You launched your small business, and it’s going the way you wanted.
The business is growing, and so are the sales and new customers. But being a business owner, you have too much on your plate already, and adding the salesperson job can cause too much hassle.
Hiring your first salesperson can be the solution you are looking for. But if you are new and you are not well aware of hiring, this can be scary to think about.
To make it easier for you, here are the process and important factors that you should know.
When To Hire A Salesperson?
Most the businesses or startups have one of the founders as the first salesperson.
The job is so crucial that business owners end up doing their own. The job plays a valuable role in growing the business, talking to potential customers, facing failure, fixing the objectives, etc.
There are chances that you might want to do the work, or you hate doing it. No matter what the reasons, the first thing you should understand is not to rush.
Ask yourself these questions first –
- What numbers do you want to achieve?
- What’s your Annual Recurring Revenue?
- Can your current situation help?
- Do you want to speed up the time?
- Do you want to run sales or want someone else to do it?
Don’t decide to outsource the salesperson job right away.
Focus on learning the basics first. Get the experience and learn the feeling of what salespeople should have to offer when they deal with customers.
Some businesses delay outsourcing way too long. In such a situation, the founders had to perform even if they had lots on their plate.
There are a few signs that you must notice as they will tell you if your business needs to hire the first salesperson or if you have to wait.
- You have the biggest sales challenges to handle
- You have a clear sales process
- Now you understand the needs and targets at a much deeper level.
- You can predict the estimate of sales.
Pro Tip: The expert says the founders should do a minimum of 10 sales before they decide to hire the first salesperson.
Best Time To Hiring Salesperson
There is a right time in business when you need to switch. Well, it’s important to trust your guts but also look out for some basic signs that can help you in that now you need to hire the salesperson for your business.
At Least You Have 10 Clients
Some experts agree that founders should not hire a salesperson or outsource their salesperson job until they don’t get the ten clients minimum.
There are two reasons
- It shows that people want to buy your product
- By now, you get how to sell the product
Having at least ten clients indicates that you got the demand for your product. It helps in growth and boosts confidence in the brand.
With ten clients, you get the benchmark and make your product sellable in the market. Also, it ensures that your efforts in hiring the salesperson are not unsuccessful.
Market Fit Product
Now that you have the customers, it will help in understanding if your product is fit for the market by now.
Also, it gives an idea about how you can differentiate between your product and why people are choosing yours instead of others.
The three common differences you can find are
The price of your products plays of a vital role in why customers choose the product. It gives a lower price point and flexibility for bigger advantages.
The support that includes customer services is a factor that helps the customer choose the product.
Having good customer service ensures the customers and the selection to buy in the future.
The product features, especially if it’s something no one offers. It gives the advantage of people choosing you over your competitors.
Boasting valuable features impact the purchase and set you apart from others in the competition.
Lead Generation Strategy
The moment you feel that you are having difficulties keeping inbound volume.
Make sure you have a strategy for both cold and inbound leads. So your salesperson doesn’t have to waste the effort working from the start.
Also, the salesperson should not do everything as it can waste valuable time on nurturing and closing deals.
You Have The Sales Process
Before adding the salesperson, the business should have its fixed framework for sales. It should have a clear process along with a strategy for nurturing the best prospects.
Also, analyze each stage and sales funnel to give a clear direction to your salesperson.
It will be helpful for them as well as you to follow a fixed sales process instead of struggling with new ones.
How To Hire The Right Candidate As A Salesperson?
Before you start looking for a salesperson, the first point is to know what you define as a successful salesperson.
If you don’t know what you are looking for, it might be not easy to narrow down the selections.
When you are planning to hire and post the job description, here are a few points to check to get the right candidate for the job.
The Core Value
The core value is an important factor that can help in aligning your salesperson with the company’s values.
The salesperson should have similar values, and he or she can help the company to work and act better.
Also, what kind of environment and how often they need the motion to boost their excel.
The type of environment matches your business culture or not.
Set Of Skills
The skills are important as it makes your final candidate different from the rest of the options.
Also, it includes what kind of skills your business is looking for. Here are some of the must-have skills that you should consider before hiring a salesperson.
Capable Of Taking Cold Leads
The customers or potential clients you are not in touch with, or the business is not working.
The salesperson should have the capability to make cold calls.
