Adding sales people to your IT company (Part I)

June 19, 2010 by

If  you’ve spent even one hour with me you know how maniacal I get about the necessity for sales people in your organization.  Aside from my direct clients I usually only have limited time to talk to people about their business so I try to leave them with something to go home and think about.  Invariably that topic will be the importance of getting a sales person on your team.

Now, I’ll admit I’m not the most calm and relaxed guy about your business.  You don’t want me to be.  I am going to passionately deliver my message to you about how I think you can increase your top and bottom line.  You don’t have to like it and you don’t have to do it.  However, if you choose to add a sales person let’s keep a few things straight:

1. Save 3 months of base salary for your sales person before you even place your ad.  You will make better decisions if you are about to draw from your cash that you’ve saved for this purpose.

2. Don’t even think about hiring a sales person until you’ve committed at least 10 hours a week of YOUR time to manage, coach, and train this individual.  YOU must be the one to get them excited about your company and work closely with them on setting the proper activity levels and expected outcomes.  Don’t cop out and say “i shouldn’t have to micro manage.”  That’s BS and you’re talking non sense.  Sales people need boundaries and guidance.  Give it to them!

3.  For the love of all things holy, please don’t give me an aneurysm by making the following mistakes; hiring at the first interview, not having a compensation plan IN WRITING TO PRESENT AT THE TIME OF OFFER,  not verifying references, not having a 90 day plan.

Sales people are tough to find, train, and hire.  We know this.  Don’t keep hiring your first sales person over and over again making the same mistakes.  Have a plan, stick to the plan, the plan works.

In Part II I’m going to give you some real world and current examples of my friends and clients going through this process right now.  I’ll protect their identity  to spare their ego, though I should make them public to shame them into doing the right thing next time!

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