This is not a pretty place to be. You walk into a sales management position for the first time and the company needs 5 salespeople ASAP! Let’s make this situation real (because it has happened to people) by saying that you knew prior to taking the job that most of the salespeople had been let go. Regardless, you are in a position where you have to hire 5 salespeople quickly. What do you do?
There is a temptation to start the engines and run into overdrive immediately. And the chances are that you may have a boss who says something like, “we need these people now; I want to see warm bodies selling within a month!” Great. Not only do you have to hire people but you have the second coming of Tsar Peter looking over your shoulder.
Here are some ideas. When you hire a group of salespeople give some thought to having a mix. If you’re hiring 5, make sure that you have at least one professional salesperson, 2-3 middle of the road salespeople and 1-2 newbies. Newbies is defined as salespeople who are probably under 28 years of age and need a lot of coaching. Why the mix? Because the senior (professional rep) person understands sales and will provide a great example for the other salespeople. This is extremely important! Professional salespeople have a way of influencing other people, showing them good sales techniques, offering them insights into how to develop into a professional salesperson.
Here comes the rub. Your boss may want you to approach the hiring process from a different angle. The “we need people now” quote strikes fear into most sales managers. They think that they have to get people hired now and that quality is less important than quantity. Please do not succumb to the pressure. Tell your boss that you have a plan and that plan involves hiring a balanced sales group, a group that will bring maturity, knowledge and competition to the sales team. If you were to hire just anyone then the time to get them up to speed would be longer, their sales skills would be inferior and the “results”would be below company expectations.
Here’s the other way to approach this. If you were to hire just any five people and they or a portion of them failed then where are you? You are back hiring and your boss is more on your case because the first group didn’t pan out. There is no rationale to this approach! None! STAY THE COURSE AND FOLLOW A RATIONAL HIRING PLAN!
I will have more to add to this scenario later in the week.
The Final Thought: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” John Quincy Adams