John Kenney, CPRC, CEO, Cotney Consulting Group
When you start your own business, you typically wear several hats to help get it off the ground, including promotions and sales. But the time will come when you will need to focus on the core business and hand-off your sales efforts.
From the very first hire, your salesperson can be the life or death of your business, so choose wisely. Having someone besides yourself selling your products or services can be scary, so finding the right person for the job is essential. Find someone you can fully trust to represent you and grow your company.
How do you even know where to begin when you are not a sales professional and have never hired one? As a company founder, you have been out in the trenches talking to potential customers, facing failures and improving your products and services. But when it is time to turn these duties over to someone else, focus on learning from your own experiences. You will know from those experiences the kind of salesperson you need to hire for your business. You already have a strong understanding of your target customers and their needs and have already developed a sales process.
Before you begin your search, define who the right candidate will be. Prepare a candidate profile of experience, achievements and characteristics you believe will fit your company, including what benchmarks you want to establish. You may seek many characteristics not listed on a resume and may not know they exist until you conduct an interview. Resourcefulness, coachability, attention to detail, likeability and teamwork are among them. When preparing your profile, include company focus, sales cycle, subject matter expertise, role focus and achievements. Rank them according to priority. The best salespeople may not be on the job hunt, so you need to use various approaches. Read more.