How to Hire a Salesperson
By Diana Creel Elarde
The Feast or Famine Cycle May Indicate it’s Time to Take the Leap: How to Hire a Salesperson
Caught in the feast or famine cycle? What to concentrate on – new business or daily management – can translate into higher sales or little at all. Is it time to hire a sales person? And if so, knowing how to hire a salesperson is important. The right person can provide a continuous stream of business and eliminate the pressure of you trying to do it all.
Determining if it’s the Right Time
While the feast/famine cycle may be one indication you need sales help, other tell-tale signs will often abound. Is the time devoted to finding new business affecting the quality of service with existing clients? Has response time for returning messages reached a frustration level? Clients and potential clients are the lifeline of a company. When people have to wait too long for a response, they will go elsewhere for their needs.
Relationships and Referrals
Relationships with networking partners could also offer some clues. Good partnering means timely responses to referrals. In one networking group, a successful realtor had developed a partner relationship with a home inspector. Initially, feedback from her clients was good. But as the home inspector’s business grew, so did the amount of time he took to follow up. Delays and excuses become the norm. The realtor experienced a backlash from clients complaining of lack of responsiveness. Disenchanted and concerned for her reputation, she decided she could no longer refer the home inspector.
Another sign is your overall attitude towards business development activities. Are cold calls or follow-up calls and emails relegated to the last activity of the day or maybe not at all? Does attending the weekly network meeting create dread and anxiety? Perhaps passing the torch to a sales person who loves the challenge of these events and connects well with others would be a better idea.
Look at the Numbers
Finally, spend some time evaluating the business development numbers necessary to stay on track for success for you or a new sales person. Work the numbers backwards, starting from the revenue needed every month. This is a good method to create solid activity for success. For example:
Monthly Sales Goal $50,000 in sales
Average Sale Price $10,000
Number of Clients Needed/Month 5
How many calls/contacts needed to
secure one new client? 70 (will vary)
Closing ratio with potential clients 20%, 80% - (determine goal)
Note, the number of monthly calls and contacts will vary. At the inception of a business, this number usually is quite high to develop business. As time continues, you or the sales person should get better at closing business.
Knowing and understanding these numbers is critical, it can be the determining factor if your business is successful or not. It also can give you the magic number of what activity is necessary for business development and success. These numbers need to be tracked daily and reviewed weekly without fail.
Business development takes time and energy. Before the situation negatively impacts the future of the business, the smart business owner needs to heed the signs. The feast or famine cycle, complaints from clients or networking partners, development numbers falling short, all could be saying it is time to edit the business plan. Determining whether to and how to hire a salesperson just takes due diligence on a business owner’s part. Adding a sales person might be the right step to elevate the business to the next level!
About the Author (h2) Diana Creel Elarde, Emerging Insights, has 20 years’ experience in sales and sales management. Today she is a PSYCH-K® facilitator at www.emerginginsightsgroup.com, and writes for several publications. .You can reach Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org. Parts of this article previously published in Corp Magazine.