So far in this short series about growing your sales team I have talked about whether or not you need to hire someone, should you consider an agency and the positive and negative traits you should look out for. Next I want to talk about building from one sales person to a whole team.
When Do You Need A Sales Team?
If you are an established company, with good feedback on your product and service and have been getting solid results from your current sales efforts then it can be tempting to expand. Don’t think for a second though that hiring 3 sales people will increase sales 300%! Don’t think about growing until you can comfortably afford it and try and have a clear objective on the reasons why you need a team.
How Will You Divide Your Team?
Although your sales team may well all have the same objective, more often than not they will be divided in some way. The most obvious being location, you might have one sales person covering the north and one covering the south. Another way might be on the specific industries that they are each targeting. It could be that you have some members of your team purely list building, doing all of the research and initial calls which would set up the more experienced sales person to follow up. More people inevitably means more problems, so it’s key you have a plan in place for formalised training, induction and development. If you already have a sales person it’s definitely a good idea to involve them and see what would have helped them settle and succeed quicker.
Justice League or ‘Just Us’ League?
One thing I see quite often is that if one salesperson is successful a business will often try and find someone very similar in their next hire, although I can understand the reasons behind this I would suggest that you need to try and diversify your sales team. Everyone has a slightly different approach and will appeal to different people so having a mix of people is more beneficial as long as they all have those underlying attributes we talked about previously. I have often found that character will trump experience in many cases so it’s about finding people who can come at a problem from different angles but can ultimately all pull together. Easy to say but harder to do!
I’ve talked in the past of the dangers of having your sales team sort of separate from the rest of your organisation, this is often more likely where you have a sales team, they spend a lot of time talking on the phone and the temptation is to hide them away in a corner somewhere.