When and how much should you expand your sales team?
When your business grows to the point that you no longer can keep up with demand on your own, adding a sales team is both an exciting and anxiety-ridden step. The last thing you want is to put your precious customers into the hands of the wrong people, but if you can’t do justice to meeting their needs, the time is ripe. Here’s how to ensure those new team members are a dream come true and not a nightmare.
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New Direction, New Name
First thing’s first. Are you expanding in a whole new direction? If you’re a sole proprietor, LLC or corporation that is branching out, consider establishing a DBA (doing business as) name before you hire new staff. As Zenbusiness explains, a DBA, or doing business as, allows you to secure a new name for your business that is separate from the original one. This provides you with flexibility and the opportunity to enhance your branding — both big pluses as your business grows.
A DBA would be important if you’re a sole proprietor who wants to protect personal information, or if you’re doing something very different and prefer that your new product or service has its own business name. For example, maybe you provide music lessons and want to open a store selling instruments, or you run a beauty salon and will be adding boutique clothing to your repertoire. Diversification is good for business, and if separation makes sense but you don’t want to open a whole different business, a DBA will fit the bill. And as Profitable Venture explains, your new DBA can also hire your sales staff.
What’s the Magic Number?
You’ve reached the conclusion that it’s time to hire sales staff, but how many salespeople do you actually need? If you need to operate conservatively, you will hire only as many sales representatives as you have sales to pay for them. The downside of this strategy is that you might lose sales in your effort to be careful. With secure finances and sufficient demand for what you’re selling, the sky’s the limit.
The other side of your sales is production. Will you be able to make your product or service in sufficient quantities to meet sales? Repsly explains that stockouts or delays can be devastating to your business, reducing order accuracy and damaging customer relationships. You might even push your customers to your competitors and never see them again.
Make sure that your products, suppliers, and other service providers are lined up properly to meet demand, and do some careful forecasting to make a reasonable prediction of sales before you add team members.
Who Should You Hire?
Certain personality types tend to be good salespeople, although you might be surprised to learn that both introverts and extroverts can be successful in the sales arena. Additionally, Channels notes people who enjoy learning, are optimistic, and appreciate growth tend to make good sales people. Be prepared to interview candidates thoughtfully with the goal of revealing how prospects cultivate customer relationships, use of tools, and problem solving capabilities.
With your new people selected and ready to roll, how will you determine their goals and help them stay motivated? The same numbers you use to determine how many sales people you need will help you define their individual goals. When they do well, be sure to celebrate their achievements.
Bear in mind that good vibes can make a big difference in the way your team operates. While some people can sell just about anything, your best salespeople will be those who believe in what you’re selling. Make sure they find meaning in the product or service they are promoting, and avoid setting up a competitive atmosphere. Instead, aim for a collaborative environment where each person is valued, and you’ll be set for success.
Handing over the sales reins to new reps won’t be nearly as worrisome if you know you’ve hired a dream team. Think about what your new direction requires, make some calculations, choose top candidates, and give them ample reasons to feel good about what they are doing. With these wise strategies, you’ll be able to rest easy.
Courtesy of Julie Morris - firstname.lastname@example.org
✅ 40 years of expertise in all aspects of advertising: consumer insights, creative and media ✅ Extensive national and international experience