If you’re a small business person, you know that sales will likely be an essential part of growing your venture. You will likely be the first salesperson in your business since you know your products and services best and are most passionate about them.
However, over time you will need to consider scaling up and spending less time on sales. Hiring a team is one of the most efficient ways to get more things done and truly grow your revenue.
If you’re wondering when to hire your first salesperson, here are some key indicators that it just may be time to make the big leap.
You Know Your Customers’ Needs Very Well
Successful sales is all about knowing who your target customer is and how you can serve their needs. Before you can think about hiring a salesperson, you need to spend some time in the trenches talking with your target customer and learning more about them.
You’ll want to know what stage of life they’re in, what their interests are, their current financial state and other key demographics. Consider setting up some one-on-one discovery calls with your audience to determine what their core problem is and what they need.
Make sure what you’re selling and the features of your product or service reflect that. Even if the people you talk to don’t initially buy, you’ll gain some valuable market research this way.
You Can Identify Common Objections
Some people shy away from sales because they are afraid of getting told no. The truth is, rejection is completely normal when it comes to sales. Not everyone is going to say yes and if they did that would just be weird.
To start closing leads you need to identify common objections and know how to overcome them. Even if you’re not the best at sales, it’s important to get very familiar with the common objections that your target customer might have.
That way, you can better equip your salesperson when it’s time to outsource.
You’ve Developed a Clear Sales Process
Knowing when to hire your first salesperson can be tricky if you’re still developing your sales process. It takes time to narrow down an effective sales process so embrace the trial and error phase.
You’ll want to know what your audience responds to, which channels you want to use and how you prefer to close leads to get sales. For example, you may prefer that people sign up for a webinar or email list which will help them learn more about what you’re selling.
From there, they can follow up with a discovery call when you’d deliver your sales pitch. Narrow down how many steps your process will include along with how you plan to follow up.
One of my business coaches told me that their profit is all in the follow-up. Sometimes, being successful at selling requires patience so determine how many follow ups you’d like to do and how that process will look before you hire someone else to take on the task
You’re Wearing Too Many Hats
If you find yourself wearing too many hats and taking on too many responsibilities, it may be time to hire your first salesperson. Spreading yourself too thin is never a good thing for your business. Sales is just one aspect of the spectrum and while it’s important, you can often outsource it sooner rather than later.
Some business owners wait too long to outsource sales and their profits suffer as a result. If you find yourself overwhelmed with your daily tasks and unable to fully dedicate yourself to the sales process, you could be missing out on money.
You Can Afford It
Let’s face it. You shouldn’t hire your first salesperson if you truly can’t afford it. You should have already done the work of creating the products and services and researching your target audience. Plus, you should have proof of concept and know that your stuff is selling. A salesperson can simply help maximize your efforts and take an extra task off your plate.
Consider what you’d like to pay a salesperson and review your business budget to make sure you can afford it. You can look online to get references on what people might expect to get paid. Most salespeople get paid via commission so you can also consider paying out a percentage of the products and services that they sell. You can also offer a base hourly rate if you wish.
You Know How Your Salesperson Will Get Leads
This is one final sign that may tell you that you’re ready to hire your first salesperson. You’ll want to make sure you have enough work to give someone whether you’re looking for part-time or full-time help. Depending on how well current sales are going, you may want to start with part-time help and just see where it goes from there if things pick up.
Determine if you want your salesperson to help gather leads or simply take incoming leads and sell to them. Regardless, don’t hire someone and just expect them to come up with leads out of thin air.
You can gather leads from your email list, social media, paid marketing and advertising efforts, and events that you attend. Make it easy to collect leads by setting up automatic marketing funnels with your website and email list. Also, you can host an evergreen webinar about what you’re selling and market it with Facebook ads.
At the end of the day, hiring your first salesperson can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Just make sure you’re prepared for this big next step. You want to be able to know your audience very well, have a proven sales process, leads coming in, and also be able to afford the added expense.
Make sure the person you hire is right for your business by establishing some clear goals and objectives upfront. You can even set up a 30-day trial to make sure a new hire would be a good fit.
Have you thought about hiring your first salesperson yet or do you already have a sales team?