13 Tips to Hire a Top Sales Representative
Learn 13 tips to help company executives hire the most effective and competent employees for their business.
Business success is measured in profit and growth, which is primarily fueled by sales.
A great manager knows that the sales team can make or break a company. Without a strong sales staff and sales process in place, the revenue that pays your employee wages and runs the machine can disappear.
With that in mind, ConnectWise, a leading business management platform, has teamed up with CharTec Academy, a provider of total business consulting and training in sales, operations and more, to help security systems integrators improve their business operations in a three-part series.
In the first part of the series, learn insider tips for hiring the right people, compensating them fairly, and creating smart and effective sales processes.
PART 1: Hiring
Not all salespeople are created equal. As a manager or owner, you know your sales performance is highly dependent on the quality of your team. Do they have experience? Do they fit the company culture? Are they trustworthy? Can they be trained?
And when you consider that a bad hiring choice could cost you upwards of $800,000, the task of hiring the right people becomes much more harrowing.
Do you have a strategy in place to vet candidates? If not, then look no further.
In the next few sections, we’ll share best practices from the CEO who has hired, fired, and compensated more salespeople than anyone you know: Alex Rogers. He’s documented 20+ years of successes and failures as the CEO of a technology company and offers this invaluable advice to business owners and managers via his technology sales training company, CharTec Academy.
7 Must-Haves Before You Hire
Before even penning a job description, you need to have tools in place that will help a sales rep thrive. You hire sales reps to do one thing: sell. They should not be creating your sales collateral, proposal, product offering, etc. It’s your job to have these in place before you can offer them a job. It all starts with you.
Here are 7 things to consider before hiring a sales rep.
1. Training Program
What do sales reps need to know? How can they learn it? And how quickly should they know it? Think of this as your onboarding program. What should they know at 1 month in, 3 months, or 6 months in? Document resources and locations. Explain how they should be used and in what order they’re best digested. Test your employees along the way. Review progress in weekly 1:1s, and make sure you’re keeping training materials evergreen by asking new employees for input.
2. Product & Service Offering
Sales reps need a defined offering to sell in order to be successful. At the very least, have a spec sheet and talking points in place before adding a sales rep. Make sure you’re able to clearly explain what unique value your products/services bring to the market. Your reps should be able to sell the value of your product rather than just the product itself. Give them the knowledge to do this.
3. Sales Process
Define your desired sales process-every single step from a discovery call to a closed deal should be mapped out. This process can be automated with a CRM platform. How long should the rep wait to follow up with a prospect after leaving a voicemail? Is there an approved quote template they should use? Does a manager need to review the quote before it’s sent to the customer? All these questions should be answered.
Have a call script and a PowerPoint deck available, and invest in tools that will help your sales team deliver a compelling presentation. This will help your new sales rep better understand your offering and give them a great foundation with which to win over prospects.
Map out and create templates for each proposal type you think your sales rep will need. They should appear professional, aesthetically pleasing, and include your branding-logo, tagline, design elements, messaging style. You can easily knock out this to-do with a quote and proposal automation solution. If you don’t develop templates, you not only leave your brand image to their discretion, but also create one more task that takes them away from what they do best: sell.
Most sales reps will say just about anything to close a deal. That’s why you should never leave the agreements up to them. They want to sell as much and as fast as they can; they’re not incentivized to worry about what happens after the sale.
7. Money in the Bank
You absolutely must have 4 – 6 months of salary in the bank before you hire a sales rep. Even superstars will need time to ramp up before they start bringing in big bucks. Plan for that.
Once you have these key items, you’re ready to define, post, and start interviewing for your sales job. But as I’m sure you’re aware, you’re not out of the woods yet.
Often, selecting the right candidate for your business is the hardest part. And like we mentioned above, a bad hire could end up costing you dearly, so you want to hire the right person the first time.
So, now that you know what you need to have ready before you hire, let’s turn our attention to the hiring process itself.
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