Most VARs / MSPs were not started by sales professionals; therefore, training and managing sales professionals likely becomes one of the biggest challenges a company owner faces when growing their firm.
In my 25+ career years of business ownership AND recruiting both for my firm’s internal sales needs as well as for client’s sales professional needs, the role of sales has been the most challenging (and sometimes most frustrating) position to fill. I speak from experience having the battle scars from identifying and hiring good sales talent.
Below are the 5 most common challenges VAR Staffing runs into in behalf of our clients.
1 – The sales rep you really want is already making too much money – why would he / she leave? There are few true “rain makers” out there, and they are typically very well compensated and valued by their current employer. A successful sales professional is not going to leave a stable and most likely predictable income stream just for the “chance to make more”.
2 – If they are willing to leave, can you afford them while they ramp up for your company? Do you have a realistic time frame to invest in their success, and have you thought through a realistic guarantee income period?
3 – Sales reps typically have an enforceable non-compete agreement. Logically everyone wants to hire a new sales rep who can bring an immediate “book of business” with them; that is rarely the case.
4 – While you may think your new sales rep has a golden opportunity to call on a “virgin territory” with unlimited upside, so does every other VAR / MSP calling on the same set of accounts or territory. Selling is a highly competitive endeavor and typically not a first call / first kill effort. Unless you are the first to offer a specific product or service offering, there typically is no true “virgin territory”; just revenue being recognized by some other firm you want to capture.
The best sales professionals are not miracle makers; they typically are focused, structured in their sales approach, self-aware and self-guided, good at problem solving, and optimistic regarding their ability to be successful. But Miracle Maker is not on their resume.
5– Break even on hiring a new sales professional may be as long as one year depending on the sales cycle / profit margins of your offerings. Do you truly understand your typical sales cycle and are you willing / capable of making that level of investment?
While hiring a good sales professional may be tough, it is not impossible, nor should it be prone to more failure than success. Like the challenges of identifying and hiring good technical talent, there are approaches and safe guards you can put in place to improve your hiring success.
Our follow up blog will identify 3 primary question categories, along with some suggested questions in each category to help gain a more holistic assessment of the person you are interviewing.
Received a copy of our most recent ebook “Winning the War for Top Talent”? Click here to obtain your copy.
Expanding or upgrading your staff? VAR Staffing welcomes the opportunity to discuss your needs and develop a plan help you hire the right person for the right job. After all, our only mission is to help our VAR and MSP clients outperform their competition. Give us a call at 972-996-0966 or send an email to Ashley at AWilliamson@VARstaffing.com