Creating The Content
Quality sales build on representing the products and services. The candidate should know how to represent the value in the font of the costumes.
Also, they must have the understanding to make adjustments according to the person they are approaching.
Feedback plays a vital role in the success of your business. The Salesperson should know how to listen, absorb, and interpret.
Also, they can empathize with the customers and understand valuable feedback.
Expertise In Domain
The salesperson should have an understanding and empathy toward the customers.
Dealing with customers also includes native workflows, day-to-day responsibilities, processes, and other jargon.
The one who is seated in a similar seat will know how to handle it.
The customers and clients continue their relationship with any brand based on how much they find authentic in their work.
Trust plays a crucial part in sales too. The customers should feel comfortable and know what they are buying.
To have such candidates for the salesperson who can offer trust and keep your process authentic is needed.
Not just that, they should be able to handle any objections too.
Humility is a crucial part of coachability, and the salesperson should have it. When you have such a salesperson, they are humble and always eager to learn.
Also, they know how to take feedback and keep improving their work.
Resourceful & Scrappy
Running a small business puts lots of work on the owners.
They have to deal with everything; when hiring the salesperson, ensure you are taking some weight off, not adding it.
The salesperson should be resourceful and scrappy to know how to deal with the situation.
Also, they have the vision to think out of the box.
It depends on the salesperson level you are looking to hire. The first salesperson should have experienced it.
Since they are the first and you are new, it’s important to have someone with experience and knowledge about the inside work.
If you are looking for a salesperson for the SDR role, you might need some skills that the candidate should have learned.
If you are looking for executive roles, focus on experiences. The account executive can help in nurturing potential leads and demo services.
It adds to closing the deals and keeping the process continue for getting more sales.
Steps To Follow For Hiring Salespersons
Hiring the first salesperson for the business is one of the most crucial decisions.
The process defines how much your business will grow. It impacts the business team culture.
Hiring the first salesman is something that no company wants to mess up.
To hire the capable and right candidate, follow these steps:
Step 1: Identify The Business Need & Build Job Description
You need to pick your first salesman’s skills, qualifications, and characteristics. The process is critical as it is based on business needs.
Where do you want your first salesman to spend the time? Should he or she be going to meet new customers or take calls? Or will they help find new development or work on current customers?
You can find the job when you get the answers to where you want the salesman. Search job boards on Monster or Linkedin have a similar job descriptions.
You can use the same description as a reference to build the job description.
Pro tip: Before you put the ad live, get it to check for a trusted salesperson and colleague to target the right person for the job.
Step 2: Define Your Customer Goals
When you are planning for a new salesperson, you also need to consider the overall revenue growth of your financial plan.
According to the spreadsheet, you will understand how many new customers, sales, and monthly profits your business needs.
The number should be checked and reviewed before hiring the first salesman.
It also helps you ensure that your business is required to get new customers based on your sales cycle.
Understanding the financial guidelines also helps you in fixing who and when you can hire.
Step 3: Fix The Budget
The next process includes the budget; it’s crucial to know how much your business is steady to invest in a new salesperson.
From the resources to the salary, the part includes all details to know how much you can offer to the candidate.
It’s important to check your budget and financial plans and how much your business is earning.
These points will help you decide on the budget, which will not cost too much, and you can easily hire the right candidate.
Step 4: Get The Details Written
When you are writing the job description, don’t skip on details. You will have a better idea about the salesman you want, and the interested will know what to expect.
You can start writing down the details; for example, you can add –
- Title – Are you giving any job titles, or it’s open for negotiation?
- Reporting Structure – The salesperson is going to report whom? and how?
- Compensation – Is there any bonus or compensation based on work?
- Travel – Do the salesperson require to travel? If yes, then how many times and when?
- Quota – Is there any minimum revenue for the salesperson?
- Sales tool – Do salespeople need to have tools like CRM, software, etc?
- Social Media – Should salespeople need to have their accounts on social media? Or should they have their blog or any other form of social media presence?
Detailing is important; the more you know, the better you can source candidates.
The position is important and can direct the flow of your interview.
Step 5: Fix The Process For the Interview
To decide the process for an interview, you are going to need time and effort. Never pick the average salesperson just to skip the hard work of the interview process.
Hiring the wrong person can waste too many resources, time, and effort. It’s crucial to pay attention to the process.
Interviews with candidates can give you an idea about them. Also, you can get a picture of how much capability they have in the area.
