Posts tagged with hiring

Adding sales people to your IT company (Part I)

June 19, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

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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Hiring sales people – ABI – Always be Interviewing

March 5, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

The thing I notice most frequently with the VARS and MSP’s (managed services providers) that I meet is that they have a hard time (if not impossible time) breaking through that $2,000,000 annual revenue mark.  After noticing this for several years I have  determined that the difference between those who do break the $2M mark and those who don’t  is simple; the existence of a sales force.  Through brute force, many owners can get their companies up to that $2M mark.  Once they commit to being a sales driven organization that $2M mark is seen only through the rear view mirror.

Once we start talking about hiring sales folks the conversation quickly turns to the horror stories of sales people from the past.  Here’s a short list of the most common mistakes my clients say they made:

1. Hiring their unemployed sales expert friend, neighbor, or relative;
2. Paying a very high base salary;
3. Not tracking sales activity;
4. Commission program too rich;
5. Getting “sold” in the interview and hiring the wrong person;
6. Not meeting regularly with their sales person.

Most of these issues can be resolved and not repeated by creating the habit of Always be Interviewing. Sifting through sales resumes and meeting with potential sales people is the only way to gain the confidence you need to say no to mediocre sales candidates. It is easy to get “sold” in an interview if you’re only interviewing a couple of times a year in order to fill an immediate vacancy.

Keep a rolling ad out in the community through all the standards channels, let the world know you need sales candidates, every person who you encounter is a potential sales person for you.

I would challenge you to interview at least 2 individuals every week. Make at least one of them a sales candidate.

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Hiring Sales People

March 4, 2010 by   •  Leave a comment

Spending day with a client. Set up a couple sales interviews. First was a no show. They have been using a nice mix of sources for candidates. This particular candidate was a craigslist.com candidate. Looked interesting on paper. Did some research on the candidate and came across his Facebook page. Appears that most of his day is spent playing Farmville on Facebook. Now I understand why he was a no show! In this economy it is amazing to me that someone would blow off an interview. Perhaps our 10% unemployment rate has as much to do with the labor pool as it does with the availability of jobs?

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