As a business owner, my guess is that you spend too much time working in the business and not doing the strategic, thoughtful, meaningful things you thought you would do when you started your business. Maybe you’ve outsourced small things: hired an assistant to help with the day-to-day, hired someone to help with social media, and hired an accountant to help with the books. It seems as if the last thing you should delegate is sales. You get overwhelmed with what that might look like, how you’d go about finding the right person, and what you’d teach them, so you decide to outsource other things and continue being the only salesperson for your business.
Here is the problem with that: the business needs you to grow. It doesn’t need you to sell—it needs you to drive the ship. It needs you to make strategic decisions, to be the visionary, and to champion the story internally and externally. In order to do that, you need to hire a sales team.
Before you run out the door to hire your first salesperson, there are a few things you want to be really clear on. These things are important for two reasons. First, if you hire a salesperson, but don’t give them any clear direction, they will fail and, in turn, cost you money rather than helping you generate more revenue. Secondly, good salespeople aren’t known for being detail oriented. They need to be told what to do, how to do it, and whom to talk to about it. If you can give them these tools, the likelihood of success will be much higher.
Here are the 5 Things you HAVE to do before You Hire a Salesperson (in no particular order).
5 Things to Do Before You Hire a Sales Person
1. Know Your Value Proposition
What problem do you solve? Who do you solve it for? Why are you different? Why do people do business with you today? What are their pain points? Why are they buying from you? You have to be able to tell your new salesperson each one of these things, specifically, with as much detail as possible.
2. Know Your Pricing Structure
As the business owner, you might make up the pricing as you go. You might even figure out your rates in your head over a cup of coffee. That won’t fly for a salesperson. You will need clear-cut rates and packages for them to work with.
3. Fine Tune Your Sales Process
If you’re doing most of the selling, it’s likely that you don’t have a defined sales process. You need one. You have to be able to tell your new salesperson where to start, where to go next, and where to go after that before they can bring on new clients. It’s likely you’re following a sales process, but you just don’t have it written down.
4. Know Your Onboarding Process for New Clients
What exactly happens when you bring on a new client? What are the steps you take to collect payment, set up invoicing, and onboard them? Again, this process probably exists, and this is your opportunity to fine tune it. Your new salesperson will need to know what happens when they bring on a new client.
5. Develop a 30-60-90 Day Plan for Your New Sales Person
This is an exercise for you and for your new hire. You need to be realistic about what this person can accomplish and in what time frame. Your new salesperson also needs to know what is expected of them. I suggest sharing a 30-60-90 day plan as part of your job offer. This way, your new hire knows exactly what is expected of them in their first 90 days on the job.
When you hire a salesperson, keep in mind that this person isn’t you! They don’t know your business inside and out. They haven’t been living in it like you have. Their learning curve is likely to be longer than you think. The good news is that if your business is growing, you probably have many of these things in place, just not formally. Now is your time to make it formal, put together a plan, and find a salesperson that believes in what you’re doing almost as much as you do.
About the author: Ryann Dowdy is a 15-year veteran of the advertising sales industry. She is passionate about supporting women in business overcome their negative mindset around sales and grow their business. Her company is www.uncensoredconsulting.com