At Sales Xceleration, we understand that the challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses in America can be very different from those in larger scale corporate America. We have already shared with you some insights into the “sales leadership gap”, the prevailing lack of revenue projections and the unintended consequences of a poorly crafted compensation plan. But even if all of these issues are overcome, there is another essential misstep that most small and medium-sized businesses make again and again. Simply put, they hire the wrong sales personnel using the wrong criteria and methods.
We’ve shared some of these hiring mistakes before, but because this is such a critical and common challenge for business owners, let’s take a closer look at even more hiring-related mistakes and how you – using Sales Xceleration’s proven sales system – can help these business owners make better moves to help their companies grow:
The initial list of 5 critical mistakes business owners make when hiring and managing their sales team included these problems:
1. Hiring a Salesperson Too Much Like the Owner
2. Feeling Compelled to Hire from Inside the Industry
3. Having Unrealistic Expectations Beyond the Hiring Budget
4. Not Having an Attractive Sales Compensation Plan in Place
5. Not Having a Detailed Job Description
These are common challenges that our proven Sales Xceleration system can help business owners overcome. For more information about these issues, click here. Unfortunately for most businesses in America, the list of potential pitfalls in their hiring practices goes even deeper:
6. Assuming that hiring an outside Sales Rep is the only sales resourcing solution
There are many different approaches “to winning the sales game.” But because business owners are not as well informed about the alternatives to help them achieve their goals, they too often follow the obvious paths, even if they might not be the best paths. For example, most business owners will naturally default to thinking that an extra outside salesperson is the “magic bullet” that can help them boost their bottom line. But you, as an outsourced VP of Sales using Sales Xceleration’s insights and systems, can present them with appropriate cost-effective options. These might include hiring inside salespeople, hiring or shifting account managers, or hiring someone to handle upfront lead generation. Another route might be for the company to fund additional efforts for inbound website marketing through search engine optimization or content creation. Taking a good look at roles and responsibilities can also be essential, with roles defined and/or realigned strategically, all the way up to the level of the owner. These are just some of the creative solutions you can offer the business owner as a Sales Xceleration licensee.
7. Not setting company sales goals
It sounds hard to believe, but many small to medium-sized businesses never set any sales goals. Naturally, without setting the standard for success, they can’t really establish what type of salespeople they need (or how many). Likewise, without setting sales goals, the business can’t properly determine which services or products to promote or incent to strategically generate sales revenue. Again, as a Sales Xceleration outsourced VP of Sales, you can help the business owner set the right goals and the right methods to achieve them.
8. Not understanding budgeting and compensation
Those same companies that fail to set goals may also fail to properly budget for putting the right sales force and the right sales tools in place. They might think they have a good idea of what it will take to boost sales, but too often they try to get the performance typical of a $150K per year salesperson for $50K. They might even expect full-time commitment and results from part-time resources. But because their unreasonable expectations cannot be met, salespeople and support staff come and go with alarming frequency. As a Sales Xceleration outsourced VP of Sales, you can present plans to align adequate budgeting, just compensation and better sales performance.
9. Hanging on to a “seasoned” sales team
In this case, “seasoned” is a code word for someone who has been with the company for a very long time, with stagnant sales performance, and who is unwilling to change. This entrenched salesperson typically makes enough money from existing accounts, so they won’t develop many new accounts to increase overall sales. They are probably making more money than the position or their efforts justify. They won’t promote new products. Nor will they adapt to new technologies or systems. In short, they remain part of the sales team because of their enduring internal relationships, not their external performance. Of course, the owner is reluctant to “rock the boat” or insist that a friend find a new employer. As a Sales Xceleration outsourced VP of Sales, you can make the necessary decision crystal clear, and even provide the owner with a business case that helps overcome personal feelings.
The Bottom Line: Sales Xceleration Solutions
When you use Sales Xceleration’s proven sales system, you can help small or medium-sized businesses address these challenges. You can make it possible for them to:
• Build a multi-year revenue projection model
• Determine where they are headed
• Determine how their sales team should be staffed
• Create compensation plans that work for the business, the business owner, and the sales reps
• Use these compensation plans to attract key sales talent
• Build job descriptions to fit the models you have created
• Create (and stick to) a workable and effective job hiring process
Sales Xceleration has the focused systems and methods in place to help you quickly become a trusted solution provider in the lucrative small to medium-sized business marketplace. You can help fill the “sales leadership gap” and in the process, help businesses put the right sales tools in place for greater success.
Ready to learn more? Contact Sales Xceleration today at 317.849.7163.