How to Find the Right Sales Talent for Fintech

Fintech companies are making life simpler, safer and secure for people globally by helping them transact money efficiently using cutting-edge technology.
The boom in the fintech sector means that companies need better salespeople to grow their businesses. Recruiting good talent who can deliver consistent high-performance will hold the key to increasing market share and build the fintech brand’s reputation.

An overview of recruiting for fintech

Fintech is an area that promises a lot of excitement. So, in general, digital natives, young Gen Z workers, who were born into the digital age, will do very well in this space. A basic degree in IT or computer science or a related field, with a deep understanding of how finance and technology work, will be very useful.
In most technical roles in fintech, entry-level people are freshers. They can be molded with on-the-job training and mentorship.
It is greatly recommended that more weightage be given to a candidate’s attitude and soft skills, than just looking for experience and technical proficiency. People in fintech need to be agile and aggressive. These are traits that cannot be honed through certifications. These are inherent to certain people.
Smart recruiters will look for such people.

Finding salespeople who can make a difference

So, essentially, when recruiting sales people you will have to give more weightage to the candidate’s agility and confidence. In fact, value those traits more than prior fintech work experience.

You can always put a candidate through an intensive coaching crash course on what fintech is and how to thrive in the space. But you can never push them to be either agile or aggressive. They have to be inspired to be that way. And that inspiration always comes from within people.

Additionally, look for people who have the doggedness to succeed. Sales is a field where you are more often rejected than accepted. A candidate who can continue to march forward even after hitting a dead end every single time is precious. You don’t want to overlook this candidate for someone who has fintech experience or is qualified in finance and technology.

Sales is done based on trust and relationships. So, look for people who are natural extroverts. Look for those who can impress you with their demeanor, their presentation and the way they articulate how they feel.

Look for natural leaders

Sales is all about taking ownership of a target and going on to get it, to achieve it. It is all about leadership.

So, look for natural leaders with high-potential. Is the candidate displaying leadership qualities? Are the anecdotes from the candidate’s life journey examples of leading in crunch situations? Is the candidate a values-driven person? These are some of the questions that you must explore when interviewing candidates. Clearly, a resume can only tell you so much. So, spend time having a conversation – not just an interview – with the candidate. Putting a candidate at ease and having them open up to you are sure ways to know more about the person.

A good salesperson will most likely be a good leader; have them try to sell their story to you. If you buy their story, you can be quite sure others will buy your company’s story from them!

Prior experience in sales is always welcome

A candidate who has sold products and services before is always an asset. The sales field trains people to be thorough with information and knowledge on what is being sold. This really means a candidate with prior sales experience is detail-oriented. Secondly, people in sales are used to hearing and soaking in multiple market perspectives. They are also sensitive to managing customers’ time, expectations, budgets and feedback. This makes them more tolerant and flexible. These are qualities in a candidate that you can harness well.

Working in fintech is not an easy ball game. It is very challenging. Only salespeople with prior battle experience can hit the ground running. Of course, every now and then, you do have quick learners, with no prior sales experience, who deep dive and make the cut.

Tighten the recruitment process

The fintech space is very competitive. You don’t have the luxury of time or resources to make costly recruitment errors.

So, make sure your recruitment process is tight. Pack it with at least two rounds of conversations with the candidate, a psychometric test and with peer-level and leadership-level assessments.

Also, see if you can have a recruitment specialist who can be on your hiring panel. This is a person who has spent a few decades in business, in leadership roles, and who has led people to significant performance goals. This is not a person who you may necessarily find in a recruitment firm. You may find this person in industry forums. The person may even be retired and not be willing to take up a full-time role. Now, tap into this person’s expertise. People who have led teams can find out more about people through just one conversation. The advice of this specialist can make your hiring sharper and more focused.

Presenting your company

Why should a potential candidate choose to work for you? This is the key question you must prepare to answer when you present your fintech company.

  • Talk about your company’s vision and culture. Share in detail the values of your company and its approach towards diversity and inclusion.
  • Share why your company is an important player in the fintech space. Go beyond the company’s brand positioning and achievements. Talk about what it is setting out to do.
  • Then talk about why a person like the candidate will make a difference to your company.
  • And finally talk about the role, the responsibilities and the compensation.

The first three bullets are the intangibles. Spend time on them. If your potential salesperson buys into them, you have a winner on board.

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