Anand Srinivasan
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How To Hire A Sales Associate For Your Business

Anand Srinivasan

March 09, 2017

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A lot of business owners tend to assume that their product speaks for itself. So while they invest a lot of resources into marketing their product and increasing its visibility, sales is often an afterthought. The truth however is that marketing is incomplete without sales. The inquiries you receive from interested customers and the leads you generate are meaningless without a sales team member to negotiate and close the deal.

Hiring a sales associate is not easy. Studies show that nearly 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up while in reality, you need as many as five follow-ups to close a deal. What you need is someone with the persistence and motivation to keep pushing themselves till they close a deal.

Attributes of a good salesperson

A good salesperson does not have to be the loud-mouthed extrovert who can strike a conversation with anybody. On the contrary, the best salespeople are introverted. These are people who can listen to the customer and understand their needs and perspective before making a sales pitch. Sales executives also need to be highly motivated and persistent. While a lot of this is inherent, the best salespeople are those who have been sufficiently trained. A well-trained sales associate can close more deals than one who is simply known for their networking skills or for their persistence.

What motivates a salesperson

People in sales jobs are extremely driven by recognition. In their study of over 200,000 people leadership experts Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton found overwhelming evidence for better business results whenever managers offered constructive praise or meaningful rewards to their employees. In other words, salespeople work better when their efforts and small successes are recognized and rewarded. The ‘stick’ method which penalizes salespeople for lack of results does not work as effectively.

For a business owner, this would mean identifying the right rewards and compensation to offer your employees. The average retail sales associate is paid around $42,000 per year in large cities and between $24,000 and $34,700 in small and medium sized cities. Bonuses for sales made and profits earned go a long way in motivating a salesperson into closing more deals.

Having said that, it also needs to be pointed out that you cannot buy motivation through money alone. While monetary compensation does wonders, it only works in the presence of a positive work environment and in a well-knit team. It is important to fix the team morale and build a positive work environment before working out monetary compensation for your sales team members.

Training your sales team

As we noted earlier in this article, good salespeople can be trained. A growing number of businesses today hire full-time mentors who coach the salespeople in your organization. These are not people who have moved up the ladder in the sales team. Instead, these are psychologists who prepares and conditions your salespeople to build the persistence and mindset required to convert a sales. While a  small business owner may not have the budget to hire a mentor, it is a good idea to enrol your sales team to monthly training programs that prepare them for the tough job ahead.


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