Group meeting shot from above.

Hiring high-performing salespeople is the key to growing your business. Salespeople are out there on the front lines digging up leads, landing new clients, and establishing long-term relationships with your most valuable customers. If you don’t have a sales team, it’s time to put one together! Below, C-Hear covers everything you need to know about hiring your first sales team, from interviewing candidates to encouraging your new employees to do their best work. 

Establish the Right Tools

Before you begin looking for salespeople, establish systems to keep everyone on the same page. Certain digital tools will make it easier to manage your new sales team. For example, The Digital Project Manager notes that fully integrated project management tools support everything from project planning to client invoicing.

Other tools, like accounting software, make it easy to establish sales benchmarks and monitor the progress of your sales team over time. Invest in reliable accounting software for your consulting business so you can optimize the management of your finances as your business enters its first growth phase. This gives you a clear view of your billable hours, allows you to batch-process invoices, and helps you identify your most profitable income streams.

Create an Effective Job Description and Recruitment Strategy

Finding great salespeople can be really difficult. Be prepared to sift through countless applicants before you find people with the skills and experience that you’re looking for. That said, make sure you know what you’re looking for! Write out your minimum and preferred qualifications for the position, including any relevant education, experience, and credentials you expect from applicants.

Once you have a picture of your ideal candidates, write a job description that will attract people who possess your list of requirements. This means optimizing your job description for your target candidate. Use keywords that salespeople might be using to search for your open position and set realistic job requirements—requiring 5 years of experience for an “entry-level” job is not realistic!

Of course, you can handle a lot of the marketing pizzazz on your own using free tools. For instance, using Adobe’s template library for inspiration, you’ll find that creating eye-catching banners is made easy with their online banner maker. This is especially helpful in customizing banners for your digital marketing efforts including your presence on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and your website. 

Ask the Right Interview Questions

The interview questions that you ask your job applicants will help you determine whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your business. Try to go beyond technical questions. You want to uncover how they will function as team members but also as individual employees. Ask questions that reveal how they work with others, handle setbacks, and pursue personal growth. Gong.io suggests several revealing interview questions that can serve as a great jumping-off point for your own interviews.

Set Sales Goals

Once you find a few promising candidates for your sales team, set some goals. Don’t limit your salespeople with a monthly or yearly quota. Instead, establish smaller, short-term goals that your salespeople can work towards every day. Make sure these sales goals are realistic and based on real research into your business and industry trends. You may have to look beyond sales goals. For example, Close suggests setting goals around the percentage of cold calls that convert into leads, the time it takes to close a deal, and the ratio of leads that convert into paying customers.

Incentivize Your Team

Lack of motivation is a common reason for sales team failure. Incentivizing your sales team is all about creating a culture of friendly competition to drive your employees to do their best work. While business goals, salaries, and commissions can serve as motivation for your salespeople, these incentives don’t encourage your employees to help each other or build long-term relationships with clients. Try to offer recognition and rewards to salespeople for smaller wins and team-oriented achievements rather than individual competition.

If you want to expand the reach of your business and land more clients, hiring a sales team is essential. The people you hire can make or break your business, so be sure to write great job descriptions and ask insightful interview questions before committing to a candidate. Establish systems to keep everyone motivated, organized, and on track to meet their sales goals, and your sales team will thrive!

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