Most people reading this did not start out working for themselves so as to become a sales person, but as I’ve often said if you don’t embrace selling you simply won’t last. At a certain point though many people whose primarily skill sets lie elsewhere will be comfortable enough with the work coming in they will want to hire more people and inevitably sales will be one of the most attractive on paper to get off your desk.
Guess Who’s #1?
Often the thought process of outsourcing your sales is done with the kind of logic that ‘we’re making money and I’m not a sales person, so if we get in a professional then we’ll really take off!’ I can see why people might think this but although you may not like it, you are in fact the best possible person for your business, your services and your company. If you’re any good at what you’ll do you will understand your business inside out, you’ll know the technical bit, the time it takes to carry out parts, the profit margins. These are all areas you will have to train a sales person and depending on your field it can be a real nightmare. You are the one with the passion and drive so it may be better looking at what other tasks you could outsource to give you more time to sell.
Steps To Take
If you are thinking about hiring someone in a sales role, its better first to sit down and think about everything you will need in order to get that person ready to be effective. Think carefully about your sales funnel and where this person will sit in that. Are they just doing the initial contact or will they need to submit pitches? Is it likely that once the work has come in they will move into a more account handling role? Think not just about where they will sit but who will need to support them. It’s no good having someone to do sales if it takes a full week to get together a quote/respond.
One thing that often astounds me is how sales people are often segregated from the rest of the business. For me it makes good practical sense that if you sell furniture you should understand how long it takes to make and the amount of people involved. Not only does this give your new salesman a silent responsibility to keep these people busy, it also demonstrates to them that if they say “yes we can make a table with 6 legs” the amount of time and extra work their little promise can cause.
It’s also important to consider the knowledge they will need to gain. Don’t take for granted the amount of value there is in experience. I feel that the number one culprit for poor sales performance is most likely poor training. Companies really underestimate the amount of time it will take for a sales person to acclimatise. This is not just some member of your staff, this is the face of your business and I would strongly suggest that any and all time learning about your products and services is money well spent. Nothing is more embarrassing then being caught out by your prospects.
Now we’ve considered ‘IF’ you should actually look to hire someone, let’s consider ‘How Much’ it’s going to cost you…