Hiring a Sales Team: A Sales Outsourcing Firm's Advice
I talk to a lot of people who are thinking about hiring a sales team. Often the perception is that all you have to do is go out and hire some people and the sales will start rolling in. However, the truth is that things are a little more complicated. Without the proper groundwork in place before the sales representatives come aboard, most sales initiatives are doomed to failure, or at least to perform at far below their potential.
That's why we've put together a handy infographic to illustrate the building blocks you should have in place BEFORE you hire your first sales representatives.
1. Your Value Proposition.
Why would people buy your product? The answer, in a nutshell, is your value proposition. To formulate it, you need to have worked out what your product or service it is, how much it costs, whether there are different models or levels of service, and what benefits your customers will derive from buying it. Articulating your value proposition is the first step toward developing a comprehensive sales strategy.
2. The Target Market
Once you know your product, the next step is to get to know your customers--where they live, what their needs are, and who they are. This goes for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales. The more data points you can gather about the people most likely to buy your product, the closer you will be to formulating a message and approach that will induce them to buy your product.
3. Sales Executive Candidate Profile
It's also important to be very clear about what types of qualifications and experience you need in a sales representative, as well as understanding what type of compensation plan will best motivate your team. Knowing where to look for your ideal candidate and how to attract the best talent are also parts of the puzzle.
4. The Sales Process
Once you have a good profile for your product, buyers, and sales representatives, it's time to map out the specifics of the sales process. Whether your product is simple or complex, you should know how a sale happens--how many calls are made, whether an in-person meeting is necessary, how long the process typically takes, and how new orders are integrated into your company's fulfillment system.
5. Training Program
Sales representatives left to their own devices don't tend to produce to their potential. The more robust your training program, the more likely you will be able to teach and motivate your sales team to produce the kind of results you are looking for. A training program should encompass on-boarding for new recruits, regular training meetings, and individualized mentoring.
Your sales analytics and metrics let you know where your sales team is succeeding, and where they can improve. Running a sales function without metrics is like flying blind. Collecting the right metrics and analyzing them properly will help you make accurate sales forecasts, manage your sales team, and make appropriate management decisions based on facts.
For more in-depth information on developing your sales function, please feel free to take a look at our white paper, Six Essential Elements of a Successful Sales Function. If you need help with one or more of these elements, Netpique provides sales solutions tailored to your company's needs.