Here are some steps that you can consider for the interview process –
- Conduct the research and review of resumes
- Do the phone screening
- Schedule the in-person interview
- Add the role of the play component
- Do follow up
- Check the references
- Discuss the details before joining
Step 6: Look For The Sources
Until you find the one, don’t settle.
To know who has potential, get a small list of candidates who fit the criteria.
Follow the research and review the candidate before you pick the final salesperson or you.
Pro Tip: you can look for backdoor references. Instead of depending on candidates who might offer poor references to the employer, you can use Linkedin and check the background of your condition.
Also, contact the one who has the highest potential. It will help you in avoiding bad hires.
Where To Find an Efficient SalesPerson?
The common question people have is – where to find a salesperson?
There is no definite way to find an efficient salesperson for the business. That’s why companies work on making strategies and plan to recruit the right candidate.
Also, it’s crucial to remember that more businesses are looking for such a salesperson in the market.
So it’s not just you who is in need, and the competition raises the need for urgency.
But when you know where to look, you can easily target the candidate and reduce the hassle from both sides.
Some of the approaches you can try are mentioned below, along with their pros and cons.
Referrals are one of the excellent ways to get the salesperson you are looking for.
However, referrals are also not that reliable source. It creates social pressure that can lead you to end up hiring someone who is not the ideal fit.
Hiring the wrong candidate can be a deadly decision for your business. It can affect the team, sales, and also the image of the brand.
When you look for references, make sure to do proper screening when you are choosing from other sources.
Why Not Consider –
- Limited in reach
- Create internal pressure
- It’s not reliable
Why Consider –
- It’s easy
- It boosts the internal team building
- Affordable option
Direct recruiting is popular and considered the most effective hiring option for a talented salesperson.
It’s much more elaborated and chooses whatever options out there to find the best fit.
However, mostly it includes going through the profiles on Linkedin and making contacts who you feel are right for the job.
The downside of direct recruit is its time-consuming process. It can be frustrating when you have lots of work to do.
Also, it basically includes asking people to quit the job they are doing and choose your business. It’s the process to find the right salesperson for the tea.
Why Not Consider –
- Lack of motivation
Why Consider –
- Get the top talented salesperson
- No waiting
- Candidates are handpicked
Staffing agencies are third-party agencies that help the businesses to find the right fit for the work.
The option benefits you if you are too busy or don’t have much experience hiring someone.
Staffing agencies are expensive. However, it depends on who is asking for services; some offer relatively lower, but still, you need to pay the price.
Adding one more expense might not be the right choice for companies who didn’t start revenue too much.
Why Not Consider –
- Outsourcing the experience
- Expensive Cost
- Simple process
- Saves from hassle
- Professional approach
How To Measure If Hiring Was Success Or Not?
When you hire the first salesperson, you need to know if it’s really effective or not.
Also, sales are numbers. There are two options, either you achieve, or you don’t. But success is not about sales; you must know how to measure it.
To find out if it was a success or not, here are a few points to look for –
The salesperson is an important part of your business. It’s important to look at their role and how they are doing it.
See if others are going to them to ask for advice and help on how they respond and affect the work.
Hitting the quota once in a while is not enough to show whether the hiring was a success or not.
It’s important to track their performance and see if they are consistent or not. Pay attention to how much they are putting into achieving their goals.
Successful salespeople need to know how they hit their goals, especially when they are the first in the business.
They will not boost the sale if they don’t know how they did it. Repeating the process also helps others to understand it.
Mistakes To Avoid In Hiring a First Salesperson
When a company starts to grow, it’s difficult for the owners to keep track of sales and overall functions inside the business. Also, sacrificing quality is not an option.
In such a situation, the founders are required to hire a salesperson to share the work. But hiring the first salesperson is terrifying when you have no idea what to do.
Even after detained planning, founders make some basic mistakes that end up choosing the wrong fit.
To know what not to ignore, here are some mistakes people make, and you can learn from them.
1. Writing A Traditional Job Description
Writing the job description is of utmost importance, which is lacking a lot.
Mostly their work is either done by human resources or agencies who are not aware of the factors included for sales success.
Here are a few elements that such a description has –
- Description of job
- Responsibility & What roles
- Company description
If your job description looks like this with these elements, then you should know it’s the worst posting that will not attract a quality sales candidate.
