I often have conversations with business owners that revolve around their disappointment with a recent hire for their sales department. They are unhappy because after investing a year and a lot of money, their new sales rep has not succeeded in driving expected revenue. A whole year…wasted!
When leading a company or a sales organization, each sales rep you hire is important. If you lead a big team, you may be able to get away with 19 of 20 reps operating at peak efficiency. Conversely, if you have fewer than 10 reps on your sales team, one sales rep contributes a larger percentage of your revenue; therefore, you must have every salesperson firing on all cylinders.
So how do you determine whether your new sales rep is going to be successful before it is too late? How do you avoid wasting a year and ending up disappointed? The answer is easy, but it takes some work. The key is to start with the end in mind, then work your way back to the beginning.
Start your sales hiring process by determining how much revenue each sales rep needs to drive in order to be successful. If the goal is $1,000,000 in new business, determine how many small, medium and large deals will it take to achieve those sales. What sales activity is necessary to gain that many new clients? If you know the sales activity level necessary to ultimately drive $1,000,000 in new revenue, then you will quickly know whether your new rep is on track for their goal. There will be no surprises. In order to track sales activity, select a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that will help you track the expected and necessary sales activity. By utilizing a sales tracking tool you will know during the first 90 days if your new sales rep is gaining the meetings necessary to hit their sales goal. You will know if they are talking to decision makers, if they are submitting enough proposals, and ultimately closing enough deals.
Lastly, use the sales activity you expect from a new hire to find the right candidates. Doing this, you’ll know what you are looking for and can hire candidates with a proven track record of delivering that level of sales activity, and ultimately the sales results you expect.
While it is still possible to hire someone who doesn’t work out, the chance of this occurring will be greatly reduced by following this strategy. There is a saying that “the probability of hitting your goal is much greater if you have one.” Your goal is to find a new sales rep with a proven track record of delivering what you expect. Change “what you expect” to activity and not results; the desired sales results will come if you have the proper sales activity. In other words, you will know if the required sales activity is happening long before you will see the results in sales performance. And don’t you really want to know as soon as possible if you made the right hire for your sales organization?
Do you need help crafting the right sales strategy and key sales performance goals? Contact a Sales Xceleration Advisor today.
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