The Opportunity Cost of a Bad Sales Hire

7 Apr

Is your current sales force average? Are you losing the good ones and rolling the dice on their replacement? Whether you’re hiring or firing, you could be gambling with your time and money.

1. Consider the cost of doing nothing. If you don’t have a good to great performing sales force now, you are missing opportunities that a strong hire can uncover. Too many businesses ar slow to act.

  • Is your current sales team making you money?
  • What is the cost of losing one more deal?
  • And what is to gain by closing on two more deals this month with a better salesperson?

2. Improve your hiring process.

  • Identify your ideal candidate and the process for finding him/her before you start.
  • Define the cultural fit – this is crucial from the onset to hiring a better salesperson.
  • Adopt a better screening process.
  • Find a larger pool of candidates by recruiting candidates from multiple sources.
  • Create a system for converting the intangibles of resumes and interviews into data you can easily compare.
  • Implement a better assessment process – from testing to pre-interview questions to verifying other background information.
  • Interview better – don’t dive into the interviews unprepared and hope to stumble into a good candidate.
  • Improve the salary negotiation and actual hiring process by outlining your budget before making the offer.
  • Speed up your hiring process – if you can’t get it done internally in 4-6 weeks, than hire someone outside your business to focus on it.
  • Map out the on-boarding and training process – don’t forget about this part, which is just as important as the entire interviewing process.

3. Hire salespeople that are good out of the gate. How long did it take for your previous sales people to produce?  Increase this timeline by 10-200% with a better hire.

4. Increase retention. A better hire dramatically increases the likelihood of retaining your sales hires longer; most salespeople start making their company money after they have been there for 6 months. The longer you retain them beyond that point, the more you will profit.

Add it all up. Every business values of their sales force a little differently. That obviously determines what you can afford to pay them – based on your product or service, their salary, your cost of goods sold, and the overall markup. But do the rough math of all of the above. If you could have a great salesperson working for you in 2 months, how much more could your company sell in 2011?

Make every day count~ Drew Schmitz

Blue Octopus Search & Consulting

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