B2B sales agents in Germany: What do you need?

B2B sales agents in Germany: What do you need?

Mostly if you Google around the term “B2B sales agent Germany,” you get a bunch of semi-BS job listings looking for someone who can speak German and English and has about 17 years of selling experience or whatever. (Sadly the base is probably about $60,000 U.S.) This isn’t a job listing, so that’s good news. Rather, we’re going to discuss a little bit what a B2B sales agent in Germany should look like. But first we’re going to tell a funny story.

That aforementioned funny story

One of our people at BizXpand went to a sales kickoff in the U.S. recently. It was a tech company — cloud space.

Near the end of Day 2, they started doing one-by-one evaluations of the sales principals in front of the executives. The sales team goes through their pipelines one at a time, and the SVPs can comment and redirect.

Obviously some people aren’t meeting quota, and it gets a little tense.

One got really tense.

Essentially a public execution.

It was hard/sad to watch.

But remember this was a sales kickoff in the U.S.

This stuff happens less in Germany and DACH markets.

Why is that?

Well, the German sales market is a bit more focused on data and accountability.

Not knocking the U.S., but that’s a difference.

In the U.S., oftentimes 67% of VPs — who often report directly to the CEO — can’t name the priorities of the CEO.

When there’s a priority vacuum, sometimes you can have unclear metrics (or unnecessary metrics) around the sales channel. In short: people want sales (obviously) but they tend to track or evaluate the wrong stuff.

The DACH market has its own issues, but tracking and accountability aren’t those.

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What does all this mean for finding a B2B sales agent in Germany?

Let’s go back to this comedy of errors story for a second.

When the sales rep was getting executed by his boss, he kept talking about different excuses.

“Well, the decision-maker changed at this lead…”

“We were promised some hardware sales on a cross-sell…”

Admittedly good sales reps cut through all this and figure out a way to get it done.

That’s what you want.

But beyond that — someone who won’t give excuses for poor output — you need someone who has a strong focus in relationship-building.

Most B2B work in the German markets is relationship selling. That’s what the decision-makers expect.

So, in reality, it shouldn’t matter that “the decision-maker changed.”

For a good German B2B sales agent, that just means another opportunity is open — because when the old decision-maker lands at a new company, your relationship means that contract will open soon.

The point is: in the German B2B markets, you build relationships (“advocates”) and those relationships carry your portfolio as you also execute on new opportunities.

It’s much more personally-driven than some English-speaking markets.

So you need a B2B sales agent that gets that. It’s important.

But: relationship-selling doesn’t scale. It can’t.

So just the ability to be personally-driven and create relationships can’t be the be-all and end-all.

A good B2B sales agent in German markets know this.

You need to combine the ability to form relationships with an understanding of value-based selling.

In DACH, that’s going to be the type of B2B sales agent that consistently exceeds quota.

You want that man/woman.

And hopefully you never need to publicly fleece him or her too 🙂

What else have you seen about B2B sales agents in the German markets? Have you read the German Market Essentials?

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