Sales Management Corner-Common Sense Rule #4

Don’t Settle For Just Any Rep!

There are thousands of warm bodies in the marketplace right now that are disguised as salespeople! There is a good news/bad news aspect to the economic climate that we are in, at least as it relates to hiring salespeople. It’s nice to have a choice but not so nice if you have to dig through foot high rough looking for the diamond.

Hiring salespeople was never fun for me, usually because I needed to find them in areas where I was not familiar with the talent. Talk about a shot in the dark! Common sense rule number 4 is don’t settle for just anybody. Sounds simple doesn’t it but you would be shocked at the number of owners and sales managers who do just that , in order to get someone selling. The theory is that the territory has been vacant and competitors are making inroads or a territory has been split and coverage is needed ASAP.

My rule of thumb is the wrong hire is more costly than not having someone in the territory. (This holds true, in my opinion for up to one year.)  Then there is the old refrain from the company owner who says “we don’t need a technical rep; the product is a commodity and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to sell it.” That’s what I thought when I consulted with a company that sold shipping supplies. Wrong bubble wrap breath! There actually is a lot to bubble wrap, which makes my point that an owner or sales manager shouldn’t sell the technical side of any product short.

Hiring the wrong person can lead to some or all of the following:

  1. Law suits
  2. Poor company representation for the existing customers
  3. Little if any new business development
  4. Time wasted by the sales manager trying to develop the salesperson
  5. Potential conflict with other people within the company
  6. Potential loss of existing business

Before you set out on the hiring journey put together a plan on how you’re going to go about the hiring process. It’ll save you time and anxiety. Or you can wait until next week and I’ll spell it out.

The Final Thought:     I Like this quote I dislike this quoteThe key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” Bill Gates


One thought on “Sales Management Corner-Common Sense Rule #4

  1. You’re right on the mark.

    It’s been estimated that 80% of people who earn their living in sales should either be doing something else or selling something else. It’s easy to hire a dud.

    There are a number of assessments out there (including ours) that can help sales managers narrow the field to the remaining 20% of salespeople who are making 80% of the sales.

    Why sales managers don’t avail themselves of these hiring tools is beyond me. They’ll improve the odds of hiring a winner dramatically.

    You can get free help with my e-book “The 8 Biggest Hiring Mistakes Sales Managers Make.” You can get your free copy from my website.

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