Many small business owners wonder about when or if to hire a salesperson. If you have your own LLC, you might be a solopreneur who’s overwhelmed by how much responsibility is currently on your shoulders. If you could just delegate some work, it might help you grow your business. In fact, taking sales responsibilities off your plate could allow you to work on things that are better suited for your skills, so you can be more productive overall and help grow your business.
Let’s discuss if the time is right for you to consider hiring salespeople. At the end of this article, if you ask yourself whether you need a sales person, you should be able to answer this question with conviction, whatever you decide.
Is It Time to Hire a Salesperson?
Look at your business as it stands today, not where it could be months or years down the road. How much work are you getting done as a business owner? How much MORE could you get done if you were able to delegate some responsibilities? Many people say they work hard, but much of their time is consumed by social media feeds, television, surfing the web, extended lunches, errands that don’t relate to the business, and many other things that pull us away from being productive. This is simply wasting time.
The first step is to take a hard look at yourself and ask if you are doing everything possible to stay focused and productive with each hour you have in the day. If you’re not operating to your potential, hiring sales reps might not be the best idea — at least not yet. Get yourself re-focused and dedicated so you can help lead by example when it’s time to start hiring sales reps.
On the flip side, if you’re absolutely slammed and already running at 100 percent with a business that’s scaling rapidly, it might be a good time to find salespeople to bring onto the team. Hiring salespeople doesn’t need to be tedious, but you should vet each individual and look at their background to find the best candidate to suit your needs and those of your company.
Hiring Salespeople: What to Consider
Something else to consider is whether you could put automation in place to help take some of the workload off your plate. For instance, if you need help managing your company, Incfile has services to put your mind at ease and take some of the load off of your shoulders so you can focus on the bigger picture of growing your business.
If you utilize social media each day, are you using time-saving software such as Buffer to schedule your posts? This way you won’t need to be constantly watching the clock to see when you need to hop on each social platform to make a post. Social media is a double-edged sword for small businesses — some might say it’s a necessary evil. Many business owners go online to craft a post to create brand awareness or make an announcement, only to wind up spending 15+ minutes scrolling through their feed on non-business-related stuff. If you post several times a day, this could mean hours of lost productivity.
How is your marketing? Sales and marketing are two areas of importance to your business that go hand-in-hand. Your marketing should produce sales and revenue, and the marketing campaigns you launch should help fill your pipeline. If your marketing is solid, you should have no issue growing your list of clients and customers. If this sounds like your situation, then it might be a good time to start hiring sales reps to help close the deals and work on keeping your pipeline full.
Sales Skills to Look For
When hiring sales reps (or any employee), you first need to check their background. While prior experience doesn’t need to be a prerequisite, it’s always a safer bet when you can find salespeople who know what they’re doing right off the bat and can hit the ground running.
During the interview process, find out what sales skills they possess. Do a few dry runs to test their selling ability and see how they handle working under pressure or with different customer rejections and rebuttals. Can they close a deal? Can they re-engage the prospect to pull them back into the negotiation table, or do they stop at the first sign of a “no?” Do they have the necessary sales skills to sell your product or service? Do they even believe in your product or service? You also need to find salespeople who would be a good representative of you and your business. After all, they are basically a walking and talking billboard for your company.
Hiring Sales Reps — Work Out the Details
Before your search to find salespeople, you need to figure out how you will compensate them. Will it be base salary only? Commission only? Base plus commission? Choosing a sustainable model is extremely important, especially when it comes to how much money you can allocate each month from the business to pay to your sales reps to go out and produce.
You might be able to hire a broker who will work straight commission for you. But when hiring salespeople and basing their compensation on their sales skills and experience, you should expect to pay them a base plus commission (as well as potentially needing to provide them with benefits, etc.). The base salary should be low enough to entice them to go to work and earn commission, but the real money comes through their production. The more they sell, the more they make — it’s a very simple concept, but it takes the right person to see the opportunity and run with it.
Once you are done hiring sales reps, that doesn’t mean you can stop focusing completely on that key piece of the business. But you also shouldn’t be consumed with micromanaging your salespeople. If they are producing, pat them on the back and continue to turn them loose. If they aren’t producing, then it’s time to take a look under the hood to see what’s going on. Many times, it comes down to complacency. Complacency kills businesses — when you find salespeople on your team getting lazy or comfortable, it’s time to take corrective action immediately and get them back on track.
Do You Have All the Tools?
This article is a brief outline that should help you get a better understanding of whether you should hire a salesperson for your business. It should have also opened your eyes to evaluate yourself and how you manage your time on a daily basis. Are your own actions matching your ambition for your business?
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the answer. Incfile has many resources like research tools, a learning center and a blog at your disposal. If you’re ready to take the next steps and need help starting or growing your company, our experts are here to help.