It is no surprise with a strong economy here in Austin and an unemployment rate under 3% that one of the most pressing issues I am hearing from SMB Owners is hiring good people. Specifically in my case… good sales people.

In a previous post Hiring Your Next Sales KNUCKLEHEAD! I talk about how you might go about that, but now I turn my attention to another way to generate additional revenue and maybe more importantly, the right type of revenue. Revenue with higher margins. (Also see Fire Your Clients!! for a simple plan).

So to the point of this. I am hearing a lot, “Bob, can you find hire a good sales rep”, “How do I take the risk out of hiring a salesperson” and my favorite “I need a real Hunter!”… like they grow on trees!

Here is an idea.
Squeeze more juice from your current fruit basket!

Instead of investing in a high risk, high cost sales hire consider investing in creating a scalable and sustainable sales plan that provides you with the data to increase activity, coach effectively, drive compliance and accountability, protect the value of your marketing leads, maintain and improve on sales retention and increase margin with equal or lower overall labor costs.

The solution is to define a process and plan that shows you how to leverage your team’s time, your team’s skills and their energy. What you measure gets done!

I know it works because I do this all day long for my clients and I deliver a very high ROI. While most SMB have some core metrics, most lack a system to track a lead or target down a clearly defined funnel. This is the only way you can take corrective action and more importantly determine steps for continuous improvement to squeeze more juice out of your existing team and pipeline. This provides a plan for Sales Balance and proper tactical training based on an individual’s skill development needs.

And all boats rise on an incoming tide!
Go HERE for details.

If you are a Small to Medium B to B Business owner with an under-performing sales team, call me at 512 658 9500 or email at I will trade an hour of my time for an hour of yours to get under the covers. No cost. If you hire me, great. If not, we have made a new friend.

If you are an independent sales person or Selling Owner consider my virtual simple and sustainable sales plan. I use a simple outline of a Sales Discovery, a Sales Foundation Build and a Coach + Manage Plan. Includes all tools including a simple sales plan template to organize your targets.

Very simple. Very flat. Very sustainable. And most of all very, very SANE!
No tricks, no long term commitments, no manipulation. 90 minutes to review. 4 hours max to set up.
Use forever.

You can learn this simple and sustainable sales plan with a $149.00 investment and 90 minutes of your time.
If you don’t think it was worth it, I will refund your money 100%, no questions asked.

Check out the details

My thoughts on DIY Hiring for Sales People.

I think it is safe to say that most small and medium business owners rely on doing the sales hiring themselves. I get it. I’m not 100% sure that it is the best way, but I get it. This might be a way for you to take some of the risk out. *

Hire a rep in your industry with a book.
I call this the 50/50/25 plan. My experience is that at best, you will get 50% of the book they tell you they can bring. 50% will come to you and 50% will stay with the old company. And 50 % of the reps will make the transition to bring you 50% of the business they tell you they can bring. The other 50% won’t make it. If you decide to do this, create a comp plan with base comp on 50% of the 50% or 1/2 of the book they told you they could move or 25% of the total they stated. (sorry. you might have to read that again!). Have them earn the other 50% on business booked. The net risk to you is 25% of the stated book and if they surprise you they still get the comp and you get the business. I want skin in the game when I hear “I can move my book”. Two final notes. Make sure they don’t have a non-compete (while it might not be valid who needs the legal headache and cost) and if the rep has been jumping, buyer beware.

Promote from within.
The best way to do this is to set a sales development program in-house prior to the need and nurture this individual(s). Make sure they have a solid sales aptitude, have expressed a desire for promotion, wants to make a lot of money, builds relationships in the company quickly and well, and likes the business. This takes more time but you know what you got, they will be loyal and already have product knowledge and internal relationship that will support them.

Hire a Young Buck or Buckarina.
Finding an entry level sales type and plug into your team. I suggest you hire for aptitude, personality and cultural fit. A first job out of college is higher risk than the second. Learn a lot about Millennials. They are not like us or at least like an old guy like me! Generally you are looking for a “worker and learner” who:

  1. Had a job in and through college. A big plus if they put themselves though college.
  2. From a smaller mid-level College or University with a solid GPA.
  3. His or her family is middle class in mid-size cities and already has a work history.
  4. Tests high on a Sales Aptitude test.

How to take more of the Risk Out.
In addition to the ideas above, have a specific sales plan and strategy (hint. hint. this is what I do). Don’t do “Go Get’em Tiger” and hope they make it. Don’t have your best rep train them. He or she have a lot of bad habits, trust me. Have specific goals and performance metrics and coach, “lip load” them with content on your value proposition, scripts that work, how to handle objections, product descriptions and benefits and finally, work with them, encourage, role play and review their progress weekly . Provide small carrots for hitting achievable goals. Start them off on smaller account opportunities and let them fail a little. If they are a 2 or 3 from above they will do just fine. Sometimes really, really great.

About simple.sales.strategy
We provide support and sales training to small and medium size businesses and individuals by building an effective, simple and proven systematic sales process that is scalable, sustainable and sane.

 If you don’t have a Simple Sales Plan that works consider my low cost 100 % GUARANTEED Training Video with all the tools, templates, scripts you need to execute for yourself or for a sales team. If it doesn’t work for you, I will refund your investment NO QUESTIONS asked.
a simple sales plan

* I would like to qualify this post by saying that if you want to take most of the risk out of hiring, find a very reliable recruiter that provides a full service offering, including writing clear job descriptions, assessments, multiple posting sources, initial review and interviews, qualification and hiring guarantees. With this said most small and medium business owners rely on doing the hiring themselves. I get it. I’m not 100% sure that it is the best way, but I get it.


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