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Hiring Sales People for Language Service Providers (LSPs): Hunting for Pearls – finding Melons

Believe the odds of finding a pearl in an Oyster are 1 in 10,000.  I have talked to Language owners who believe the same odds apply to hiring a good sales person.  Some LSP owners maintain they have never hired successful sales people.


Why is it so difficult to find and hire good  sales people for the language industry.  First off, there is a shortage of them.  Also, a sales person may flourish in one environment and struggle with another company culture.  Language owners are also partly at fault.  The role of the LSP owner or sales manager is to train and supervise the  Translation Sales person.  This means setting clear goals and expectations, training on systems and processes, tracking relevant activity and providing ongoing communication to the sales person.   Many language company owners and managers fall short on supporting their sales people.  Finally, the translation sales cycle is long.  It can take over 12 months to see revenue from sales efforts.  Oftentimes LSP owners or the translation sales manager lose patience and terminate the engagement prematurely.


Anzu Global does recruiting for sales resources.  There are several steps in the recruitment process.  We take a history of the candidate—where they worked, why they left previous employments and what were their sales numbers.  Can they provide manager references from previous employment.

Then we try to match the candidate with the company.  One person selling 400K annually for a smaller vendor maybe a better fit for your business than another sales person selling 800K for Lionbridge.  Lionbridge has a large marketing budget and name recognition to support their sales people.  If you are a smaller language owner with a limited marketing budget you may want a sales person coming from a similar environment.

There is a lot that goes into recruiting, hiring and training a translation sales person.  Anzu Global can help.  We may not find the 1 in 10,000 pearl, but we may help you find the perfect melon.  It is said that with Melons, 1 in 10 is good.