Why Hiring Salespeople is a Headache

1 – Hiring top sales people is expensive

If you want to attract the best to your company, it doesn’t come cheap. The best salespeople need a big basic and generous commission or they won’t come to you. You also have to factor in associated costs, such as advertising, recruitment company fees, plus induction and training costs. It can be hard on your bottom line.

2 – Salespeople talk a good game, but don’t always live up to expectations

The problem with salespeople is that they can sell. You’re confronted with a group of people who are selling themselves and their skills, and probably doing a really good job of it. When they’re actually in the job, however, they don’t perform as well you thought they would. A Sales Manager needs to be able to see past the bluster and sniff out a candidate’s authenticity.

3 – It’s difficult to test salespeople

In many professions, such as programming, you can test candidates and see pretty easily what skills they possess. With salespeople, short of cheesy ‘sell me this pen’ nonsense, there is no test. You just have to take a gamble and hire the candidate you think has the skills. This can often backfire.

4 – Not enough time

If there is a gap in your sales team, you need to fill it fast. The alternative is falling revenue, and a disgruntled rest of your team who are working out of their skins to cover the absent team member.  However, when you have 100 people applying to fill the role, there aren’t enough hours in the day to interview everyone. You have to go with whoever has the best CV, which in itself is a flawed system. It’s very likely that some good candidates will slip through the net.

5 – Lack of knowledge and ability to prioritise

When you’re looking to hire someone for your team, do you know what you’re actually looking for? Someone with a strong rack record, or someone with potential? Someone who will fit in well with the rest of the team, or someone who might shake things up a bit? Usually, you’re unclear on these priorities, so it’s no surprise when the hire doesn’t work out. As I always say, start with a goal and work backwards from it.

6 – Salespeople underserved in market

Salespeople are often the victims of poor service from recruitment agencies, who put their commission payments ahead of finding the right career move for the candidate. In the end, you lose as the hirer, because if the salesperson isn’t a good fit for the job in your team, they won’t last long. If you use recruitment companies, make sure you use one with a good track record. Whatever you do, don’t go for the cheapest!

7 – Sales people do too much admin

Most salespeople are born sellers, great at building rapport, overcoming objections, closing deals. What you’re not great at is spreadsheets, forecasts and chasing invoices, but in so many roles, you’re expected to do these things. When you take on new people, it can take them a long time to get used to the admin side of the job. Often, they despise the admin side so much they quickly leave. What can you do though? Forecasts need to be done!

8 – Sales Managers lack training

The Peter Principle. Managers rise to their level of incompetence. OK, maybe I’m being harsh, but in most companies, the best salespeople get promotions because they’re good at sales, not necessarily because they would be good managers. They’re not offered new training on managerial responsibilities, such as hiring people. Is it any wonder when it all goes wrong?

9 – Companies don’t know how to grow sales

All companies want to grow sales, but many lack the data, insights and knowledge to do it successfully. Nowhere is that more evident than when they’re hiring. They guess, go with gut reactions and take gambles, when a measured data-driven approach is what they really need. Often, a slight tweak to the existing team’s organisation could eliminate the need to hire anyone at all, but that takes effort, when it’s easier just to hire someone new and forget about it.

10 – Sales Managers are under pressure

If there’s a gap in your teamand revenue isunder threat, you’ll be feeling the pressure. If you miss your numbers, you’ll be under more pressure and job security may become an issue. You’ll be feeling the heat from above to get that position filled, and with someone good. You’ll be told to hire the best, but it’s hard to know who is the best. You may make a rash decision, which could easily backfire.
There are 10 of the problems as I see it, but what are the solutions? What are your secrets to a successful hire? Why not share them with the community? I’m sure we’d all love to know. Please leave a comment down below.
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