Hiring top performing sales professionals is a difficult task. Furthermore, salespeople have the highest turnover of any profession regardless of the industry. In addition, hiring the wrong salesperson is an expensive endeavor because your company loses in three different ways…
- Lost Salary & Benefits: For example, if you hire a salesperson at a $60K salary plus benefits and they are terminated within six months because of lack of sales productivity, you have lost $30K in salary, approximately $6,000 in paid benefits, expenses, & taxes for a total business loss of $36K or more for your company.
- Lost Sales Revenue: For instance, if within a 12-month period of time, a sales territory is projected to generate $1M in sales with a 10% net profit which when combined with lost salary and benefits could mean your company’s loss would be over $100K in just six months…if you hire the wrong salesperson.
- Company Morale: Because of the difficult task of selling, sales as a profession has one of the highest turnover rates of any profession. A study by Bridge Group found that the average turnover rate for salespeople for all industries is approximately 34%. Sales turnover creates low sales morale in a company’s culture because it projects an image of a company that does not have a solid management structure in recruiting new sales talent. A salesperson will often ask about the turnover within the company when they are interviewing for a new sales position. If they think the sales turnover is high, they may not choose to take a position with a company that is perceived to be unstable.
There are certain unique characteristics to look for when hiring salespeople vs. other employees. First of all, salespeople are a direct profit source for a company – nothing happens until a sale is made. If salespeople do not perform, a business loses customers and eventually goes out of business. Secondly, salespeople, unlike other employees, are measured at the end of each month for their sales productivity. So it is important that they have a good positive attitude and excellent stamina because they have to overcome a lot of daily rejection and adversity to win new sales. Competition sometimes is fierce and good salespeople need to have a strong sense of belief in themselves and their company to be successful.