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.
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?