When you're just getting started as an entrepreneur, you'll most likely fill a number of roles, including director of both sales and marketing. According to Entrepreneur.com, as your organization grows, one of the first departments you'll want to add personnel to is your sales force. Drumming up new business is your first priority.
In order to grow your business, at some point you'll have pass on sales responsibilities to a team so that you can focus your day-to-day energies on other priorities. That means building a good sales team from the ground up. As it happens, there's a simple way to do this.
According to LinkedIn, finding and hiring passionate, enthusiastic, experienced sales people is necessary to turn leads into buyers and increase revenue for the business. But hiring the wrong people could actually hurt business by eroding the relationships you worked hard to build. The wrong attitude and tactics can even ruin your company branding and reputation.
Your sales team is more than a group of individuals reaching out to potential customers. They are the front line - the people who create impressions and experiences for both existing buyers and prospects. They will have daily contact with the clients or consumers supplying your profit, so it's vital that they represent you and your company the right way.
You probably understand that there are few "bad" sales people, or they wouldn't be employed in sales for very long. However, they may not be a good fit for your products, company culture, or a particular sales role. New hires should have industry knowledge and an attitude that will allow them to form bonds with you and their coworkers.
Next, consider what type of person you need to add to the team. Do you currently need someone who can make cold sales, a telemarketer, or someone who can develop long-term relationships with your existing clients? Do you need someone who can provide customer service and upsells? Do you need a customer contact who has, or can acquire, a good technical understanding of your processes?
Take the time to imagine the ideal salesperson for this role. The level of experience you expect, their reputation, academic background, energy, personality, and so on. While you may not find the perfect candidate, you should have a set of standards so you can pick the person who comes closest. Knowing what you want helps you avoid hiring people based only on gut feelings
You have a number of good options here:
* Internal: Are there already good people in your company that you feel have natural sales ability?
* Referrals: Ask your employees or business contacts if they know anyone with sales experience that they think would be a good fit.
* Professional organizations: Inquire about posting job openings.
* Online advertising: Don't forget about Monster, CareerBuilder, and other sites.
* Look for recent grads by posting with local colleges.
* Temporary agencies specializing in sales people.
* Head hunters, or talent acquisition experts, are expensive but may be worth it in the long run.
There are cost-effective automated systems, such as a sales dialer available to you. Don't overlook FCC rules. This could be a cost-effective way to expand sales and augment your in-house people.
To recruit and retain the right people, you should plan on offering good compensation. Bonuses, incentives, percentages, expenses, and salaries will all have to be worked out by individual. That includes benefits like vacation, sick days, holidays, medical insurance, and more. Negotiations are always an integral part of obtaining top talent.
You will also have to very clear on what your expectations are. Are you going to assign specific territories, clients, or products? Will there be performance expectations such as quotas or profit margins? Will they function as individuals or part of a team? When you find the right candidate, explain everything fully so they aren't hit with surprises on day one.
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