Pro Tip: Add what your ideal candidate should look like so the interested people can see whether they are fit. It will save time for you.
2. Focusing On In-Person Interview
Your salesperson will need more than a few questions to handle the real battlefield.
Also, they need to understand what questions they need to ask to perform the work effectively.
There is no other better option to try than giving them a similar experience.
A phone interview can help you understand how the salesperson can handle the situation.
An in-person interview is also an efficient option, but only focusing on that might waste your time.
3. Talking Too Much
When the hiring process starts, it’s important to control how much you will describe things to your candidates.
Maybe you feel tempted to tell more and more about your business. And it’s important too for making your candidate well informed.
Sharing what it feels like to work in your company will help give an idea.
However, make sure you are not overdoing it. You should not talk more than your candidates.
Let them talk and ask to elaborate on their answers as much as you need.
4. Using Wrong Tools
In the hiring process, you must test the sales personality and assessment.
However, using the wrong tool can make your process a hassle and take too long.
Not using the tools can also do the basic effects, like you will never know exactly what your candidate is about. It’s risky to hire such a person whom you don’t trust.
5. Not Taking A Second Opinion
When you are doing everything independently, chances of getting biased increase too. It might be any reason, or maybe you just liked the personality.
It’s a common mistake that most people make. Many candidates have experience presenting themselves, and they know how to impress even if they are not good at the job.
To solve the issue, you are going to need a second opinion. It will help you see the candidate differently, and you can decide if it’s good.
Pro tip: Asking for a second option, choose someone who has the opposite preferences and personality than you.
6. Not Offering What They Deserve
The market is not just open for the business but also the top candidates.
Every business needs a top-quality salesperson who can handle their work on their behalf.
Also, the candidates often do multiple interviews at different companies.
Offering them a low offer and undermining their talent can drive them away from the right candidate for your business.
Also, some other businesses will pick them up if you fail to do it.
7. Asking Wrong Questions
Questions can help you know what you can expect and give you a clear picture of the candidate.
However, not preparing to ask questions and do homework might cost you a lot, including hiring the wrong candidate.
Also, make sure you have such questions in your interview to know whether the candidate is good for the business.
- What is his or her process for dealing with customer objections?
- What was the biggest obstacle they faced during work, and how they overcame it?
- What motivates them to do the work?
8. Not Doing The Necessary Changes
The hiring process needs to change from time to time. No process is certified to be perfect and guarantees the results.
In every process and stage, you should improve. It’s crucial to analyze and determine what is working for you.
Eliminate the process or steps which are not improving or are outdated.
9. Hiring Too Fast
Your first salesperson is important for the business. They will guarantee the whole success and growth of your sales.
Getting too excited and skipping processes just to start with the salesperson you get is risky and not recommended as well.
It’s important to examine who you choose. Also, focus on examining your business, what you need, and what can help.
The salesperson must understand your expectations, products, services, and goals.
Find someone with the capability, understanding, and experience for the first salesperson in your business.
Pro tip: Avoid hiring someone new and a beginner for this job. You don’t want to spend time on training instead of having someone who can handle it independently.
10. Too Much Depending On Referral
Considering referrals or recommendations is a good option; however, avoid depending on that.
Often, referrals are not up to the quality you are looking for. Also, since it creates pressure, you can’t deny it as well.
The options are not credible, and you can’t make the final decisions based on that.
Pro tip: Do the proper business interviews and screening even if you are choosing both opinions
FAQs About Hiring Salesperson For Small Business
When should I choose my first salesperson?
The need to choose the first salesperson arises when you are looking to get more sales and new customers and handling the whole process.
As an owner, it’s not possible or too much hassle to do it on your own. In such a situation, you need to start looking for the first salesperson for your business.
Where can I get the options to hire the salesperson?
There are options like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc if you are going online. Also, you can ask your family, friends, teams, and other people in the industry to recommend people to you.
However, do the proper screening to find the perfect salesperson for you.
What are the basics to look for when hiring a salesperson?
The basic includes Characteristics, work ethics, and motivation. These are three basics to look for so you can find the salesperson for your business.
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Business, marketing, and blogging – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of Burban Branding and Media, and a self-taught marketer with 10 years of experience. My passion lies in helping startups enhance their business through marketing, HR, leadership, and finance. I am on a mission to assist businesses in achieving their goals.