4 non-negotiable traits for getting hired

If you want to join one of the UK’s Best SaaS Companies To Work For, here are 4 attributes you need to have.

In June we staged our first Sales Confidence conference at HereEast, in London’s Olympic Park. We called it SaaSGrowth2018. We had over 200 SaaS professionals in the audience, watching more than 30 of London’s foremost SaaS experts share their knowledge. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our SaaSGrowth2018 articles.

Jennifer Bers

‘How to hire, onboard, coach and develop successful sales teams’ was the title of one of the afternoon sessions. We were excited to welcome 6 hiring experts to the SaaSGrowth stage to talk about how they mould teams for success.

Our first speaker was Jennifer Bers. Jennifer is VP of Sales at Onfido, who featured high on our Top 50 UK SaaS Companies To Work For list. Jennifer is a long-time friend of Sales Confidence. She spoke at one of our earlier events at Salesforce Tower.

Jennifer’s view is that while hiring is not an exact science, if you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you’re more likely to make the right hire. As part of Jennifer’s hiring framework, she looks for 4 specific competencies. However, being great at sales isn’t enough. There are also 4 non-negotiable traits you need to have as a person if you want Jennifer to hire you. Here they are.

1 — You have to be coachable

‘If I hire someone, even someone with a lot of experience, but they can’t change the way they do things, they’re not going to fit in.’

Every organisation, not just Onfido, has a way they like to do things. This could range from the way they order their pitch decks to the way they classify a lead. Organisations work hard to develop sales processes that work for them. You can’t expect to join a company and start changing the process.

‘If you never change, you don’t grow. It also means you don’t have that fundamental curiosity to get better.’

2 — You have to be hungry

‘I don’t want someone who’s going to leave at 5 o’clock because that’s when they’re done.’

If you’re hungry for success, you don’t stop when there’s still work to be done. You don’t see it as a sacrifice, because your success is the most important thing to you.

‘I recognise that my team have a life. I want them to have a life. But they have to be willing to make that extra phone call or send that extra email.’

3 — You are intelligent

‘I need someone who can synthesise a lot of information, and translate what might be quite a technical discussion into a business value.’

To sell successfully, you can’t just regurgitate facts and figures. You have to make a connection between your product and your customers’ pain points. This presents a solution, shows empathy and ultimately sells your product. That takes a level of intelligence that many people don’t have.

‘If all we’re doing is talking about features and technology, we’re not solving a problem for our customers.’

4 — You’re ethical

‘You’re not only representing yourself. You’re representing Onfido.’

‘It’s easy to sell someone something once. It’s really hard to sell someone something for a second time, if you screwed them over the first time.’

In sales, it’s tempting to push your product on to someone even when you know it’s not a good fit for them. After all, you need to keep bringing in the numbers. However, in the long run, it’s bad practice and reflects poorly on you, and your organisation.

‘I used to tell prospects, ‘You’re not ready for me yet. When you have reached these specific thresholds, call me again. In the meantime, here are some competitors who may be better for you.’ There was never a time that when the customer hit that threshold, that they didn’t call me.’

Any more?

What do you think? When you’re hiring, what are the non-negotiable traits that you’re looking for? Let us know in the comments.

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