Are you prepared to take your business to new heights by hiring a sales or marketing team? Hold your horses – setting up and maintaining such teams will likely be trickier than you expect. According to Harvard Business Review, the annual turnover for salespeople is sky-high at 27%, which is twice that of the overall workforce.
If you want to get it right and avoid ruinous misshires, thorough research, planning, and foresight are necessary. Too many businesses have unclear expectations about sales and marketing people, not to mention frequently end up shooting themselves in the foot with a poorly thought-out hiring process.
This article covers everything you need to know about successfully hiring external sales and marketers to meet your business goals:
Be clear about whether you need a marketer or sales rep
First and foremost, ask yourself whether you need a marketer or a sales rep (or both). Yes, there is a difference. And no, not every company needs both. To simplify, marketers promote, while salespeople close deals. A marketer will generate interest in your products or services through marketing campaigns and similar, while a salesperson will engage with interested people and guide them through the purchase process.
When is it the right time to hire an external sales rep or marketer?
Unless there is demand and you have a clear strategy in place, hiring a sales rep or marketer may not be worth the investment. New workers need to be fit into an existing process, require training and guidance, and, finally, be given concrete goals to work toward.
Before hiring a salesperson, you should ideally have a sales process up and running, with the major kinks worked out already, and your current salespeople (whether that’s you personally or your team) should have more work than they can handle. With marketers, it’s much more flexible, as generating interest is rarely a bad idea. Businesses typically hire marketers when they reach $5 to $10 million in revenue, says Authentic Brand.
Get organized with a job profile
Next, it’s time to create a suitable job profile for your hire. A job profile is an overview of the position’s key responsibilities. It also covers the skills, experience, education, and pay range.
When you create a formal job profile, you can nail down specifics of the role and what you need to look for when hiring workers. It will essentially help you get organized and stay on track throughout the hiring process.
The job profile should be aligned with your business goals. Not all businesses have clear business goals, though, especially when they’re just starting. In such cases, some experimentation may be necessary. Study the target market, take inspiration from your competitors, and research common marketing and sales goals.
Choose between full-timers and freelancers
You have the choice of hiring full-time workers and freelancers. There are pros and cons to either approach. Full-time workers are easy to train, are always on-hand, and can nicely fit into your existing business structure. On the flip side, they are expensive and usually not very flexible. Freelancers come with benefits like flexibility and low onboarding times. You can switch them out whenever you like, and use them on a project-by-project basis. But they don’t always fit into processes or cultures, may be difficult to manage as well as retain.
Spread your net to find the people you need
Next, it’s time to find candidates for the open job position. Where do you begin? You can look online or offline. Networking, advertising, referral programs, and passive recruiting are all viable strategies to find candidates. Freelancers may be easiest to find and vet (and cheapest), as they are available to hire on freelancing platforms online and can be filtered by job scores and cost. Quick tip for online searches, though: use a free tool to reduce PDF file size, or else you risk overloading the inboxes of potential hires, meaning they’ll never actually see the postings you worked so hard on.
Screen for the qualities you need
It’s time to go through the applications you receive. The job profile that you, hopefully, made before will help you to screen candidates by responsibilities, qualifications, and less-tangible factors like personality and experience. Salespeople are usually people-oriented, resilient, and engaging. Marketers are creative, good at handling data, and communicative.
If you’re a growing business, you may not have the budget to hire seasoned pros. Great marketers and, especially, salespeople command top dollar. You may need to adjust your expectations and look for talented but inexperienced people who can be groomed. It will still be an investment, but it should pan out in the long run. Be sure to avoid common hiring mistakes.
Give it time
No hiring process is perfect, and your sales and marketing efforts may take time to bear fruit. For the best results, you will have to frequently measure your hire’s performance and keep refining your processes. If you have the budget to spare, consider taking on more than one worker at a time, as it will give you extra room to experiment, and you will be less reliant on a single person’s performance.
Marketers and salespeople can do a lot for your business, from generating leads for your business and boosting your brand awareness to increasing customer loyalty and boosting your revenues. They’re worth the time and effort. Take your time, be patient, and think long-term when you hire your new workers for the best results.
If you’re ready to work from home, visit Freelancer Inn for resources, tips, and advice on how you can find success!