Hiring a good sales team is really important for a business. They can significantly increase revenue and add growth to your company. Therefore, if you want your organization to succeed, you need to have a stellar sales team.
We spoke to David Shaffer, Interim VP of Sales about laying the groundwork for a good sales team. He advises understanding your business, staying true to your strategy and asking candidates for a 90-day plan.
Strategic mistakes to avoid to get a good sales team
In the initial stages of a business, business owners or CEO’s focus on their product or service. They need a great product before they can focus on how to sell it. Only after they’ve fine-tuned and adapted it for the market do they shift attention to sales. Because the foundation of the business is not based on sales, it can be a big transition.
In the midst of that transition, David warns not to lose sight of your strategy. He says, “Companies frequently loses sight of the strategic direction or focus from the initial stages of starting the business and initial growth of the business. They aren’t quite sure how to align the appropriate sales people to continue with the successes that they’ve had in the past.”
One way to counteract that is to “read between the lines”. Find salespeople whose personality is compatible with your organization and its strategy. They should be able to build a new sales direction for the business in line with your strategy.
Understand your business first
David advises understanding two things before building a sales team:
your products and services, and
who your target market is.
You should be aware of who you are selling your products and services to. Gather information on the demographics and interests of past customers, and use it create a target profile. And most importantly, understand why they buy from you over your competitors.
As a business owner, once you know your product, services, customers and what’s made you successful, you’ll recognize the right answers from applicants. A sales representative whose qualifications align with those areas of your business will give you the answers you’re looking for.
The 90-day plan for a good sales team
One way of testing potential salespeople is to ask for a 90-day plan. What would they do in the first 90 days of your business to increase sales and reach your targets? From the way they answer your question, you can assess whether or not they will be a good fit.
If they are articulate in their answers and can provide examples from their past to back up their vision, they could be a good fit. Conversely, if they aren’t sure and say they’ll follow your instructions, you can expect them to be relying heavily on you for guidance as an employee.