Are You Sure You Need to Hire “More” Salespeople?

Many businesses are as busy or busier than they were pre-pandemic, leading them to want more sales staff. Here, sales guru Mark Allen Roberts advises on why that may not be your best move.

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Many businesses are as busy or busier than they were pre-pandemic. My clients share they want to hire more salespeople to keep up with demand and give their current customers the best buying experience as possible.

What I often ask my clients often surprises them: Are you sure you need more salespeople?

Having led a number of sales teams over the past 36 years and now provide sales consulting, training and coaching I have experienced some interesting trends — data points if you will:

  • In most sales teams I serve 20%-30% of the people in customer facing quota carrying sales roles should not be in sales.
  • Another 34% of salespeople are in the wrong roles based on their skills, beliefs and motivations.
  • Salespeople today are spending less than 20% of their sellable time selling.
  • Over 50% of salespeople have not received any formal sales skills training.
  • 25%-30% of sales teams have not updated their sales structure in over 12 months.
  • Buyers shared in a recent survey in a typical one-hour meeting with a salesperson only 6 minutes were actually valuable to them, the buyer.

WATCH: 5 Minutes With ID: Sales Expert Mark Allen Roberts

So, let me ask you again…Are you sure you need more salespeople?

Or do you need to improve the overall effectiveness of your current sales team?

Before you invest in more salespeople, I suggest the following to ensure your current sales team is as effective and efficient as they could be.

I. Assess sales skills

Conduct a sales skills assessment to determine the current state of your salespeople by sales role.

Do you have Hunters, Farmers and Fishermen?

Do you have the right people in the right roles?

Do your people have the right skills, motivations and beliefs for the role there are in?

II. Train and Coach

Prescribe training and coaching to fill any skills gaps discovered in the assessment.

III. Measure what Matters

Establish key performance indicators that drive the results you want and need. Far too many teams are tracking lagging indicators alone like sales and profit per sale.

The teams I work with track indicators like:

  • New client contacts attempted
  • New client conversations completed
  • Future meetings booked
  • Quotes presented
  • Close rates on quotes

The Final Word

Develop and manage a sales accountability process.

So, one more time, let me ask you the question: Are you sure you need more salespeople?

Or would you first like to understand how effective your current sales team is and determine how effective they could be with training and coaching?

If you have done all of the above and determine you need more salespeople, I can help you find top sales performers to add to your organization.

Mark Allen RobertsMark Allen RobertsIf improving sales team effectiveness is something you would like to learn more about let’s schedule a call. Mention Soar to Success Article and you will receive a 15% discount on the sales team effectiveness assessment.

Mark Allen Roberts is the founder and CEO of OTB Sales Solutions, a firm dedicated to sales training, coaching, improving sales effectiveness, sales strategy development, leveraging data to improve the science of sales, and more. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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