselves. After all, administrative employees are (usually) less expensive than quality salespeople. Of course, this decision is up to you and your P&L (profit and loss statement).

10. Communication

  • How important to sales success are verbal and written communication skills?

  • Do your salespeople make presentations to prospects and customers?

  • Do your salespeople write letters, e-mails, or proposals?

Nearly every sales job requires salespeople to be good verbal communicators. If your salespeople write a lot of e-mails, letters, or proposals, they also need to be effective writers. Remember, every communication a salesperson has with a prospect or customer impacts the prospect's or customer's perception of your company!

11. Pre-Sales Support

  • What support resources are available to help your salespeople manage sales cycles?

  • How effective must your salespeople be when managing these resources?

The availability of support resources has a significant impact on the talents required for sales success. If your salespeople have access to quality internal (employed by your company) or external (employed by suppliers or partners) expert resources, they don't need to invest a lot of time learning technical details. This frees them to focus more time and energy on prospecting and opportunity qualification.

By the same token, if your company employs technical writers that can assist salespeople with large proposals and bid responses, there may be less need for the salespeople to be strong writers.

12. Post-Sales Support

  • Are your salespeople expected to provide technical or operational support to customers, or do other personnel provide this support?

It is difficult to find salespeople who are effective at selling and providing post-sales support, as the two functions require completely different talents. You will usually get better results (and have fewer headaches) if you separate sales and post-sales support responsibilities and assign them to different staff members.

13. Training

  • What kinds of training does your company provide to salespeople?

  • How much training does your company provide?

If your company provides quality training to its salespeople, you may have the luxury of being able to hire inexperienced sales candidates and "train them up from scratch". This can be extremely valuable in markets where highly qualified sales candidates are scarce and/or prohibitively expensive. However, if you intend to use this approach, you should seek candidates that have the ability to learn at a rapid rate.

14. Sales Manager's Style

  • What is your sales management style?

  • If you are not a sales manager, what is the style of your company's sales manager (or sales managers)?

The desired levels of specific salesperson talents will differ based upon the sales manager's management style.

15. Career Path

  • What is the career path for your sales position?

    • From small ticket item sales to big ticket item sales?

    • From sales to management?

If your company plans to use its sales team as a source of candidates for other positions, you should investigate whether salespeople and sales job candidates have the talents required to succeed in those other positions. After all, the talents required for success in those other positions may not be the same as the talents required for success in sales!


If you keep the fifteen questions discussed in this two-part article in mind, you will be able to more accurately define the parameters that lead to success in your company's sales job(s). This in turn should dramatically improve the success rate of your company's sales recruiting efforts!