The negative impact of bad hiring on sales
The product is good, the market is good, and the company has super potential. When analyzing the results, however, sales are not as expected. What went wrong in this scenario? An incredibly common answer that surprisingly has a habit of repeating itself over the course of history: bad hiring.
This seems to be a problem that, despite being easily avoidable, affects companies all over the world, especially startups or companies at the beginning of their history, precisely those that need quick results and that would have to hire with the maximum precision possible.
Furthermore, for us Brazilians, the problem is aggravated by the lack of qualified labor in many sectors and the difficulty of finding someone qualified especially for the sales area.
Recruiting the best in the market is not easy, and it is often underestimated. Often the impact of this “slip” on sales can be recovered, but most of the time it causes financial problems, directly affecting the company’s cash flow.
Certainly many would like to quickly realize how important this stage of hiring the sales team is and how to do it properly, so let’s go to some crucial factors, in my opinion.
Know when it’s time to stop saving and start investing
First, let’s align the beginning of the trajectory of most companies.
It starts with discovering the product/service that will best serve the market niche they want to reach and which niche it is, so they can find an efficient and often scalable sales process and then enter the phase of effectively scaling this process, the phase in which the hiring starts to happen in force.
Consequently, this means high investments in hiring and training to scale the sales process.
It’s time to step on the accelerator, and because many companies don’t understand this necessary moment, they end up losing more money later by making too concise decisions now.
Hiring sellers is not enough
As much as hiring so-called “ hunters ” is essential for increasing your sales, this in itself is not enough.
In order for them to be effective, you have to ensure that:
- There are enough leads to “feed” these hunters;
- They are well-attended from the start and fit in with the company’s culture ;
- They have enough resources to serve the customers that will come as a result.
Also, you need to understand that there is a margin for error. Some seller hires will not be successful and this is normal .
The issue of leads is delicate and can disrupt the entire process. Sometimes, the fault of not having the expected return is not the selection process itself, but the lack of segmentation within the process that allows the seller to focus only on bringing results.
No longer like it used to, today it’s been seen that letting the hunter generate leads to cold calling doesn’t work and the lead list needs to come to him in other ways.
This lead list generation task is what we like to call business intelligence, and ignoring the importance of this professional on the team is bad hiring management.
Sales team atmosphere
Once hired, we got into the very important issue of getting these new team members on board. The best way to do this at the beginning is to place them close to one of the founders, allowing them to be immersed in what happens on a daily basis in the company and gaining knowledge.
However, at this later stage of escalation this is impractical, and passing the baton from this role to other people on the team is essential.
This passing of the baton is crucial, as all these new people will now get their initial impression of the company based on this person and the training he or she will pass on to them.
This will impact how well they will perform their role later on, ie… how much they will sell.
Now, if all of this has been done correctly and your team is becoming what we call a “dream team”, chances are you will even start exceeding your goals and selling more than expected.
Therefore, the rest of the team that will deal with customers after the sale is closed must be prepared so that everything continues to flow smoothly.
Finally, it’s boring, but there’s no way, it has to be planned and foreseen that some people won’t work for some reason. This rate can’t be avoided much, but what you should do is always be on the lookout to identify who fits in this category as soon as possible and remove them from your team.
Have a good results plan and always compare it to actual results
The capacity of your sales team will always equal the number of salespeople times the average productivity per salesperson.
Comparing this capability with what was planned and always measuring the variation in productivity by the salesperson are ways to ensure that sales will always be as expected.
Furthermore, hiring more than planned also guarantees better results. Not saying that hiring a lot of people = more sales, but that’s the saying:
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars…
Apart from what was said, the quality of the selection process, the sources for hiring and the remuneration model and career plan used by the company are decisive factors to ensure the best in your team and avoid that rate of failed hires.
As I said at the beginning, in Brazil this is an even more delicate factor, which only makes this stage even more worthy of constant attention.
Few Brazilian sales professionals come to your company with the crucial knowledge of today, which also reinforces the need for training well done in any hiring and for this reason many companies have bet on hiring interns.
To conclude, I would say that constant measurement, in line with good training of your team and hiring beyond what was planned when it comes to your sales team, are the three ingredients to ensure fast scalability and consequent increase in sales.