Why hiring experienced Sales Personnel isn’t always the answer
In my role at RTA, I speak to a number of companies that when asked, “when was the last time you hired entry level sales individuals?” A lot of the time the answer is simple, “I only hire experienced sales people.”
When I ask the ultimate question, “why is that?” I am faced with one, or all of the following responses:
- I don’t have the time or financial resources to train them and therefore it is not cost effective
- Our product or service is very complex and only people who are currently in the industry can sell it
- I need someone who has existing relationships and who can bring in business immediately
In some cases these are valid points; however hiring experienced sales executives isn’t always a guaranteed solution to revenue generation. Of course companies need to have a sales hierarchy as with all other departments within a business. Implementing a complete trainee sales team is not a viable option.
There has to be structure for two reasons; to set growth targets and manage the sales function in line with company strategy
Taking each point on its own merit let’s look at the counter arguments.
If you do not have the time to train new sales individuals, then engage with someone who can!
In terms of financials, let us break this down. Market information suggests that trainee level sales executives average salary banding is between £15k and £18k. An experienced sales exec average basic salary starts at around £25k and can rise considerably from there.
From a standing start as a business you could already be investing up to an extra £10k on the base salary alone from hiring an experienced exec.
That’s an amount that could be apportioned to training that individual…
Of course some solutions/services require an experienced hand, however even they had to learn their product set at some point. To use a simple analogy, once upon a time I couldn’t walk so my parents taught me using techniques until finally I made my first steps. My point is that if the willingness and capacity to learn is there, anything can be taught.
Why not partner them with your most experienced sales professionals, who are better placed to guide your trainees?
Existing relationships/ guaranteed business
One of the questions around this subject I hear frequently is “how can you guarantee I will receive ROI from a trainee?” This is a good point, however how can you guarantee that an experienced sales consultant can bring their client base with them?
Why employ someone who is looking to sit on existing business when you can hire a hungry, driven individual who wants to win business from your competitors!