How To Hire Your Sales Team
When you first launched your business, you likely had to do everything by yourself, from cold-calling prospective clients to balancing the books. Now that your business has grown and your revenue is more consistent, you can start thinking about hiring other people to help you continue building the company.
Some of the first hires you might want to make may involve your sales team. After all, if you have more people helping you connect with prospects and converting leads, you’ll probably see an increase in overall sales and revenue.
Hiring the first member of your sales team can be a daunting task at first. However, this guide helps to simplify the process. It explains everything you need to know about hiring a sales team, from writing job ads to making final selections.
Signs Your Need to Hire a Sales Team
How do you know when it’s time to hire a sales team? Here are some common signs that hiring additional sales professionals could benefit your business:
You’ve Reached Your Limit
You might be an incredible sales professional. However, you can only do so much as a one-person team.
You’ll eventually reach your limit and won’t be able to make more calls, send more emails, or schedule more product demos on your own (without sacrificing the quality of your work or your well-being).
When you hire a team of people — or even just one person — you’ll be amazed at how much more you’re able to get done in a day.
Your Churn Rate Is Increasing
Your churn rate refers to the rate at which people stop doing business with you. A higher churn rate means you’re struggling to retain customers or clients, meaning your business is also not as profitable or successful as you’d like.
Remember, a critical element of sales is building relationships and nurturing those relationships long-term. If people aren’t having a good experience with your company after the initial purchase, they won’t stick with you.
Adding to your sales team can help you retain customers longer and reduce your churn rate.
Your Results Are Unpredictable
Are you struggling with consistency? Do you hit 100 percent of your sales targets one month and then miss your mark by more than half the next?
Sometimes, these challenges arise because you’re trying to do too much as a business owner. If you bring someone onto your team, you’ll have more bandwidth to focus on developing systems and improving your processes — allowing for increased predictability and steady growth moving forward.
You Want to Scale Faster
Let’s say you’re a startup founder who wants to scale your business as quickly as possible. In that case, hiring a sales professional or a sales team will help you achieve your goal.
If you hire skilled, experienced sales professionals, you can also ensure your business moves in the right direction without scaling too quickly.
You Need to Optimize Lead Generation
Who doesn’t want to generate more quality leads? If you’re a team of one, it may be difficult for you to streamline your lead generation, qualify leads effectively, and maximize conversions.
When you hire a sales team, though, you have more people assisting with these tasks and helping you to refine your lead generation strategy.
You’re Falling Behind the Competition
If you’re having difficulty keeping up with your competitors, it might be because you’re trying to do everything yourself.
Hiring a sales team can help you generate more leads, increase conversions, and boost your bottom line. All these benefits, in turn, will help you gain a competitive advantage and win over more customers.
Benefits of Building a Sales Team
You can do a lot on your own as a motivated, talented entrepreneur. At a certain point, though, for your business to thrive, you need to collaborate with other motivated and talented people.
Here are some specific benefits you’ll experience after hiring your first sales team:
Increased Lead Conversion
An effective sales team (comprised of skilled professionals that you’ve hand-picked) will help you convert more leads. The best salespeople can build strong relationships, qualify leads efficiently, and assist with creating highly targeted marketing campaigns.
Your sales team can assist with critical strategies that you might not have time to handle on your own. For example, they can conduct in-depth customer analysis to get to know your audience better and offer tailored solutions to each customer’s unique needs.
Stronger Customer Relationships
If you want to reduce your business’s churn rate and improve your customer retention strategy, hiring the right sales team can make a big difference.
When you hire a sales team, you have more people helping you connect and develop relationships with prospective and current customers.
Strong relationships between sales professionals and customers help to promote customer loyalty. It can also lead to more opportunities in the future for upselling and cross-selling.
More Direct Marketing Campaigns
According to 87 percent of sales and marketing leaders, collaboration between sales and marketing teams enables successful business growth.
When you hire a sales team, they can help you create more target marketing campaigns that effectively promote your products or services and encourage people to learn more.
For example, sales professionals can research and leverage data on customer behavior, demographics, etc., to help marketers develop campaigns that appeal to their target audience.
Better Lead Qualifying
It’s not enough to just generate lots of leads. For your business to succeed long-term, you need to make sure you’re qualifying those leads effectively. That way, you’re not wasting time chasing people who aren’t genuinely interested in what you’re selling.
The best sales professionals understand each lead’s needs and interests. They also know how to evaluate each lead’s resources and commitment toward making a purchase, ensuring they focus on those who are most likely to move through the sales funnel and become customers.
Sales Development Rep vs. Salesperson
One of the first questions you’ll need to answer when you decide to hire your first sales team is, “Who will you hire first? A sales development rep or salesperson?”
Here are some key differences between the two, as well as the benefits each can offer your business:
Sales Development Rep
A sales development rep or SDR is an inside sales professional. They focus exclusively on sales prospecting.
An SDR makes phone calls, emails prospects, and works with them through the earliest stages of the sales pipeline. If they deem someone to be a qualified lead, they will pass that person’s information on to a closer, who will continue working with them and converting them to a paying customer.
Sales development reps do not have to meet quotas the same way salespeople do. They’re judged based on the number of sales-qualified leads they collect each month.
A salesperson works with the qualified leads generated by the SDR. They’re known as the closers, and they’re responsible for creating and negotiating deals, conducting product demonstrations, and eventually closing sales.
Salespeople are expected to close a specific number of deals each month. When they have access to qualified leads that have already been vetted and introduced to the company by the sales development representative, it’s easier for them to close the sale and meet their quota.
How to Hire a Sales Development Rep
If you want to hire a sales development rep, these tips can help you attract qualified candidates and choose the best one for the job:
The hiring process starts with a detailed job description.
