Hiring salespeople is hard. You’ve tried and failed multiple times, always falling back on a principal-led sales model. You have one, two or even three salespeople on staff, all missing quota. Even when you hire sales reps who were successful elsewhere, they fail in your company.
Your choice? Break the pattern or learn to love sales and continue as your own lead sales rep.
You Are Not the Model for the Perfect Sales Rep
In a principal-led sales organization working to transition from owner-reps to sales staff, the only model you have for a sales rep is yourself.
You know you can sell your stuff. Can’t a sales rep model you?
You tell them exactly what to say in a sales meeting. Can’t a salesperson mimic you?
Even when your salesperson attempts to model you precisely, they fail.
The bottom line is, nobody can sell like you sell. Nobody will ever be able to sell like you sell. As the business owner, you have charisma, confidence and panache. You’re intense, astute and committed. You understand prospects’ businesses from a perspective no sales rep ever will because you are a peer to those company owners.
Add to it that you own the business. If someone wants a special exception, you have the power to grant it. If the terms aren’t acceptable, you have the ability to change them.
No sales rep can match your magic, and if you try to mold a new sales rep to be you, they will fail 100% of the time.
Lacking any other sales rep model, this is exactly what business owners attempt to do. And when you do, no amount of training or coaching will change your failure rate. So, stop.
You can’t be cloned.
Set a Typical Rep Up for Success
Rather than look for a person in your own spectacular image, put a plan in place that will allow a typical salesperson to be successful in your organization. Here are three steps to do it:
- Clearly define the role and expectations. Define responsibilities that are realistic for who you can hire in the market today. Looking for a sales hunter who will also run your marketing, clean your lists and manage the website company isn’t realistic. You can do all that, but an average salesperson cannot. Set achievable, measurable performance expectations that make sense, such as call volume, revenue attainment and new client growth.
- Put your sales process and tools in place. Set aside the process you use to sell. Your sales process is based on your magic. Define a repeatable sales process any new salesperson you onboard can follow. Put it into an easy-to-follow playbook and align it with your opportunity management software. Outline the tools a sales rep needs to do the job, such as requirements gathering questions, objections to anticipate, and prospecting plans. Now you have a complete playbook any rep can stick to and succeed.
- Manage to the expectations and process. Expect to be the sales manager and accept the role willingly. Use the sales process and tools to demonstrate how to sell your solutions successfully and consistently no matter what type of prospect. Use the expectations you’ve outlined to provide your salesperson guidelines to focus daily energy while also enforcing accountability. A salesperson needs your coaching and direction just like your operations team needs you.
If you don’t change your approach to hiring and onboarding salespeople, you’ll fail 100% of the time. No new rep will ever step into your shoes. Create a different path that will allow you to hire average sales reps who can meet and exceed expectations following your company’s plan. If you can’t break your current hiring pattern, you’ll run through salespeople like water and it’ll cost you a lot of money.
We can define your sales role, performance expectations, sales process and tools so you can hire a sales rep who truly will allow you to step back from selling. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how it would work for you.