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Ready to Grow Your Sales Team? Are You Sure?

Eight steps, from clear job descriptions to incentive structure to documenting sales processes, to ensure successful sales hires.

April 15, 2022

4 Min Read
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By Shannon Murphy

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Shannon Murphy

Expanding your sales team can be exciting. Hiring salespeople means that you’ve achieved success and are poised for growth.

Personnel issues, training, and onboarding are often casualties of high-growth businesses. Your new salesperson’s success – and, in turn, your company’s continued success – relies significantly on your preparation for their arrival. If you struggle to do so or find it daunting, you’re not alone.

Set Up New Technology Salespeople for Success

Set your new salespeople up for success by reviewing these eight questions in advance:

1. Do you have the budget to pay and offer incentives to new salespeople properly?
The labor market is more competitive than it’s been in decades – especially with more remote work business models. It’s vital to research comparable compensation packages and ensure you have carved out adequate room in your budget to hire good salespeople and drive the sales outcomes you need.

2. Have you crafted a clear job description for new salespeople?

Job descriptions matter – a lot. That’s because most job prospecting and employer screening happens online. Fast-growing companies often neglect refreshing job descriptions, limiting their ability to attract top-tier candidates. Make sure to update your salesperson job description, and that it:

  • Communicates in a conversational, relatable tone.

  • Defines skills, required competencies and job duties.

  • Explains the cultural benefits of working with your company (history, environment), including potential career paths.

  • Explains operational resources and benefits available to new employees, not just employment benefits (though those are important also!).

  • Defines expectations and how success will be measured.

3. Have you set goals for new salespeople?
Map out realistic goals and expectations for your new sales hires and communicate them clearly in job interviews. Ideally, these goals will sync with your budgeting and capacity planning.

4. Do you have time to mentor new salespeople appropriately?
Another common pitfall plaguing service providers is failing to plan for sales training and mentoring. New hires must learn your company, products and processes, so you must streamline your sales processes to scale as you add new team members.

If your growth to date has been based on referrals, keep in mind that those recommendations have made it easier for your existing salespeople (perhaps even you) to close deals. Conversely, your new hires must prospect and develop cold leads. You’ll need to be more patient in this next growth phase, mentoring your new hires through lengthier and more complex sales cycles. Be sure to carve out adequate time in your schedule for knowledge transfer, process refinement and advice.

5. Have you documented your sales processes?
Informal knowledge develops naturally in startups as your team learns the best ways to navigate prospects, customers and vendors by trial and error. But that doesn’t scale to new hires. Documenting sales steps and procedures helps new hires avoid the frustrations of decoding hidden knowledge and allows them to ramp up to their full potential faster. Include vendor sales process materials so your new hires can work competently with your vendors, too.

6. Have you developed sales training materials?
Sometimes – particularly when hiring seasoned salespeople – MSPs overlook the need to train new sales hires in their unique niches, markets and value propositions. One-on-one coaching, video, co-selling and written materials can help your new salespeople perform better regardless of experience level.

7. Have you set up an onboarding schedule with key milestones?
Sales success doesn’t just happen. You need to plan for it, just like any other business process. Outline steps and milestones for your new sales hires to set expectations, communicate that you’ve got a plan to help them, and introduce accountability from the get-go.

8. Do you understand new salespeoples’ strengths and how to deploy them?
Sometimes, the salesperson you hire is driven by a specific need or objective, such as expertise in a particular solution or vertical market. Ensure you have the internal resources they’ll need to go after those areas of specialization, including lead-gen, sales and product engineering and closing support, and the ability to serve those areas of specialization internally.

9. Have you provided the right time-saving tools for new salespeople to achieve autonomy?

Templates and assessments are great time savers for inexperienced team members. They also can shortcut the learning curve, enabling even nontechnical salespeople to create technology proposals based on answers to a series of discovery questions. This reduces the time you need to spend coaching and sets them more quickly on a path toward success.

The Bottom Line

It’s certainly cause for celebration when you’ve reached the point in your technology business to hire a sales team! However, before you make those hires, ensure that you’ve planned to support them so they, too, can participate in your success and help your company reach your next growth milestones.

Shannon Murphy is chief marketer for Zomentum, an intelligent revenue platform built to help partners discover, sell and manage services. With more than 15 years of tech marketing experience, Murphy focuses on end-user perspectives to develop campaigns, tactics and sales approaches that convert opportunities and drive revenue. You may follow her on LinkedIn or @zomentum on Twitter.

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