When writing a description for a sales development representative job, include information about the responsibilities they’ll carry out — contacting and qualifying leads, conducting audience research, scheduling appointments with salespeople, etc.
It’s also essential to include the specific skills you want your SDR to possess and the requirements you want them to meet. For example, do you want them to have a certain number of years of sales experience? Should they know how to use a particular customer relationship management software?
Consider valuable soft skills for sales development representatives, too.
For example, they should be good communicators who are comfortable talking to prospects through various avenues (phone, email, social media chat, etc.). Remember that they should also be active listeners with good time management and organization skills.
After you’ve reviewed resumes and applications, create a shortlist of candidates you’d like to get to know better.
Start with a phone interview to learn about the candidate’s background and why they’re interested in the position. You can also give them a sample task, such as writing an email to a prospective client, to assess their communication skills.
Talk to them about how they handle rejection, too. After all, sales development representatives hear the word “no” a lot.
When evaluating candidates to make your final decision, consider their current skills as well as their potential for growth and improvement.
Perhaps they still have some work to do when it comes to crafting the perfect email, but do they seem enthusiastic and eager to learn? Do they have good communication skills and an ability to connect with different people?
Someone might not check every single one of your boxes right off the bat. If someone checks most of them, though, and seems willing to continue learning, they’re likely a good fit.
How to Hire a Salesperson
If you need to bring a salesperson onto your team, follow these guidelines to find the best person for the job:
The job description for a salesperson should include a list of the most important characteristics and skills you want them to possess.
Most business owners want to work with salespeople who are good communicators, active listeners, and self-motivated. They should also be skilled negotiators with the ability to solve problems and work well with others.
If you use a specific sales software, you might want to specify that they need to be familiar with this tool. Indicate if you want them to have a certain amount of prior sales experience, too.
When interviewing candidates, start with an informal chat via phone or video. This chat helps you learn the basics of the candidate’s background and sales experience. You also get a chance to assess their personality and consider whether or not they’ll get along well with your target customers.
After the informal chat, narrow down your list of candidates and set up a more formal interview. During this interview, focus on each candidate’s sales skills.
Ask them to demonstrate how they would handle a product demonstration or sales call. Talk to them about how they handle rejection, too.
You may also ask the candidate to prepare and deliver a mock sales presentation. Evaluate them based on their persuasiveness, communication skills, and ability to connect with potential clients.
When looking for someone to join your sales team as a salesperson, pay special attention to their communication and listening skills.
Consider their ability to adjust their message to different people, situations, etc. The best candidates will be highly motivated and willing to persevere even after hearing multiple “nos” in a row.
It’s best if they are collaborative and able to work as part of a team, too, especially since they’ll be working alongside a sales development representative (and eventually other salespeople) to help the business grow.
Bonus Tips for Easier Hiring
It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring a sales development rep, a salesperson, or any other type of employee. These bonus tips will help you simplify the process and feel confident in your decisions:
Focus on Your Employer Brand
A strong employer brand helps you to attract promising candidates — especially those who aren’t actively seeking a new job but are open to new opportunities.
Your employer brand should help job seekers understand your values and mission, as well as the type of workplace you provide for your employees. If you have a positive reputation and a strong brand, it’ll be easier to draw in skilled sales professionals.
Answer Frequently Asked Questions
When drafting your job listing for a sales development representative or salesperson, include answers to questions job seekers typically ask.
For example, what’s the salary range for the job? Is it a remote or in-person position? Is it a full-time or part-time job?
Put yourself in the job seeker’s shoes and think about the questions you might have. Then, answer those to ensure only those who are genuinely interested in the job apply.
Use Social Media
These days, social media plays a significant role in helping businesses build their brand and attract new employees.
Announce on social media that you’re currently hiring to expand your sales team. Include information about essential requirements and instructions for how people can apply for the position.
You can also use social media as part of your candidate vetting process. Look applicants up on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to get a sense of who they are and if they’re a good fit for your company.
Use Mobile-Friendly Hiring
When deciding where to post job ads, be sure to list them on mobile-friendly sites that people can easily access and navigate from their smartphones.
Make sure your business’s website is mobile-friendly, too. That way, if people want to look your company up to learn more about it before applying, they can do so even if they’re on the go.
Focus on Personality and Culture Fit
Hard skills certainly matter when hiring your first sales team.
It’s great if someone has previous sales experience and an understanding of how various tools and technologies work. However, hard skills aren’t the end-all-be-all.
Focus on each candidate’s personality and how they will fit in with the company culture, too. You can teach someone the hard skills needed to do the job, but soft skills are harder to develop.
Offer a Competitive Salary
Make sure you’re paying members of your sales team fairly.
As a small business owner, you might not have a massive budget for employee salaries. However, you should at least make sure it’s close to what someone would earn if they applied for a job with one of your competitors.
Use Recruitment Software
Recruitment software can help you keep track of candidates, organize their applications and resumes, and set up interviews more efficiently.
These tools can also help you stay connected with candidates throughout the hiring process, ensuring they’re engaged along the way and maintaining a positive attitude toward your company.
Start Hiring Your First Sales Employees Today
If you’re ready to expand your sales team and grow your business, the tips discussed above can help you find skilled, experienced sales development reps and salespeople to help you increase sales and boost your bottom line.
Perhaps you want to add some people to your sales team. However, you might still want to keep internal hiring to a minimum while you train the initial new members.
If this is the case, consider using a tool like Meetingjump. This B2B lead generation and sales development rep service will help you set up meetings with qualified leads and maximize your outbound sales approach.
Contact us today to learn more or give it a try.