Hiring Great Sales People

17 Apr


I have seen many great operational businesses lose money or fail because they simply lack a good sales leader and sales team. The first step in your process improvement is hiring. So I’m going to beat you over the head regarding the importance of hiring “A” quality salespeople and how to increase your batting average.

1. If you aren’t getting a good to great performance from your salespeople now, you are missing opportunities that a good hire can uncover.

  • Is your current salesperson making you money? Know your break-even point.
  • How much is your salesperson positively or negatively affecting your culture?
  • When he/she loses deals, do they retain a good relationship with prospects for a future sale?
  • What can be gained by closing on 1-2 more deals this month with a better salesperson?

2. Hire a good salesperson – right out of the gate.  How long did it take for your previous new hire to produce?  Lessen this timeline by 25-200% with a better salesperson.

3. Recruit, interview & hire better! 

  • Identify your ideal candidate and the process for finding him/her.
  • Define the cultural fit – this is crucial from the onset to hiring a better sales person.
  • Develop a timeline goal to hire faster. You can hire a good person in less than 2 months from start to finish IF you stick to the weekly goals.
  • Turn the intangibles of hiring into candidate data that you can easily compare.
  • Adopt a better screening process.
  • Find a larger pool of candidates.
  • Have a better assessment process – from testing to pre-interview questions to verifying background information.
  • Interview better – don’t dive into the interviews unprepared, hoping to stumble into a good candidate.
  • Improve the salary negotiation and actual hiring process.
  • Implement  a smoother on-boarding and training process – don’t forget about this part, which is just as important as the entire interviewing process.

4. A better hire dramatically increases your retention rate. Most salespeople start making their company money after they have been there for six months. So the shorter the length of time before commissions kick in – and the longer you retain your sales people beyond that point, the more you will profit.

5. The value of those in leadership and management roles is that much more expensive if you make a poor hire. While the costs of losing a “normal” salesperson are high enough, the Center for American Progress found that the cost of losing an executive is astronomical — up to 213% of the employee’s salary.

Add it all up:  Every business has a different value invested in their salespeople – based on your product or service’s price tag, the amount of training and management time, and the employee’s compensation.  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 2013?

Make it a great day~ Drew Schmitz



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