Looking back on my twenty years as the CEO of a technology company and founder of a comprehensive MSP training Academy, I realize that the road to success as an MSP is anything but easy.
Maybe it’s because I know that behind my well-documented successes are the equally impressive (but much less talked about) failures that pushed me to find a better way.
That blending of experiences has positioned me to help managed service providers sidestep pitfalls I’ve walked straight into. What’s in my top ten ‘learned from experience’ list? Hiring the right sales team.
Technology sales, and more specifically managed services sales, require unique best practices to fuel robust success.
I have hired, fired and compensated more salespeople than I quite honestly care to count. Some were winners, others were major losers.
Recognizing red flags would have saved me much misery and money, but hindsight is, well, you know. A bad hire can cost you a bundle, so foresight is key when facing the challenges of putting together a sales team. Take advantage of my six proven steps for hiring a sales superstar:
1. Define the Role
A job description is a fine starting place. But to really match the right personality, skills and experience with the role, you need a clear and detailed picture of day-to-day activities.
2. Review Job History
You’re seeking someone who will be focused and faithful in their role with your company. Does their previous job longevity attest to those traits? And remember what you’re selling—it’s a service, not a tangible item. Does the candidate have proven experience in selling the invisible?
3. Make the First Call Unscheduled
Break the ice with an out-of-the-blue call. This allows you to observe their ability to adapt on the spot. It also gives them a chance to behave more naturally.
4. Set Up a Face-to-Face & Follow-up Interviews
If your first impression is good, move to the next step. A face-to-face is where you’ll break out the tough questions like strengths and weaknesses and salary requirements. Follow-up interviews allow for feedback from management teams and potential coworkers, with a chance to determine if the candidate is being consistent.
5. Tour the Facility
Give them a taste of feeling at home in your facility. And share a sample commission sheet suggesting what a ‘sales star’ can expect.
6. Conduct the Final Interview Over Lunch
Now, it’s your turn to do the impressing, reiterating company perks, industry stats, growth potential and company culture. Give them good reason to want to join your team, especially if it means leaving a current situation where they’re happy.
A strong sales team can make or break your company. But putting that team in place won’t break you if you give them clear processes to follow. Hiring is only the beginning.