Hiring a sales superstar can be a challenge; but once you find one with drive, determination, and a trainable attitude, success is around the corner. Before you start down this road though, you have to decide if it’s the right time to hire.
First, take a good long look at whoever is responsible for sales right now (even if it’s yourself). Are they the right person? Our first indicator is a DISC test. This test will reveal whether someone possesses the behaviors it takes to be a successful salesperson. While the majority of people can be trained to close deals, there are some natural DISC profiles (typically DI or ID) that excel in this role. Not sure what DISC you are? Click here.
The second indicator for us is sales history. Have you not closed a deal in 6 months or more? Can you only get a signature when it’s a direct referral or someone you know? Are sales a priority, or do they fall to the bottom of the list after you’ve completed every other activity in the office, including washing the coffee pot? Do proposals fall through the cracks? How do you feel about following up with people? All of these indicate whether your salesperson is sitting in the right seat.
Typically, the best time to hire a full-time salesperson is when you hit at least $40,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Why? You’ve got enough money in the bank to support them, your technical staff can easily onboard the volume of clients we expect this type of individual to close, and you’ve got the marketing in place (or at least budgeted) to bring leads to the table.
What can you expect from a salesperson when you bring them in at this point? Anywhere between $2,000-$4,000 in net new monthly recurring every month depending on your area, target market, and lead flow. This should keep them more than busy enough while they follow the full CharTec Sales Process.
Now, if you never see yourself hitting the $40,000 marker without the support of a salesperson; chuck this statistic out the window and hire the person you need. Just be careful! This is not the time to come up with some weird commission-only, part-time agreement. We firmly stand on a base salary plus commission model for any salesperson. This shows your dedication to them and also brings the right person to the table who will be focused on truly selling for you, not trying to build another career while they’re padding their pockets with your commissions.
We have hired, fired and compensated more salespeople than we quite honestly care to count. Some were winners, others were major losers. A bad hire can cost you a bundle, so foresight is key when facing the challenges of putting together a sales team. Take advantage of these six proven steps for hiring a sales superstar:
Define the Role
A job description is a fine starting place. But to really match the right personality, skills, and experience with the role, you need a clear and detailed picture of day-to-day activities, as well as how you will hold them accountable.
Review of Job History
You’re seeking someone who will be focused and faithful in their role with your company. Does their previous job longevity attest to those traits? Also, remember what you’re selling—it’s a service, not a tangible item. Does the candidate have proven experience in selling the invisible?
Make the First Call Unscheduled
Break the ice with an out-of-the-blue call. This allows you to observe their ability to adapt on the spot. It also gives them a chance to behave more naturally.
Set Up a Face-to-Face & Follow-up Interviews
If your first impression is good, move to the next step. A face-to-face is where you’ll break out the tough questions, like strengths, weaknesses and salary requirements. Follow-up interviews allow for feedback from management teams and potential coworkers, with a chance to determine if the candidate is being consistent.
If it is allowed in your state, don’t be afraid to ask for W-2s or other salary information to verify what they’ve told you in their interviews and put in their resume. At the very least, contact their references, and do a thorough vetting process.
Conduct the Final Interview Over Lunch
Now it’s your turn to do the impressing, reiterating company perks, industry stats, growth potential, and company culture. Give them good reasons to want to join your team, especially if it means leaving a current situation where they’re happy.
The first step to hiring a successful salesperson is picking the right time to hire, and then following through with a quality hiring process. The next step? Effectively training your salesperson, and then firing if necessary. In our next two blogs, we’ll cover these parts of the process.