I was recently visiting with the HR director at a five-year old company that has experienced significant growth. They have a good product in an expanding market.
In the early days, it was the CEO who was doing most of the selling, and – like the CEO of every company who has early success – he was good at it.
But as the company grew, so did the list of CEO responsibilities. And he increasingly found himself torn between selling and fulfilling. It’s the sales-fulfillment teeter-totter that I’ve written about here before.
So they started hiring salespeople. Some did well and others have yet to achieve their quota in any time period that they’ve measured.
Sound familiar? It’s very common in the companies I work with. Give me a call and we can chat about your situation.
Taking over the sales role from a founder isn’t easy. You can never replace that perfect blend of passion, product knowledge and motivation.
I am constantly reminding the owner-operators I work with: TNU – They’re not you.
So, what can you do? How can you set up your first sales hire for success?
There are four things:
- Get the hiring process right. Seems obvious, but this is missed far too often. A young, growing company is not right for everyone. Make sure they match the culture you’re building and have the mindset of someone who can succeed in selling your service. Be honest if they’re walking into an undefined role that will be difficult for them.
- Don’t assume that just because they have sold something else, those skills will perfectly translate to what you’re selling. Make sure the sales process is documented and ready to execute.
- Be clear on expectations and then inspect what you expect. Having a job scorecard is critical. If they have to make 50 calls per week to be successful, put that on their KPI dashboard and look at it weekly.
- Don’t expect perfection. Again. TNU. They’ll never sell at your level. Shoot for 80% as good, then coach and develop them so they can continue to improve.
That’s some of what we do in the fourth step of our 4D Transformation Method. Watch this video to learn more:
Can I help you be successful in sales as you continue to grow? Reach out and let me know. Just take our short assessment and then book a strategy call with me.
And always remember. TNU.