“Our revenue has dropped significantly. It’s getting harder to penetrate accounts. Our salespeople aren’t performing.”

I hear this a lot when working with new clients. I ask how long the salespeople have been employed, are they a fit for the role and what training/coaching have they received.

The answers unfortunately don’t surprise me.

Often the person has been there a couple of years. They have a very high base salary, so are comfortable. They’re not actively selling and I hear real frustration from the business owners.

My question then is “Why are they still employed and who should you have in the role instead?”

Sales is a tough gig. Hiring salespeople must be a strategic decision.

Ask yourself:

What’s the role really require? Will they have to knock on lots of new doors – prospecting? Or are they mainly account managers where they’re expected to grow sales from within?

Are they expected to deal with senior executives or more technical people?

Are they creating a need – selling a concept – providing business insights or a known quantity.

When interviewing, talk is cheap. Salespeople are by nature going to “sell themselves”.

I always ask questions around their values and beliefs.

I look at their past roles. How motivated are they to succeed. Or are they looking for a cushy base salary and then move on when the going gets tough having not sold much (if anything). You’d be horrified how often I’ve seen this play out.

Are they willing to be coached and trained and being held accountable to their KPIs?

You might be surprised as to how many aren’t!

Success – meaning profitable growth comes from hiring the right people with the right attitude and capabilities. And investing in them. Continuously upskilling, training and coaching to improve capabilities.

None of this is easy to do. It takes work and commitment.

When working with business owners I help them determine exactly what’s required in the role, how to select the right people and the sales management necessary to maximise success.

This art of sales can be learned and improved. If you’re interested in attracting high-value clients, explore our Sales Mastery programs.

Our programs cover topics like mindset transformation, defining your target market, creating value maps of the buyer’s journey, and articulating the benefits of working with you.

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