Hiring a Sales Team – What You Need to Know

Not only can a powerhouse sales team give your revenue a boost, hiring the right reps virtually guarantees your product or service will gain more exposure and your client base will expand. But according to Canadian Business, premature scaling is the number one predictor of business failure – so understanding when, how, and who to hire is crucial. Here’s what you need to know if your business is considering hiring a sales team.

When and How to Hire a Sales Team

One of the most common questions new business owners ask is: when is the right time to hire sales staff? Some indications that your business might benefit from putting a sales team together include:

  • Your sales have maxed out because you no longer have time to market effectively,
  • Competition for clients has increased,
  • You have a plan in place for onboarding and training new sales reps,
  • You have the financial capacity to support a sales team,
  • Selling was never your strong suit to begin with

If you think the time could be ripe to start assembling a sales team, start by hammering out what you want your reps to do for your business in terms of individual sales, company revenue, and new clients. Then make a list of the responsibilities you expect them to take on. Once you’ve nailed down exactly what you’re looking for from your sales personnel, it will be easier to recognize the right fit.

Bear in mind that you should be prepared to view hiring as a long-term strategy, rather than a short-term fix. In other words, you should always be hiring. Approaching recruitment as a one-time event, with the intention of finding the best candidates as quickly as possible, is risky – especially since the cost of a bad hire can be significant.

Hiring the Best Sales Talent for Your Business

Once you’re ready to hire, understanding how to evaluate and select the best sales talent for your business is key. Ideally, you should be on the lookout for candidates who’ve made an impact in previous roles, but who also possess the soft skills so vital for continued success.

Here are a few of the traits that may signal a promising applicant:

They’re Team-Oriented

The best sales reps often turn out to be natural collaborators who are capable of looking beyond their sales quota to identify ways of improving your business. Make no mistake – modern-day selling is the ultimate team sport.

They Care About Their Clients

A good rep will always have the customer’s best interest in mind. In today’s competitive business environment, yesterday’s hard sell has given way to the need to keep customers happy. And the best way to do that is by hiring sales staff willing and able to help clients resolve problems and succeed.

They Have Data & Digital Marketing Skills

To achieve maximum success for your business, your sales team should be comfortable using a range of communication channels, digital marketing and sales analysis tools, and customer management and metrics software.

They Measure Up to Your Model

One of the most reliable ways to evaluate new prospects for your sales team is to see how they measure up against top performers. If you’ve already hired a sales rep or two – and they’re doing an outstanding job – figuring out what they do right will help you screen for those same abilities in others.

One final thought: When it comes to hiring a successful sales team, don’t underestimate the importance of compensation. The most effective sales compensation plans are based on the principle that money drives behaviour. So, make sure your business is financially prepared to reward your sales staff for the performance you expect them to deliver.

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