Before you hire your next sales superstar, make sure you have decided if you are willing to train, develop, and manage them. Don’t hire someone if you aren’t in this position.
Salespeople aren’t robots that you just send out to sell stuff. It would be so simple. They need to be trained, managed, and developed just like everyone else in the organization. They need to be able to understand the product offering, sales process, target market, messaging, expectations, and management system. These aspects are critical for any business. How can you expect to be successful if you don’t know them? They won’t, as experience has proven time and again.
You need to make sure you have the following vital pieces in order before you hire a salesperson or add a team of salespeople to your company.
1. How will they be managed?
Your salespeople, like all employees, will need to feel inspired, educated, and motivated. They also need to be held accountable and supported. Are you able to manage sales effectively?
2. Your Sales Process:
How do you sell? What is your sales strategy? Which market is your ideal? How can you close deals efficiently and consistently today? Are you able to define a process for building relationships with clients and closing deals in a repeatable, successful manner? These are not salesperson issues if you don’t already know the answers.
3. Education and Development:
Your employees need to be continuously educated and developed. Sales professionals are no exception. What are your plans and programs for continuing education and the development of your sales professionals? You will notice the word ongoing. It is not possible to make great sales with just a few tactics. It takes a systematic approach. These skills require a commitment to continuous and ongoing professional development. It would be best for you to include the designated sales manager in these programs.
Do your compensation plan and employee development plan shows your commitment to their success? Are you aware of the actual financial opportunities associated with success? Do you feel ready or able to make a substantial financial commitment to this opportunity? Like any other investment in your business, a sales team is an investment. To make your sales team successful, you will need to invest time, money, and resources.
Many sales hiring failures are not due to a bad hire or a poor fit. They are more the result of an inability to understand how to recruit, train and manage a sales professional.
You need to understand your sales success and the processes that lead to it before you hire your next salesperson. You must also be aware of the commitment and investment required by your company to be a successful manager resource for the person or team.
You have two options if you are unable to dedicate the time and energy necessary to develop a successful sales program in your company: either outsource the function to a professional or hire no one. There is no third choice. You have two options to build a successful sales team: do it correctly or not at all.