5 Go-To Resources About Hiring GTM Teams In Europe
Some of the key factors that you must consider before you hire software sales reps in Europe.
If you are exploring international markets, sales and presales representatives are one of the most critical hires and will often be the first positions that you fill as you expand your company into the European market. Sales representatives and Presales engineers help you shape your brand identity and ensure that you build up the right reputation in the new market.
This is why it is important to consider how you should find the best sales or presales representatives for your expansion into EMEA (European territories). There are various elements to consider here. These are the five key elements we recommend that you keep in mind.
Get Exactly What You Want With A Clear Job Description
First, you need to ensure that you are crafting the right job description. Most published on the websites are generic and not thought through well enough. This means that you should determine the sales skills, experience you require from a candidate. Consider the buyer persona they will be working with as well as deal sizes and your respected tech niche. It is important to note that Europe is heavily relationship-orientated. One report reveals that 87% of sales professionals in Europe feel as though they have acted in an advisory role. This is an example of why you need to make sure that your sales team fits with the country that you are targeting. Places such as France and South Europe tend to value far more personal relationships.
Once you understand the skills you need, you can create a clear, appropriate job description. You must ensure that there is clarity in determining key details such as the target verticals as well as the objectives and scope of the work required. Your job description needs to highlight the specific characteristics of individuals who are going to succeed in the role. You also need to think carefully about the technical ‘domain’ requirements of sales reps. First people on the ground in Europe are very different to the normal reps you would find in the US markets.
Key take away: a thought through localised job description attracts a better quality of candidate in the European markets.
Ask The Right Questions
During the hiring process, you need to ensure that you are asking the right questions. The best questions will reveal the best candidates and allow you to immediately dismiss those who do not have the characteristics that you need. You should have a mixture of industry-specific questions as well as general behavioural questions prepared. Here are some of the questions to consider:
Is it more important to sell a platform or understand a customer so you can sell the right platform?
While either answer is acceptable, this question will reveal the focus of the individual and how they will be approaching their role here. You should also consider asking them to describe your company. This will show that they have adequately prepared for the job and ensure that they can sell your products passionately.
How will you engage a new lead?
The answer to this question should be focused on addressing the pain points of a lead and understanding the problem that they are currently facing. In doing so, they should then explain how they will find the right solution from your products or services. The correct answer to this question will demonstrate that a candidate understands that sales are all about supplying solutions. It also ensures that you find an individual who is suitable for a more relationship-centric role that is necessary for the European market.
Explain a challenging sales opportunity.
You need to make sure that a sales rep has real working experience and they are a fantastic problem solver. You should ensure that they can recap a time when they found a sale a challenge. Make sure they reveal key details including the situation, the blocking points, and how they moved forward. You should also consider how they leveraged both the resources available to them and their organization.
Key take away: Perhaps the most important as this validates the candidates’ skills and ultimate ability to close deals is their P60 or local equivalent – proof of earnings. This is often forgotten in the process so asking the hiring partner to obtain this information with possible ‘back channel’ references is vital. The top exes in Europe have no issue showing this as proof of ability.
Focus On Top 20% of Candidate pools
It is vital for your brand identity that the quality remains with this new branch of your business. It’s likely that you already have a great sales team that is operating in America. Now, you need to make sure that you are building a similar quality team to operate in the European markets.
You can use the formula that has already been a success for your team while adapting it to match the requirements of the European market. There are lots of ways to ensure that you get the right quality team in place.
However, you may want to think about focusing on hiring specific types of candidates to fill the roles. For instance, you could consider hiring someone who has a natural level of charisma and is always enthusiastic about sales.
Another key individual to consider would be fascinated about the product that you are selling and keen to push it into new markets. This individual will ensure that someone on the team has a strong understanding of how to sell your specific verticals.
It’s also worth looking for someone who understands the human side of the sales aspect. They need to have a high level of empathy for any customers that they are engaging with. Core skills in this area are just as important as other aspects that help ensure a sales rep is successful. Remember, a successful sale will often mean engaging with a customer on a personal level. This needs to be considered before focusing on a key product as the right choice.
Of course, it’s not just about finding the right people. You also need to provide them with the best possible support. This could include the right onboarding process. It’s worth noting that onboarding will take significantly less time with certain sales rep roles, even if you find someone with the necessary local vertical experience. As the market is ‘candidate driven’ the process can range anything from 10 days to six months depending on your product. BDR Roles typically are filled in two weeks as they are in high demand so the process should be accelerated.
Key takeaway: Be aware that regardless of how long you spend putting together the right team, it’s likely that you’ll get fewer results at a slower pace compared to your success in America. This is why it’s important to ensure that you have the right support available for your new team including a sales leader who can interact in the local language. The risks of this can be mitigated but a service from BrightCloud called Zero-Touch GTM.
Make Sure Your Team Is Diverse
Europe is a melting pot with a wide range of cultures, demographics, and individuals from various countries. This means that you need to ensure that your sales team reflects that level of diversity. Diverse sales teams are far more likely to be successful and effective. Due to this, your recruitment process should be focused on finding individuals with individual differences as well as diverse backgrounds.
This should start with the EMEA VP leader who you choose to manage the sales team. If you do choose to hire someone from North America rather than the local region, then it is essential that they have a core understanding of the area as well as its culture.
This will also help ensure that you are able to create a strong business culture with your new European sales team as well. Remember, Europe isn’t as focused on sales as America. As such, whoever you hire needs to enjoy sales and enjoy working for your business. This is easier to achieve if you provide a business environment that has the right culture at its core.
Key take away: You can hire a diverse team regardless of whether you focus on recruiting a local team of sales reps or an outsourcing service. The benefit of an partnering solution is that you will be able to get the right team in place while breaking through language barriers and increasing your sales speed overall.
Ensure Your EMEA Team Is Compliant
Finally, you must ensure that your EMEA sales team is compliant. There are various elements that you need to address here including labor laws as well as immigration policies and even citizens’ data privacy requirements. Each element will require extensive research to ensure that you meet the required standards when building your sales team. This is true whether you are planning a sales team for office-based work or a more remote team. You should also be aware that laws change depending on the country that you are working with. If you are not sure where to begin, then it could be worth hiring a legal advisor to help ensure that your business does not end up on the wrong side of the red tape.
As well as general regulations and requirements, you should also make sure that any team that you choose is familiar with different cultural nuances as well. This will ensure that they are interacting and engaging with leads in a way that will deliver the greatest chance of a successful sale.
If you do choose to use an outsourced sales agency for your new European team, then it’s easier to guarantee that they will meet the right compliance standards. Hiring each individual team member takes more work.
We hope this resource allows you to build up the ideal recruitment process to ensure that you find the right individuals for your European sales team. In doing so, you can give your business the best possible chance of success in this new location, whether you choose to use an outsourcing service or local sales representatives.
Key take away: This element can be accelerated by the giving the problem to a third party in Europe to assist with the Recruit, Hire, Pay, Comply details.