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Sales Wolf Blog

Want to Increase Revenue? Hire the Right Salespeople

Posted by Chris Young

Mar 12, 2013 11:41:00 AM

hire-the-right-salespeopleThere are several ways to increase revenues including:

  • Raise prices.
  • Increase your sales team headcount.
  • Increase your revenues per salesperson.

The most effective way to increase sales is to increase revenuesby optimizing your sales talent headcount.

At a minimum, a strong job fit salesperson will outsell a low job fit salesperson by 2:1 and often by more than 20:1.   It is not uncommon to see a high job fit salesperson sell more than ten salespeople combined.

Pause for a moment and consider your existing sales team’s performance. 

  • What does your top performer produce?  Your bottom performer?  What is the revenue spread between the two? 
  • How many low performers does it take to cover the sales production of a high job fit salesperson?
  • What would you do with two or three additional top sales performers on your team?  How much would revenues increase?
  • How much time have you lost trying to “raise the dead” – trying to coach a poor sales performer?
  • How committed are you to identifying top sales talent?

When I built and ran a sales team for an online learning company in 2000, I quickly learned the joys and frustrations of sales management.  I built the sales team from scratch and in doing so - interviewed, checked references, and ultimately hired from my gut.  I did not know any better. 

Hiring from my gut was emotional and painful.  I had ownership in each salesperson I hired.  If they did well or not – their performance was a direct reflection on me.   Unfortunately several of my hires performed poorly and it was my fault. 

My greatest frustration was translating the promises of high performance made during the interview process and reference checks into real action and real results.  I quickly learned that most candidates will sell themselves in an interview while few can actually sell.

Today, when I speak with a sales manager / sales VP, I always review the sales numbers to identify their top and bottom performers.  It is fascinating to watch the facial expressions of the sales manager as they share the data.

  • High performers create a facial expression of happiness and pride.  Sometimes I see a “far away look” in the eye of the sales manager as they share success stories of a particular high performer.
  • Low performers typically cause an entirely different facial expression of pain, frustration, and hopelessness. 

Thirteen years later, I have come to appreciate the power of a valid sales personality assessment, the TriMetrix® HD.  There is real value in understanding the potential of a sales candidate before they are hired.

What mindset or beliefs can get in the way of hiring the best salespeople?  Here are several hiring mindsets that can get in the way:

  • “I can read people.”  Study after study has suggested that human bias is alive and well in the interview process.  Hiring based upon the interview, references, and background area areas where human bias can become overly optimistic about the potential of a candidate. 
  • Accepting “good enough” job fit.  Also known as “It takes too long to find talent”.  Whatever time you may think you are saving by hiring someone who is “good enough” will end up costing you far more time later in management and coaching time.   Hire right the first time. 
  • A sales recruiter costs too much.  Those who believe a sales recruiter costs too much do not know the value of their own time nor the value of a high job fit salesperson.  A good sales recruiter can save you an incredible amount of time and energy and is an investment in the future of your business.  Always use a valid sales personality assessment like the TriMetrix® HD to ensure your sales recruiter is proving strong candidates. 
  • Hire sales people only when needed.  High job fit salespeople can be difficult to find.  We recommend an “Always Be Hiring” strategy.  Every sales team can always use a high job fit future sales performer.  Starting and stopping the hiring process increases the potential of missing out on the best salespeople.

Your future is yours to create.  Take a few minutes to consider the sales performance spreads between your top and bottom performers.  Review the four mindsets that get in the way of hiring the best sales people.  Which do you have?  What are you going to do about it?

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