Before even penning a job description, you need to have tools in place that will help a sales rep thrive. You hire sales reps to do one thing: sell.
They should not be creating your sales collateral, proposal, product offering, etc. It’s your job to have these in place before you can offer them a job. It all starts with you.
Here are seven things to consider before hiring a sales rep.
1. Training Program
What do sales reps need to know? How can they learn it? And how quickly should they know it? Think of this as your onboarding program. What should they know at 1 month in, 3 months, or 6 months in? Document resources and locations. Explain how they should be used and in what order they’re best digested.
Test your employees along the way. Review progress in weekly 1:1s, and make sure you’re keeping training materials evergreen by asking new employees for input.
2. Product & Service Offering
Sales reps need a defined offering to sell in order to be successful. At the very least, have a spec sheet and talking points in place before adding a sales rep. Make sure you’re able to clearly explain what unique value your products/services bring to the market. Your reps should be able to sell the value of your product rather than just the product itself. Give them the knowledge to do this.
3. Sales Process
Define your desired sales process—every single step from a discovery call to a closed deal should be mapped out. This process can be automated with a CRM platform. How long should the rep wait to follow up with a prospect after leaving a voicemail? Is there an approved quote template they should use? Does a manager need to review the quote before it’s sent to the customer? All these questions should be answered.
Have a call script and a PowerPoint deck available, and invest in tools that will help your sales team deliver a compelling presentation. This will help your new sales rep better understand your offering and give them a great foundation with which to win over prospects.
Map out and create templates for each proposal type you think your sales rep will need. They should appear professional, aesthetically pleasing, and include your branding—logo, tagline, design elements, messaging style. You can easily knock out this to-do with a quote and proposal automation solution.
If you don’t develop templates, you not only leave your brand image to their discretion, but also create one more task that takes them away from what they do best: sell.
Most sales reps will say just about anything to close a deal. That’s why you should never leave the agreements up to them. They want to sell as much and as fast as they can; they’re not incentivized to worry about what happens after the sale.
7. Money in the Bank
You absolutely must have four to six months of salary in the bank before you hire a sales rep. Even superstars will need time to ramp up before they start bringing in big bucks. Plan for that.
Once you have these key items, you’re ready to define, post, and start interviewing for your sales job.